3 Best Energy Efficient Upgrades to Your Home

green house

Many houses consume energy like it’s the 1980s. Unfortunately, the utility bills those owners get at the end of every month reflect 2016 energy costs. Houses built today are constructed to much higher standards of energy efficiency. If you’re not living in a brand-new residence with the fragrance of fresh paint and new carpet lingering in the air, however, you can still bring your home into the 21st century by making some targeted efficiency upgrades.

Increase Insulation

If your home is more than ten years old, your attic is probably under-insulated by current standards. In winter, rising heat radiates through the ceiling into the cooler attic. During summer, an overheated attic raises temperatures in rooms below. In both seasons, utility costs climb accordingly. The only thing standing between heat loss and heat gain—and increased energy consumption—is adequate attic insulation. Upgrade attic insulation to current standards simply by adding more atop the existing layer to increase total depth. In our climate zone, the Department Of Energy recommends a minimum of 10 inches of fiberglass batts or 7 inches of cellulose loose-fill insulation in the attic. More than that—up to 18 inches or 15 inches, respectively—is even better, as it lowers energy consumption and utility costs further.

Optimize Water Heating

Making hot water accounts for almost 20% of home energy consumption. Conventional storage tank water heaters generally need replacement every 10 years. However, energy consumption of these units often climbs steadily and significantly well before that point. New high-efficiency water heaters incorporate more effective insulation to reduce tank heat loss as well as electronic gas valves and efficient burner technology, cutting energy consumption by 10 to 40 percent. Tankless water heaters that supply hot water on-demand and eliminate storage tank heat losses also save energy and money.

Program Your Temperatures

Has the Smithsonian expressed interest in that historic manual thermostat on your wall? Old-school mechanical thermostats require you to make manual temperature changes repeatedly, day and night. This inconsistent, yo-yo effect wastes energy as both furnaces and air conditioners run at optimum efficiency when temperatures remain consistent over long spans. A programmable thermostat takes control of indoor comfort and efficiency by inputting temperature changes automatically per pre-set programs and maintaining settings for long spans, such as overnight or when the home’s unoccupied. Installing a programmable thermostat can reduce heating/cooling energy consumption by 10 percent—more than enough to pay for itself the first year.

If you found this blog helpful, you may want to check out our post “Questions to Ask Your Plumber

North County Plumbing is located in Oceanside, California and has been in the service business since 1970 providing quality plumbing services including leak detection and drain service in northern San Diego County. Our qualified technicians are available 24 hours a day to help with emergency plumbing repair services…with no overtime charges!

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