Making changes to your Bay Area home for a more energy-efficient renovation offers many benefits. These changes provide an effective way to lower your utility bills. They also allow you to help out the environment. When you’re planning a home renovation with a focus on energy efficiency, consider the following fixtures.
Washers and dryers account for up to 13 percent of energy usage. Choose an energy efficient washer with Energy Star certification, which can reduce energy usage by 25 percent. To save the most energy, look for washers with a low Integrated Water Factor and a high Integrated Modified Energy Factor. Check for the Energy Star label when choosing other appliances as well.
Eco-friendly plumbing fixtures can help you use less water overall. Keep in mind that water heaters account for up to 14 percent of energy usage. You can reduce this by choosing a tankless water heater with Energy Star certification. Tankless water heaters are between 8 and 34 percent more efficient than storage tank water heaters.
Windows and Doors
Heat loss and gain through windows and doors accounts for up to 30 percent of heating and cooling costs. Energy efficient windows and doors can help reduce this. Look for windows with energy-saving features, such as low-e coating and gas fills. Energy efficient windows should also have a lower solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). This reduces heat coming in from outside. Choose doors with energy efficient features, such as magnetic strips to keep out drafts.
Choosing the right kind of insulation can help reduce energy usage and improve home comfort. Look for insulation that has the right R-value for heat resistance. R-value refers to how well your insulation prevents heat flow into and out of your home. This will provide your home with greater energy efficiency overall.
Programmable and Smart Thermostats
Programmable and smart thermostats are a simple way to lower your home’s energy usage. Consider these thermostats during your renovation. With programmable thermostats, you can program the settings to raise or lower the temperature at certain times. Smart thermostats allow you to adjust settings from a mobile device, even if you’re away from home. These thermostats also adjust temperature settings automatically based on your daily schedule and other factors.
Heating/Cooling and Solar Power
Heating and cooling systems account for up to 47 percent of energy usage in homes. Getting an HVAC system that uses less energy can lead to much lower heating and cooling bills. Look for HVAC systems that are more energy-efficient, such as heat pumps. You might also want to look into getting solar panels instead for greater energy savings. These panels provide you with solar power for your home.
The siding on your home can help keep warmer air inside during winter. It can also keep hot air outside during summer. Consider getting siding with energy-efficient qualities, such as insulated vinyl siding. This kind of siding helps lower energy usage that occurs through wall studs.
Having changes made to your home to lower your energy usage helps you save money over time. You might also be able to save even more money with rebates. For example, San Francisco Water Power Sewer offers rebates for certain plumbing fixtures, such as water-efficient shower heads. Pacific Gas and Electric Company offers rebates on certain products, such as smart thermostats. Check with local utility companies for detailed information on these rebates.
To learn more about our home renovation services in the Bay Area, please contact Drafting Cafe Architects. Our team can help you choose energy efficient fixtures for your home to lower your energy costs. Call us for a free estimate.