Home Upgrades That Can Save Energy & Money
Moving in to a new home can be exciting, but it can also be intimidating if your new home is a fixer-upper. When thinking about upgrades for your home, painting, flooring and new appliances probably come to mind. However, if you’re looking to tackle a project that will make a big impact, it might make sense to start with the largest energy users in your home: your heating and cooling system and water heater.
These systems may have been in your home for years, and could have been neglected by previous homeowners. However, you’ll depend on these systems to keep your family comfortable all year long. Plus, new systems are now more energy-efficient than ever, which means an upgrade can save you energy every month you’re in your new home. Here are our recommendations for how you can invest your home improvement dollars.
High-Efficiency Heating & Air Conditioning Systems
That old, noisy heating and air conditioning system that’s prone to breakdowns is probably wasting your energy dollars each month. An inefficient system costs much more to operate than a new, high-efficiency system. With a new system, heating and cooling costs can be reduced by up to 20%. If you do purchase a new heating and air conditioning system, make sure it’s high-efficiency by checking out the SEER and AFUE rating.
- SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and is the measurement of cooling efficiency for air conditioning and heat pump systems. It’s a measurement of the cooling output divided by the total energy used during a typical cooling season. A higher SEER rating means the unit is more energy-efficient. The chart below shows how higher SEER ratings can help save energy dollars.
- AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency and is the measure of heating efficiency for a gas furnace. It’s a measurement of how efficiently a gas furnace uses fuel. A higher AFUE rating means the unit is more efficient. The chart below shows how higher AFUE ratings can help save on energy costs.
Find out how much energy you can save with a high-efficiency heating and air conditioning system by using our Energy Savings Calculators.
High-Efficiency Water Heaters
Think about how many times a day you use hot water – when you shower, do the dishes, wash clothes, and more. That all adds up to your water heater being the second largest energy-user in your home. It makes up about 14% of your home’s overall energy bill, so an old, inefficient water heater could result in wasted energy. The good news is that innovations in water heater technology have helped to reduce the cost of heating water. Depending on your home and hot water needs, one of the following options may be right for you.
- A heat pump water heater is an option for homes that currently have an electric water heater. It’s the most energy-efficient water heater available, so it can help save on water-heating bills. It’s also larger in size than a regular water heater, so it may not be right if space is limited.
- If your home uses well water, a composite water heater is a great option, since they’re very durable. It’s also an electric water heater, so if you’re looking to upgrade an electric water heater, this might be an option for you.
- A tankless water heater might be right for your home if your water heater needs are low and you’re looking for a long-term solution, since these last over 20 years. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, if you use less than 41 gallon a day this could be an option for your home. However, this water heater tends to be more expensive than traditional water heaters.
See how much energy you can save with a high-efficiency water heater with our Energy Savings Calculators.
Energy-Efficient Home Upgrades
Although you might not think of your heating and air conditioning system and water heater as an exciting home improvement, recent technology advances in these systems can help you save energy and money. To learn more about how these upgrades can help you save, contact us today!