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3 Zero Net Energy Home Retrofits
September 8, 2022
Zero net energy homes produce as much energy as they use over the course of a year—and sometimes even more! How is this possible?
Energy use is minimized with energy-efficient appliances and home improvements that reduce energy waste.
Energy is generated via solar panels to offset the total energy consumption.
Zero net energy (like other sustainable home names including Passive Homes and LEED) is a term frequently used for new home construction, but it’s also possible to upgrade an existing house to meet the zero net energy criteria. Today we’re going to talk about the different upgrades that can help make your home a zero net energy home with help from Brower Mechanical.
1. Mini-Split Heat Pump and Heat Pump Hot Water Heater Installation
More than half of the average home’s energy use goes to heating and cooling, which is why investing in an energy-efficient HVAC system is so crucial to a zero net energy retrofit. Electric heat pumps, like ductless mini-splits, can both heat and cool, allowing you to replace your entire HVAC system. With the ultra-efficient operation of electric heat pumps, you can dramatically reduce your overall energy use.
The second highest source of energy use in a home is water heating. Heat pump hot water heaters use the same technology as heat pump HVAC systems to heat the water in your home, while using a fraction of the energy that traditional water heaters do.
2. Insulation and Air Sealing Upgrades
Installing heat pumps and ENERGY STAR appliances is a great step towards reducing your home’s total energy use. Until you address poor insulation and air leaks in your house, though, you will continue to waste energy, driving up energy costs and making it more difficult for your home to become a zero net energy building.
Upgrading your home’s insulation and air sealing (also referred to as weatherization) makes your home more comfortable, reduces heating and cooling costs, and takes the stress off of your HVAC system, allowing you to run it less frequently while still maintaining your indoor comfort.
3. Solar Panel and Solar Battery Installation
Once you’ve done what you can to reduce energy use and minimize energy waste through home energy retrofits, it’s time to start generating free solar energy for your home! At Brower, we recommend solar PV panel installation after making other upgrades to your house—you’ll want to have an accurate picture of how much energy your home uses so that you can install a solar array that’s big enough to offset your annual energy consumption.
You can go even further with solar energy by installing a solar battery. Solar batteries allow you to power your home with clean solar energy at night or on cloudy days, and even during power outages. Solar technology offers a clean home energy alternative that’s better for the environment and can meet 100% of your electricity needs for decades to come!
Do Your Zero Net Energy Retrofits the Right Way with Brower (and Save Money Too!)
Not every home contractor is experienced or knowledgeable enough about zero net energy homes to know exactly what you need to upgrade or how to help you do it. At Brower, we’re the local whole home experts helping homeowners in Sacramento, Yuba City, Rocklin, and the surrounding area save money, stay comfortable, and improve their homes.
Plus, we can help you lower your upfront costs with energy efficiency incentives—the federal solar tax credit alone can help save most homeowners several thousand dollars off their solar installation costs!