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How Home Insulation Can Protect You During Power Outages
March 31, 2021
Earlier this year, nearly 3 million Texas households were plunged into darkness, left without electricity and without any means to keep their homes warm during a record-breaking cold snap. Underinsulated homes only made the problem worse—many, many houses simply weren’t prepared to handle the cold weather.
One of the lessons here is clear: extreme weather and underinsulated homes can lead to disastrous consequences. Where we are, in the Sacramento area, the coldest recorded temperature is 17°F—far warmer than what most of Texas experienced. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have anything to worry about: our hot summers, combined with the increasing frequency of planned Public Safety Power Shut Offs (or PSPSs), can create similar circumstances where underinsulated homes bear the brunt of bad weather.
But with a little pre-planning, you can avoid the worst of California’s weather and protect your home from the outdoor elements, even during a power outage. Here’s what you need to know to protect your Sacramento, Lincoln, El Dorado Hills, or Davis home.
Insulation and Home Performances Upgrades Keep Summer Heat Outside!
Many homeowners think of insulation primarily as something that helps keep you warm during the cold days of winter. But in fact, insulation works just as well in the summer. Basement, crawlspace, wall, and attic insulation slow the transfer of heat between the inside and outside of your home. When it’s cold, heat is trying to escape your home, and proper insulation and air sealing keeps it in. But when it’s hot, heat is trying to get into your house, and insulation is your home’s best line of defense!
Since proper insulation in your Sacramento home makes it harder for the heat from a hot summer day to warm up your living spaces, you’ll use less energy to run your air conditioning, saving money and reducing demand on the power grid. And, during planned power outages, your home will stay more comfortable for longer, making it easier to get through the inconvenience of not having your cooling system on.
What ELSE Can You Do To Protect Your Home Against PSPS Events?
Insulation isn’t the only home upgrade you can make to use less energy and avoid the worst effects of losing power in your home for an extended period of time. When installing backup power solutions, a better insulated home will also likely mean less power to keep your home comfortable and your essentials running.
Solar PV Panels
Adding solar panels gives you access to clean, unlimited free electricity from the sun! Using solar energy to run your home helps you offset—or in some cases completely eliminate—your electricity bills, and there are many solar incentives that make upgrading more affordable than ever.
Solar Battery Backup
Adding solar battery backup gives you more options to use your free solar energy, including during power outages! Grid-tied solar panels alone won’t power your home during an outage, but they will if you have a solar battery attached like the Generac PWRCell. Plus, you’ll be able to store excess energy that your panels produce during the day and use it at night or when it’s too cloudy for your panels to keep up with your home’s energy usage.
Backup Generation Installation
Gas-powered whole-house home generators have been around for decades, and they’re still a powerful option for homeowners to keep the lights on during outages. Sure, they aren’t as environmentally friendly as solar panels and solar batteries, but they’re reliable and will keep your home running as long as you’ve got enough fuel. You can also have solar panels and a backup generator for more free, clean energy and less time spent in your home in the dark. Brower Mechanical is a certified Generac technician and can service your Generac generators in time for the next power outage.
Brower’s Here to Help You “Power Proof” Your Home
The unfortunate reality is that our power grid here in the Sacramento area isn’t as reliable as it used to be, and PSPSs may become just another thing Californians have to deal with every year during wildfire season. That plays a big role in an emerging trend of homeowners looking to “power proof” their houses—to equip their homes so that they don’t depend on the grid to stay running.
At Brower Mechanical, our team of home experts has a variety of options to help you stay safe and comfortable when the power grid can’t, from upgrading the insulation in your home to solar + backup generators and even solar battery backup. We’ll also walk you through the available rebates, financing, and incentives for home performance and energy efficiency upgrades, including:
PG&E insulation rebates
California energy rebates for insulation
SMUD rebates for insulation
Federal Solar Tax Credit for solar and solar batteries
Self-Generation Incentive Program for solar batteries