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Your 2021 Home Energy Efficiency Upgrade Guide
January 28, 2021
When it comes to the home, there are two things every homeowner wants: low energy bills and high indoor comfort - especially after the year we all had in 2020. Many homeowners know their homes could improve in these areas, but don’t know what steps they should take to make changes.
Today, Brower Mechanical will explain the different home upgrades that can change your home performance for the better, saving you money and making your house more comfortable year-round. Plus, we’ll detail the many rebates available to help reduce your upfront costs.
Energy Efficient Upgrades for Lower Bills and Greater Home Comfort
Replacing Your Water Heater
Upgrading your water heater is a great opportunity for savings. Heat pump water heaters are 2–3 times more efficient than traditional water heaters, and a family of four can save as much as $3,750 over the unit’s lifetime by upgrading, according to ENERGY STAR.
Tankless water heaters, also called on demand hot water heaters, are much more compact than storage tank water heaters, and since they don’t waste any energy keeping hot water stored for usage, they can significantly contribute to energy savings in a house.
Upgrading to Ductless Mini-Split Systems
Ductless mini-split heat pumps can replace your entire HVAC system, offering both heating and cooling depending on the time of year and your preferences. Leaking central ductwork can waste as much as 30% of the energy your HVAC system produces, but a mini split’s AC and heating settings can deliver 100% of the conditioned air you’re already paying to create.
Adding Insulation and Air Sealing
Old insulation is another area where homeowners can stand to benefit from upgrades. According to the EPA, replacing your attic insulation and adding weatherization and air sealing can save up to 15% on your annual heating and cooling costs. Contacting a professional insulation contractor near you to find out more about blown in cellulose and spray foam insulation could lead to the most savings of any upgrade project on this list.
Converting Your Home to Solar Power
Not only can solar panel installation on your roof help slash your electricity bills, but you can use solar energy to save money on a number of other home performance systems, like a solar hot water heater or pool heating. And with solar battery backup or a standby generator, you can ensure you’ll never be without power during a Public Safety Power Shutoff or unexpected outage again.
Now is a great time to upgrade your home to solar, as solar tax credits can save you thousands on installation costs, including the federal solar tax credit, which allows you to deduct as much as 26% of your solar installation costs from up to two consecutive years of owed federal taxes.
And remember to “reduce before you produce”! When you combine home upgrades with solar, your solar energy system can be smaller in size and less expensive to install while still producing enough electricity to power your home.
Going Wireless with a Fully Connected Home
Looking to stay on top of your home energy usage in real time? Your smart thermostat can be accessed and controlled by your smartphone, computer, or tablet, giving you 24/7 access to the HVAC systems in your house. Brower can even install a whole house energy monitoring system that displays real-time information from your smart meter about where and how energy is being used in your home.
Taking Advantage of Rebates and Incentives to Save More
Looking for even more savings opportunities? We can help your home upgrade projects qualify for SMUD and PG&E energy rebates.
Under SMUD’s Home Performance Program, there are a number of rebates available up to thousands of dollars in total savings, including up to:
$3,000 when you upgrading your insulation and air sealing
$3000 to replace your heating and cooling with a high efficiency HVAC system
$2000 to replace your water heater
$2500 Go Electric Home Bonus
Schedule an Energy Audit to Get Started
There are many ways that you can lower your energy bills and improve your home comfort. But which ones apply to your home? Schedule an energy audit today to find out. Our energy assessment professionals will perform a thorough analysis of your home performance to diagnose which energy efficiency upgrades will save you the most money right away.