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Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)
Thinking of adding a second dwelling onto your property? Whether they’re attached to existing homes or built as standalones, accessory dwelling units (ADUs) are becoming increasingly popular in the Sacramento area.
At Brower, we can help you lower energy costs and improve indoor comfort in your ADU with home performance services like insulation and weatherization, HVAC installation and repair including mini split installation and maintenance, window installation, solar, and more.
What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit? (ADU vs. Tiny Home)
“Accessory Dwelling Unit,” or ADU, is kind of a mouthful, so it’s quite possible that you have an ADU (or are planning to build one soon) and didn’t even know that’s what it was called!
ADUs are, simply put, another place to live on your property lot that’s separate from your main house. They don’t have to be physically separate—you could turn the space above your garage into an apartment, and it could all be a part of your house, but could still be considered an ADU.
ADUs can also be standalone structures, like tiny homes! If we want to get technical, tiny homes refer specifically to very small houses on wheels that can be moved from one location to another, but whatever you want to call it, more and more people are building a permanent tiny home as an ADU on their properties. In Sacramento, for example, you’re allowed to have up to 2 ADUs on your property lot, and many California ADU laws have similar rules.
The Benefits of an ADU or Tiny Home
There are many different benefits and reasons for building an ADU or tiny home in California. They offer an affordable housing option for aging family members or caretakers. They can be rented out and used as passive income. They can also be used when you have guests visiting, for a little bit of extra privacy. ADUs add value to your home, and you might find that they fit into your neighborhood’s aesthetic better than a large addition to your home.
Insulation and HVAC Options for Your ADU
ADU units, because they are small, are much easier to keep energy efficient, but that doesn’t mean that no tiny home or accessory dwelling unit wastes energy. The same efficiency issues that can plague the average house—lack of insulation, air leaks, and improperly designed and installed or simply inefficient HVAC systems—can also increase the energy costs of an ADU. Luckily, Brower Mechanical is here to help!
Mini split installation and maintenance
Adding a ductless mini split in your ADU is a perfect HVAC solution, since they don’t require any ductwork to install and are already designed to target smaller areas. Electric mini splits have both heating and cooling settings, meaning you’ll only need to install one system that you can use year round to stay comfortable, and they offer high energy efficiency for low energy bills.
Insulation and weatherization are two of the most important energy efficiency upgrades you can make to any building, as they often dictate just how much stress and wear you’ll be putting on your HVAC system. A well insulated and weatherized ADU in California can have just a fraction of the energy costs compared to an inefficient one, and it will be more comfortable year-round.
Window installation and replacement
Windows can be another significant source of energy loss in any home. New energy-efficient window installation on your ADU can keep heating and cooling costs low, and can visually transform a living space too!
Solar panel installation and accessories
Solar energy can reduce or even eliminate the otherwise grid-supplied energy use of your ADU, and many homeowners go a step further and add solar battery backup or a backup generator to ensure that their ADU will continue to have power even during a power outage.
Take Advantage of Rebates and ADU Financing in California with Brower
Not only are ADUs more affordable because of their smaller size, but you can also take advantage of energy efficiency rebates and financing that can make getting work done on your current ADU or ADU that’s about to be built more affordable than ever. From SMUD utility rebates to PACE financing, Brower can help you find ways to lower your upfront cost and make the most out of your accessory dwelling unit.