Monday, September 29, 2014

EZ Home Energy Saving Projects . . . or . . . What I learned this weekend!

I had to take my 28 hours of "Appraiser Continuing Education," a process which I perceived to be more painful than having my toenails removed one-by-one with pliers.  However, one course I took actually "woke me up" to some very good, timely, useful information . . . imagine that!  It was entitled "Green in Residences and Appraisals," and taught me a lot about energy savings, energy ratings, and how to save money with some simple weekend projects that can help make your home more energy efficient.  These projects would each cost less than $500 and are proven to save water, electricity, gas, and all energy in your home.  I hope you enjoy this list:

  • Change light bulbs to CFL's (the squiggly ones) or LEDs
  • Install low-flow showerheads (you get used to it)
  • Install faucet aerators
  • Weather-strip and caulk doors and windows
  • Replace filters on air handler (not just the ones you see, but the ones in the attic)
  • Clean refrigerator coils (huge potential savings!)
  • Place appliances and other electrical items on power strips to reduce "phantom load"
  • Install programmable thermostat
  • Replace dead plants with native vegetation (a RE/MAX Top Realty project!)
  • Insulate attic (first on my list)
  • Plug holes in ducts and/or wrap
  • Secure ductwork to vents
  • Install radiant barrier inside roof in attic
  • Install light shielding film on windows and skylights
  • Install motion sensor lighting in common areas
  • Replace can lights (I already changed mine to CFL's)
  • Install light deflecting window treatments on windows
  • Have an energy audit conducted*
*If you have an energy audit conducted, you may qualify for an Energy Efficient Mortgage refinance which can include cost of energy upgrades beyond your mortgage balance.  These are available in Conventional (FNMA or FHLMC) products, VA loans, and FHA loans.  With the audit, you'll learn that the monthly energy savings is greater than the monthly payment for the upgrades!  Wow, why not?  Typically, if you plan to spend 10-15 years in your home, it's worth doing.  (This was a "rule of thumb" I read . . . but it can be mathematically calculated for accuracy.  

All-in-all, though I usually dread taking these classes, this one was a real "eye-opener" for me.  (Did you know that your refrigerator is responsible for 14% of your monthly electricity bill?)  Next time you buy a refrigerator, get one that is Energy Star rated and start saving!  

And when you're ready to sell or buy a home, call me.  832-200-5656