Here is our priority grouping for energy upgrading your home. Spend your money wisely on the biggest energy gains first.
- EASY TO INSTALL (do these first as they are low or no-cost)
- Install LED bulbs (don’t wait for old bulbs to burn out, it doesn’t pay to do this).
Install insulation in your attic space and walls (be sure to air seal first).
- Turn down your water heater temperature (water too hot wastes energy)
- Configure a morning/evening timer for your existing 24/7 hot water recirculating system.
- Use power strips to turn off TV and audio equipment when not in use, reducing your standby power use.
- Install weather stripping and caulk around doors and windows to the outside.
- Configure a timer for your pool pump (frequently 3-5 hours will keep your pool clean).
- Configure a timer for your hot tub water heater (lower by 10 degrees when not using it, cover the tub too).
2. MODERATE WORK OR EXPENSE TO INSTALL (reduce your energy use with moderate investment)
- Install a hot water demand pump (this is the fix for “the long wait for hot water in your shower”. Install this pump, rather than increase your hot water temperature.)
- True, fueling a gas car is not part of your home energy, but is a major use of gasoline energy and causes pollution. We recommend you drive an electric car or EV and install a home EV charger (so many gains here: EV’s are low maintenance, there is no smog check, no tune-ups, no oil changes and electricity cost you less than gas).
- Install an electric induction cooktop and electric oven (when not cooking with gas, your indoor air quality will improve too). Here is a user story about cooking with this modern cooktop.
- Install an electric clothes dryer (heat pumps have a shorter cycle than condensing dryers).
3. MOST WORK AND INVESTMENT TO INSTALL (most times, do these last)
- Mini-split heat pump, also known as heat pump space heater and air conditioner (get a duct-less unit, ducts leak hot air, and waste heat).
- Solar panels (PV / electricity generating, not water heating); or buy solar/other clean energy from your local utility called community choice electric.
- Install double-pane insulating windows, a good idea after you’ve air-sealed and insulated your home envelope.
- Heat pump water heater; wire the electric circuit before your gas water heater leaks and fails. We recommend a larger water heater, 80 gallons in many cases. Larger capacity increases your energy efficiency (look for rebates to offset install cost). View an 80 gallon Rheem Ruud installation.
- Backup home battery, great for power outages.
- When replacing your home roof, include radiant barrier plywood or chipboard for the roof decking (decking is the wood the shingles are nailed to) and have a ridge vent installed to keep your home cooler during the summer months. Also when replacing your roof, choose lighter colored shingles which will reflect more heat, keeping your home cooler in the summer.
MORE WAYS to reduce your home energy usage