Saving Energy in Real Estate
In layman’s terms, energy efficiency simply means accomplishing a task with less energy, resources, and waste. At BarrierEnergy, energy efficiency is our specialty! As building inspectors, we see the consequences of inefficiency on a day-to-day basis. In California, energy efficiency is required by law in all new and altered properties. While compliance with these regulations may seem tedious, there are also many benefits from doing so. In many states, people are choosing energy efficiency even without legal stipulations. Why? Saving energy is important in Real Estate because it saves money/resources, increases the value and durability of property, and improves creature comfort.
$aving Money on Your Energy Bills
Have you ever looked at an energy bill, and thought to yourself “how could it possibly cost this much?” When it comes to energy waste, we can visibly see the consequences on our energy bills and in our bank accounts. What we cannot see is energy (air, heat, cooling) escaping through duct leaks, windows, and cracks in buildings. This can make it difficult to connect the dots and find the root cause. That’s where inspectors come in handy! By finding the source of energy waste, technicians can help you start saving energy.
Just imagine your HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) working full force to create a temperature-controlled environment in your residential or commercial property. Now, imagine that air is actually money, pouring out from your vents into your property. That money will be trapped inside the home, if all doors, windows, walls, roofs, and so on, are sealed tightly. If not, that money will find its way out of the building. Something as simple as extra caulk or insulation can fix these holes in your pocketbook! The same rule applies to the efficiency of water heaters, fridges, and all appliances/building systems. When these systems are working smarter, they don’t have to work harder. When they have to work harder, so will you! Energy costs are on the rise, so be sure to take preventative measures.
Increase the Value of Your Property
Another benefit of energy efficiency is the increased durability of the property. Lack of efficiency will cause the systems in your home to overexert themselves. As a result, an HVAC system or water heater that could’ve lasted 15-25 years, may break down at only ten years. You may think you’re saving money by skipping the extra precautions. However, if you’ve ever had to pay for an entirely new HVAC system you would know that playing those chances is just not worth it. Just like it’s better to get a regular oil change than wait for your car to break down, it’s better to maintain the efficiency of systems in your property.
By preventing deterioration, saving energy will help keep the value of your property higher over time. Thusly, energy-efficient homes have higher resale value, on average. Buyers are willing to pay a lot more for homes with lower energy costs. These upgrades are not costly, in comparison. So, if you want to receive the maximum value for your property, make sure to invest in energy-efficient upgrades! Then, get a home energy score from a qualified HERS Rater to finalize your efficiency rating. HERS (Home Energy Rating System) is a legally binding universal system for gauging efficiency in the U.S. A good HERS scoring means a higher value proposition for that building.
Improve Creature Comfort
Last, but not least, saving energy improves creature comfort. HVAC and other related building systems provide the temperature-controlled environments we crave. They heat our water and maintain a comfortable climate within our homes and businesses. When these systems aren’t working efficiently, we may notice that we are not experiencing these benefits. Air leakage from buildings can cause drafty, cold rooms, or even hot stuffy ones. If the airflow is not balanced properly or ductwork isn’t insulated, the temperature may vary vastly from room to room. Furthermore, inefficient water heaters can take longer to get warm water to you, or cause hot water to run out in the middle of your shower (yikes)! Even refrigerators might not sufficiently cool food (yuck)! Don’t let a lack of energy efficiency ruin the comfort in your home or place of business.
Clean Energy = Clean Air
Clean energy includes not only renewable resources but energy efficiency as a whole. Improving efficiency could be as simple as adding insulation, or as complex as a solar energy system. Evidently, clean energy has numerous benefits. A major goal of green energy has always been a healthy environment. Typically, saving money and resources are also motivating benefits people to know. Now, as we put these ideas into practice, we are learning more about how clean energy benefits our health.
People who live in high-density areas suffer more from illnesses caused by polluted air. That’s because fossil fuels release harmful toxins. Brain, heart, and lung problems are most common according to Physicians for Social Responsibility. Conversely, clean energy means less usage and fewer emissions. Energy efficiency reduces levels of particulate matter and toxic chemicals. Thusly, clean energy equals clean air.
Health Impacts of Energy Efficiency
Yes, clean energy has been shown to improve mental and physical health. Fresh air clears our bodies of toxins, giving our bodies greater healing ability. Oxygen improves circulation and lowers blood pressure. Furthermore, our brains are able to function at maximum potential. Access to a clean environment can relieve symptoms of depression, anxiety, and concentration disorders.
Another health benefit of energy efficiency is much more obvious: creature comfort. So many take for granted the ability to efficiently cool and heat their homes or places of business. Weatherization measures, such as properly sealing a building, make a big difference in indoor air quality. Temperature control is vital for people with health conditions. Efficiency can even prevent widespread blackouts in peak seasons. When people need it most, they must be able to rely on their HVAC systems, to survive.
When we think about investing in energy efficiency as investing in our communities, the answer is obvious. Many states are taking steps to increase and incentivize energy efficiency. Clean energy can save health costs and boost the economy by attraction. Everyone wants to be near fresh air and comfort.
California Air Quality
California is leading the way to efficiency in the United States. Many of their cities are either on their way to full dependence on renewable energy or have already achieved it. Public and private transportation, construction, agriculture, and all industries are making major changes. California is protecting its citizens from the blind ambitions of big business while investing in its economy.
If you live in Southern California and would like to learn more about efficiency measures you can take, we can help. As energy efficiency building inspectors, our team can thoroughly assess the efficiency of your property. From there, our technicians are trained to recommend the most cost-effective upgrades you can make. Reach out to us today for an energy assessment.
Participating in Energy Efficiency
If you would like to seek advice or consultation on saving energy, BarrierEnergy has your back. As certified HERS Raters, we specialize in energy efficiency audits for buildings. We can help you decide which upgrades are most cost-effective for your particular situation and uncover problem areas in your residence(s). Based out of Santa Barbara, California, we service a large portion of the west coastline. Visit our website and reach out to our team today.