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Long Range Tips
Clients are often surprised at how quickly many small upgrades can pay for themselves. Some changes, however, require a longer-term view for that significant return. The links below provide more information for each of these strategies.


Hot Water Heater
Whole House Fan
Furnaces and Air Conditioning
Alternative Energy Generation

Purchase new LED lights which can save $1000s over the life the bulb. With a typical LED lightbulb lifespan of almost 24 years (35,000 hour bulb on for 4 hours/day), these bulbs will not need to be replaced any time soon.

Technology is rapidly advancing in the appliance industry. Refrigerators, for example, are 40% more efficient today than the equivalent model sold 5 years ago. If you need to replace your appliances choosing an energy efficient one, while possibly more expensive to buy, will save you more money in the long run.

If you are thinking about replacing you windows, dual pane, LowE, Energy Star windows can reduce your annual energy bill by 15% or more.

If your chimney damper is loose or if you don’t have a damper, you are wasting money and energy. You can get one installed by a chimney expert for about $500, about the cost of the wasted energy per year. Even better, buy a set of sealed glass doors. Your chimney is the most efficient window in your house, always open leaking hot or cold air.

Hot Water Heater:
If your water heater is 7 years or older, it might make sense to upgrade to a more efficient model. Technology has advanced rapidly in this field too. A solar hot water heater is now more affordable (with federal tax credits). Before you jump in a buy a tankless water heater, GET ALL THE FACTS, as they sometimes are less efficient than a tank, depending on your home and your water use patterns.

Whole House Fan
Add a whole house fan to bring in cooler evening air and save your air conditioner. A fan is far more energy efficient, and it could improve your indoor air quality, depending on where you live. 

Most homes were constructed with ducts that are too small and leak terribly, 30% or more! The typical home's heater or air conditioner is only working 56% efficiently because of ducting that is overly constricting and small. Have a IHACI or NATE certified air conditioning contractor perform a "Manual D" calculation on your ducting and have them replaced. New ducts are better insulated; choose R-8 or higher, and insist on HERS certified duct sealings. Its no good to have ducts that leak like a sieve wasting that good cool or hot air into your attic or crawl space. 

Furnaces and Air Conditioning:
If your furnace or air conditioner is 15 years old or older, now is a good time to upgrade with federal tax credits for Energy Star qualified products.

Turn the sun into savings in your pocket. A solar residential system has never been more affordable to install with incentives coming from both California and the federal government.

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