4 Major Energy Saving Tips

We all need to save energy for both saving money and the environment.  Eugene has put together this list based on what he went through on our house.

1. Solar System. Rates on on the rise. A good solar system can make a big difference in your budget. If done right you can save a lot of money.

Eugene researched solar companies for 5 years and had to install and uninstall 2 systems until he got a system that did what the company promised. He is on the third system now and finally he likes this one.

The key is to install most of the panels on the south side first, then on the west side and very few on the east side.  Morning panels usually don’t produce much energy due to fog and clouds.  As the weather usually clears up after 10am those east facing panels can be a waste. On the other hand, west facing panels will produce from midday to sunset.

Buying vs leasing: About $16K for a 7KW system.

In our situation Eugene found leasing is the better alternative especially if you are over 50 years old. And pre-paid leasing is even better. We found it cost us about half over buying and panels don’t last forever. After 20 years their capacity diminishes and after 30 years they should be replaced.

If you lease you may save more over the years than if you bought the system.  We went with a pre-paid lease and our electric bill is now Zero.  Five years ago, in the summer time, it was $685 for two months. Just for electricity!!!!

Very Important Consideration: when you sell your house you may have to pay off any years left on the lease through escrow.

2. External Shades.  The sun heats up windows and reflective film on the window does not work well.  Reflective film reflects some heat but heats up itself.  Touch the glass on the hot day and it will feel like a furnace.  Eugene found our window temperature measured as high as 130 degrees. On the other hand, external shades block most of the sun on windows just as a tree would so windows only get to ambient temperature. Makes a big difference.  Plan about $60 per window plus installation.

 

 

3. Whole House Fan. Marsia’s favorite energy saver.  Install it on the ceiling somewhere in the middle of the house. At night sometimes the temperature can drop below 70 degrees after a day of over 90. Just open few windows and turn the fan on. It uses a lot less electricity than air conditioning and all that cool air from outside gets into your home while all that hot air in the attic is replaced with cool air from the outside. Even on a cold day your attic temperature is at least 20 degrees higher due to sun heating it up.

4. Solar Attic fan. Some homes have roof exhaust fans like this,

 

 

 

 

 

But these only work when temperature reach a certain point and you need multiple of these and not much hot air being removed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The better way to do it as with the whole house fan is to install Solar Attic Fan. It runs on solar energy so it does not consume any house electricity. It also forces cold air from the other openings thus making attic cooler. Remember temperature in the attic is higher by at least 20 degrees even on the cold day. And much higher than that on the hot day. I have regular spinners that came with the house and after installing solar one the regular spinners don’t even move.

Call or email Eugene and Marsia for more energy saving tips that will save you money.

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