Your 2019 Home Energy Efficiency Checklist
Looking back at 2018, how can you take the challenges from last year and better prepare your home for energy efficiency in 2019? The combined challenges of volatile energy prices and extreme weather and natural disasters have many homeowners looking to tighten up their energy usage and overall home performance as the new year begins.
Renew Financial has put together a homeowners’ energy efficiency checklist so you can make sure your home isn’t losing you any energy from top to bottom. Plus, some of these upgrades qualify for easy, no-money-down financing through our RenewPACE and CaliforniaFIRST programs!
Start With An Energy Audit
Of all the things on this checklist, an energy audit with a home performance professional may be the most important. An energy audit is a diagnostic whole home assessment that can provide all the information you need about the current state of your home’s energy efficiency. Depending on the chosen contractor, these diagnostic tests can include infrared thermography to locate hot or cold spots in your walls and ceilings, blower door tests to determine how air tight your home is, efficiency test on your home heating and cooling equipment, and more. After an energy audit, you will receive a list of recommended updates that will have the greatest impact on the energy efficiency of your home.
Check Your Insulation
The insulation in your home is the most important barrier between your living space and the outdoor air. The benefits of proper insulation reach far beyond the cooler months — insulation keeps the heat inside during the winter, but it also keeps the heat out in the summer. This is especially important for reducing the wear and tear on your air conditioner, as well as the associated costs.
Is Your Home in Need of Air Sealing?
If you home is properly insulated, it should also have an air-tight seal around the insulated space. Air sealing in your home prevents any unwanted outdoor air from infiltrating you home, and helps keep all the nice comfortable air inside where you want it. Sealing up any holes or gaps in your walls, floors, window frames, and more will keep your home more efficient year round. Plus, you get the added benefit of increasing your indoor air quality by keeping any unwanted outside contaminants out of the air you breathe. We recommend upgrading your insulation and a proper air seal service as a pair, and both of these upgrades qualify for fixed, low-interest PACE financing, so you don’t have to pay any upfront costs.
Check the Attic and Crawlspace
Your attic and crawlspace can really suck the energy right out of your home if not properly taken care of. As the sun beats down on your roof, it heats up the air in your attic. If your attic insulation is lacking, that heat will infiltrate your living space.
Ever woken up to ice cold floors in the morning? This is a tell-tale sign that your crawlspace or basement is under-insulated and is likely also in need of air sealing.
Check Your Heating & Cooling Equipment (& Ductwork)
Firstly, re-sealing or re-installing your existing ductwork can increase the overall efficiency of your furnace or air conditioner. But if you have a furnace or air conditioner that is over 15 years old, or has required more that one major repair per year, then it might make more financial sense to replace your outdated equipment.
If you’ve made additions to your home since you moved in (or since you last replaced your furnace or air conditioner), it’s possible your equipment is undersized. You can supplement your current equipment with a ductless mini-split heat pump for energy efficient heating and cooling, and gain even greater control of your home comfort.
*Qualifying air conditioners, furnaces, and ductless mini splits can be financed through PACE
Take Control of Your Home Energy
After you have tightened up your home performance from top to bottom, it may be time to take control of your home energy. The sun provides renewable energy each day, especially in sunnier states like Florida and California, and you can finance the installation of your custom solar photovoltaic system through PACE solar financing, and isolate your wallet from unpredictable energy prices.
Finance Your Efficiency Upgrades with Renew Financial
Renew’s PACE financing requires no money down and will cover 100% of the cost of eligible home upgrades. That cost is then spread out over flexible terms and is paid back as a line item on your property taxes. Still have questions? One of our Renew Financial experts is ready to give you the answers you need!