At Los Angeles Home Remodeling, we can not only fully renovate any part of your home's interior/exterior or lot, but we can also make specific types of improvements that will improve the energy efficiency level of your home.
We know how to select and properly install a wide range of energy efficient products that will save you money and reduce your carbon footprint. And you can often qualify for government incentive programs and rebates as well when you upgrade your home's energy efficiency rating.
To learn more or for a free consultation and quote on specific energy efficiency products you want installed, contact us today by calling 424-369-4765.
Basics of Home Energy Efficiency
What is energy efficiency precisely, what is a "green building," and what are the major strategies for improving your home's energy efficiency level?
First, energy efficiency doesn't necessarily mean less energy is used but that less energy is expended to accomplish the same amount of work and achieve the same end-result.
Click here to use accurate, government provided "energy efficiency calculators" for various parts of your home. Your energy metrics will be expressed in consumption per square foot or per person.
The higher the energy efficiency and less negative impact on the environment, the greener your building is and the more likely it is you can qualify for a government-sponsored energy incentive program.
Buildings account for about 40% of all of mankind's energy usage, so greater efficiency here is clearly key. The major strategies for bettering your energy efficiency rating include:
- Tackle the building's "envelope." That means insulate walls with an exterior side and the roof. It also takes in window glass and doors touch outdoor air. Roofing, siding, insulation, and more beef up your envelope and create a more stable indoor temperature.
- Systems and appliances. The next big area to tackle to up your energy efficiency is your home's systems. Efficient HVAC ducts and units and Energy Star approved appliances can help a lot. LED or other efficient lights and fixtures also do their part.
- Smarter Design. You may even want to move some walls, install doors to block off halls and stairways, or move your HVAC ducts out of the attic. It can be more efficient to heat/cool multiple rooms from one source, but it also saves energy to heat/cool just one room.
- Automation. Automating on/off times reduces wasted energy spent when no one's home or when you're sleeping, and sensor-lights also help.
Adding or Improving Your Home's Insulation
At Los Angeles Home Remodeling, we can help you "insulate" yourself against high heating/cooling bills. We know which brands/types of insulation products will work best in any given situation, and we can help you make an informed decision as to balancing costs and benefits.
The lion's share of your home's heat escapes out of the attic, and during cooler weather, that's just letting money escape out from the top of your house. And without effective insulation in your walls and ceilings and around your windows and doors, your AC unit has to work longer and harder to achieve the same results.
Even small cracks and holes in your house can cause air leaks that will raise your energy bills. At L.A. Home Remodeling, we can find and plug air leaks (with sealant or a structural barrier as needed). We can then install batts or blown insulation wherever it is needed in your home.
Whether you choose to opt for fiberglass, cellulose, rigid foam board, or soundproof insulation, we can help you select the best materials on the market for each category. And we know how to install it to get the maximum R-Value out of your insulation of choice.
Plus, if you need to remove old vermiculite insulation from your attic (which may contain asbestos), we can safely remove it for you and replace it. Or, if you need to layer new insulation on to of old insulation, we can ensure you won't compress the old insulation and lower its effectiveness. Or, if your old insulation is in bad shape, we can simply remove it and replace it with a more energy efficient insulation product.
Insulating your home is basic to improving its energy rating, and we can handle this step for you for a single room or for your whole house, attic and crawl space included, as needed.
Energy Efficient Windows & Doors
Another key component to upgrading your home's energy efficiency is installing new windows and doors or making improvements on existing windows/doors.
Many times, up to two-thirds of energy loss escapes through gaps around the windows and doors (unless the attic is un-insulated, letting most of your energy loss escape through the roof instead.)
At Los Angeles Home Remodeling, we can insulate around your windows and doors (add more insulation or install it where it's absent), caulk and seal all cracks and crevices, install weather stripping under doors, and otherwise eliminate air leakage.
We can also equip your windows and glass door panels with films that block much of the heat or that filter out UV light. And installing an awning or outdoor functional (not just decorative) shutters can also help.
But in many cases, it may make more sense to simply replace old, inefficient windows/doors with newer models that have double-panes, low-E glass that reflects much of radiant heat, and are made of materials that conduct less heat through them.
We are familiar with what are the most effective brands/models of windows and doors that will save you the most money and could qualify you for an energy incentive program.
If your furnace is getting old and inefficient, has broken down and would cost too much to fix, or is constantly in need of more minor repairs, it may be nearing the end of its usefulness.
And any furnace with a standing pilot or that was built prior to 1992 likely wastes a third or more of the fuel you put into it. By comparison, modern condensing-type furnaces can be 90% or more efficient as to fuel and can lower electric usage by 25% or more.
Furnaces built after 1992 but that are not fully up to date typically get around 80% fuel efficiency. Knowing whether or not it's worth it to replace such a heater would require some careful calculations and an assessment of its current performance.
More Efficient Hot Water
Besides more efficient furnaces, you can also improve energy (and water) efficiency levels with a new hot water heater and other hot water system upgrades.
A condensing boiler with an outdoor reset that reduces the "heat loop" can save you a lot as compared to a radiator and baseboard style hot water distribution system.
Plus, we can improve energy efficiency by insulating your hot water lines, installing high-efficiency shower heads and faucets, or even installing a "smart" on-demand hot water pump that will turn off automatically once the water reaches remote fixtures.
The bottom line is we know which products and systems work best at reducing water waste and, at the same time, reducing the electric power expended to heat and re-heat your water supply.
More Efficient Lighting
Replacing inefficient incandescent bulbs with LED lights or compact fluorescent lamps can save you a lot on energy when you add up all the savings per bulb times all the indoor and outdoor lights you use, over a period of months and years.
An incandescent bulb will cost a lot less to buy upfront, but when you factor in the energy savings, it can "really" cost three or four times as much. At L.A. Home Remodeling, we can help you assess the strengths and weaknesses of different types of light bulbs so you can select the most energy-saving option available.
Additionally, we can install sensors and timers to regulate your light fixtures' on/off times or to automatically turn on/off when someone approaches.
A More Efficient HVAC System
Clearly, one of the most important factors in your energy efficiency is the efficiency level of your home heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. At Los Angeles Home Remodeling, we can help you identify any "weak points" in your HVAC system and make the necessary improvements.
In some cases, you may want to invest in newer, more efficient AC or heating units or to move your heating ducts out of your attic (if they are located there) to improve efficiency and reduce dust and contaminant circulation. Or, you may need an HVAC related repair or need new vents and fans put in.
We can assist you with all such upgrades and improvements. Plus, you may wish to invest in a wood stove and have the piping safely installed or build in an efficient gas or electric fireplace unit. We can assist you with that too.
Exterior Energy Efficiency Improvements
Tearing off those old shingles and installing a metal-panel roof that reflects much of the sun's heat instead of absorbing it and transferring it into your attic and the house below, is another way to improve your overall energy rating. And also consider installing a radiant barrier below your roof line (on your attic ceiling.)
Installing cement board siding or aluminum siding with foam insulation as built-in backing, can also greatly improve your energy efficiency level.
These are just two ways that exterior upgrades can affect energy efficiency, so it's not 100% just about interior improvements.
And even landscaping will have an effect. Consider, for example, planting new shade trees and bushes near your house. Trees that lose their leaves during winter are especially helpful since they block/absorb radiant heat from the sun during the hot L.A. summers but let the sun through during the (somewhat) chillier winter months.
Energy Efficient Pool Equipment
At Los Angeles Home Remodeling, we can not only upgrade the energy efficiency of your building's interior and exterior, but we can also help you reach maximum energy efficiency levels with your swimming pool equipment.
You can have a "green" pool that is clean, cost-effective, and fully usable and up to date, and the equipment can be durable, affordable, and quickly installed.
We can explain to you the logistics of what size and kind of heater you may need to keep your pool water at the desired temperature consistently and yet at reasonable cost. And we can explain to you your options as to a maximally efficient pool heater, pump, and filter.
Ultimately, we can help you save money by conserving both electricity and water in multiple ways. For example, a multi-speed pool pump can sometimes lower usage costs by 65%.
A pool cover that taps into that abundant source of free heat found in solar energy, is also essential: after all, some 95% of pool heat escapes through the water's surface. A good solar pool cover can reduce pool heating costs by 50% to 70%.
Los Angeles Home Remodeling can also give you pool usage tips that will reduce your energy and water expenditures. These will include such things as using a pool timer, turning down the temperature when the pool's not in use, using a slightly lower setting to begin with (even a few degrees can save you a lot), and keeping up with all pool maintenance needs (debris in the filter or pump will make them work harder to achieve the same results.)
Additionally, the same kinds of energy saving strategies that work for pools can also work for hot tubs, koi goldfish ponds, outdoor fountains and waterfalls, and other similar water effects.
Installing Solar Panels
You should also consider installing one or more solar panels on your property, either on the roof or on a stand in the yard. Solar energy production is much more efficient than it was years ago, and the improvements keep on coming.
We understand the details of today's solar energy market. We can show you which solar cells/panels are the most productive and durable. We can also give you sound advice on placement of your new solar panels so as to maximize sun intake.
The sun's heat all around us is a vast, largely untapped energy supply and a very eco-friendly one to "mine" as well. Depending on your energy usage and rates, it is possible for a new solar panel to pay for itself in only a few years by saving you money on each power bill.
Energy Efficient Appliances
We at Los Angeles Home Remodeling can also give you advice on buying and installing newer, more energy efficient appliances. From refrigerators to stoves to washers and dryers, we can expose you to the facts about today's appliances as compared to older models.
It may not always be worth it to make the switch. It depends on how old and inefficient the appliances are compared to a new one and on what kind of shape it is in. And the cost of energy in your local area is also a factor.
But if you do get a new appliance, we can install it for you. For example, you may want a dishwasher built into your kitchen counter area. Or, you may wish to build in other appliances or just need help moving them into place.
A final note: it is often counterproductive, energy wise, to keep your old fridge after getting a new one. The less efficient refrigerator could cost you twice as much to run per year than your new one. It will cost less to buy a bigger fridge/freezer unit than to run two separate ones. And also note that top-mounted freezers are generally more efficient than side-by-side models.
What About Energy Incentive Programs?
There are federal, state, and local government energy efficiency incentive programs that may apply to your energy upgrade. At Los Angeles Home Remodeling, we are familiar with the HERO and other programs and with various energy rebates.
We can tell you ahead of time which energy efficiency improvements will help you qualify for particular programs. New windows/doors, new insulation, new HVAC systems, solar panels, solar, wind, or geothermal water-heating/pumping systems, and more may qualify.
These kinds of programs will help you afford to upgrade, and the upgrade will then help you save from month to month.
A Home Energy Efficiency Assessment
We at Los Angeles Home Remodeling can assess the current condition of your home's energy efficiency, then recommend specific ways to improve it. You don't need to call in a separate company for the "energy audit," which will save you time and money.
Any and all of the above-listed energy efficient products and systems (and more) may be involved in a full energy efficiency upgrade. What you choose to do or not is totally up to you, of course. We simply present to you your options and equip you with the information you need to make an informed decision.
There are three broad areas of your home we will assess to determine your "energy rating:"
- the envelope, meaning insulation in walls/attics, windows/doors, siding/roofing, etc.
- energy-consuming systems like HVAC, lighting, and appliances
- alternative energy sources like solar panels.
Los Angeles Home Remodeling can examine all three of these areas and recommend you ways to improve them. And we can suggest and integrate specific energy efficient products/systems into any home renovation project you are already undertaking as well.
Contact Us Today to Get Started on Making Your Home/Business More Energy Efficient!
At Los Angeles Home Remodeling, we can introduce you to up to date energy efficient products that will save you money by lowering your energy bill.
We have been upgrading the energy efficiency levels of Los Angeles Area and Southern California homes and businesses for many years, and we can do the same for you.
To learn more or for a free energy upgrade estimate, call us today at 424-369-4765.