How Can San Jose Homes Be More Energy-Efficient?
Homeowners That Live in Eco-Friendly and Efficient Homes Can Reduce Their Carbon Footprint and Save On Monthly Expenses.
Back in 2019, San Jose mandated that all new homes and multifamily buildings should choose electric appliances over traditional gas ones. That includes heaters, stoves, and furnaces, and though not every home uses electric appliances, it’s becoming a popular option.
Electricity is one way to become more energy-efficient, but it’s not the only way. There are plenty of options for making your home more eco-conscious, ranging from simple to complex.
Energy efficient homes can save owners money every year - Via RawPixel.com
Popular Energy-Efficient Updates for Homes
It’s not always easy to renovate homes and improve their energy efficiency. Try to find a property that already has several of these green updates already.
Some features are standard for almost every newly-sold property in San Jose, like property-sealed windows and doors, or low-energy LED lighting.
There are plenty of initiatives running in San Jose to assist homeowners, like the Energy Upgrade California program and the San Jose Clean Energy not-for-profit electricity supplier. Realtors can tell you what’s available in specific communities.
Here’s a short list of updates that boost a home’s energy efficiency and carbon footprint.
Consider Installing Solar Panels
Are they really worth it? You might have thought about getting solar panels installed before but questioned the investment. There’s no question that solar panels cost in the short term, but how much do you know about the savings?
According to one source, the average solar panel cost in San Jose is $3.03/W. The national average is estimated anywhere between $2.95 and $5 per W. With the amount of sunlight that the Santa Clara County.
There are many factors at play, but homes with solar panels can save an estimated $1,500 per year or $40,000 over a 30-year period. As technology improves, it’s possible that savings could increase even more.
Solar panels are medium to long-term investments - Via Wikimedia Commons
Check That All Doors & Windows Are Air-Sealed
Fixing the seals around a property can instantly stop drafts and keep precious heat from escaping during the winter months. Instead of having a heating system compensate for that lost heat, it’s relatively easy to check your seals.
Sealing issues tend to affect older properties more than new or recently renovated ones.
Look for gaps around doors and spaces around windows that open inward or outward. Even a quarter inch of space can create a huge loss of heat, due to something called the stack effect. Hot air tends to seek gaps in the upper sections of a home, while cold air rushes in from below due to pressure differences.
Sealing up gaps around a property can be done with caulking, weatherstripping, and even spray foam in some circumstances.
Get a Free San Jose City Energy Saving Toolkit
That’s right; the City of San Jose gives away free kits for improving the energy efficiency of homes. The package includes lots of useful items, like LED lightbulbs, weatherstripping, tape, and measuring tools. Residents can pick up these kits at local libraries.
Change to Energy-Efficient Lighting
It doesn’t take long to switch outdated lightbulbs for modern ones, but the savings can definitely add up. The average family saves up to $225 every year by using the latest LED lighting.
LED lights are the most energy-efficient bulbs on the market, but you don’t sacrifice light quality by switching. You can get the same wattage with LED bulbs, with far less energy consumption.
A few examples of LED lightbulbs - Via Pixels.com
Don’t be hesitant when you see that LED prices are slightly higher than traditional bulbs; you’ll recoup the investment within a year and create far less (up to 40kg less) carbon dioxide emissions. That's around the same carbon dioxide as a car emits after being driven for 145 miles.
Use Proper Insulation to Stop Energy Loss
New properties in San Jose use energy-efficient insulation whenever possible. The aim of insulation is to stop energy from permeating the walls and being wasted.
Spray foam insulation and EPS foam panels are two of the leading methods in San Jose (for newly constructed homes). The airtight nature of spray foam makes it a favorite for some builders, while the rigid EPS panels are preferred by others for their high insulation rating (R-value).
Update to Green Appliances
Appliances like fridges, dishwashers, and laundry machines can use lots of energy is they are outdated or in disrepair.
Modern dishwashers often have lower energy consumption and also need less water to achieve the same level of cleanliness. It’s the same for clothes washers and dryers.
Air conditioning and heating should be a priority for homeowners looking to optimize their home’s energy use. Keeping a home at pleasant temperatures in all seasons can use a lot of energy, especially if the systems are dated or in need of maintenance.
Looking for Green and Energy Efficient Properties?
As you might expect, the more recently a home was built, the more likely it is to be energy efficient and well-sealed. Properties that were constructed over the last few years have been increasingly focused on energy efficiency, including interior appliances, home heating, and HVAC systems.
Realtors in Santa Clara are well aware of new developments and properties that were recently constructed. They’ll be able to save you a lot of time by showing you listings that meet your efficiency standards.
Get in touch with The Jamison Team to discover energy-efficient homes in the Santa Clara area.