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Energy-Saving Advice You Can Live With
Have you been looking for home renovations that can cut your fuel costs while also bringing your house into the future of energy? Have you watched with interest as friends and neighbors cover their roofs with solar panels, wondering if your home can be next?
Have you booked an energy analysis with Surface Bella Energy? If not, what’s holding you back?
What Happens in a Home Energy Analysis?
A home energy analysis (or audit) assesses your home’s current energy consumption. It points out measures you can take to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Energy analysts (auditors) ascertain which parts of your home are losing the most energy. Then they suggest improvements to save energy and reduce energy bills.
Professional energy audits last anywhere from 30 minutes to four hours, depending on your home’s size and structure. Energy analysts use various tools to identify any problem areas. A typical energy analysis might consist of:
- Viewing your home from the outside. Expect the analyst to examine different components, like windows, walls, and eaves, as they look for issues likely to cause air infiltration into your home.
- Checking the attic (if there is one) for the condition of any insulation and any holes that might cause energy leakage.
- Inspecting the age and condition of your furnace, water heater, and other appliances to see if any need replacement. They might also look at the connections in exposed ductwork for heat or energy leaks.
- Testing with blower doors. This test helps analysts locate air leaks throughout the home. While a blower test is underway, all the windows and doors are closed so the blower door apparatus can depressurize the house. Once that happens, the analyst uses an infrared camera to spot any cold air leakage.
- Inspecting your home’s lighting. Home energy analyses usually involve your home’s lighting situation. If necessary, the analyst will suggest you stop using standard incandescent light bulbs and instead switch to LED or CFL bulbs.
Imagine the value you’re adding to your home as you start to implement the energy analyst’s recommendations one-by-one. It could help your house’s resale value. But would you ever want to leave the comfortable and energy-efficient home you will have following our suggestions?
Heating & Cooling accounts for 51% of the average homes energy use.
What Are the Benefits of an Energy Analysis?
Perhaps the most valuable aspects of a home energy analysis are that it:
- Identifies and prescribes remedies for places or practices that may be causing you and your family to waste energy unknowingly.
- Recommends new materials and equipment that can provide considerable energy savings. You are sure to receive many helpful suggestions.
An energy analysis suggests both short and long-term measures to cut your fuel costs. A long-term goal might be replacing a well-functioning refrigerator with an EnergyStar® model or changing out all your incandescent light bulbs immediately. But you might want to address short-term priorities first, like sealing gaps in the windows or spraying foam insulation in the attic.
At Surface Bella Energy Services, we support whatever our energy analyst recommends. Nonetheless, your ultimate choices will depend on factors such as:
- Your budget,
- The age of your current HVAC equipment,
- The condition of building materials like insulation, etc.
Please contact us should you have questions or concerns or need help setting your renovation priorities.
What Are the Benefits of Solar Energy?
Solar energy is taking the country by storm! Federal and state governments offering tax breaks and other incentives make solar panels more affordable than you might think — or than they likely will be in the future. Plus, your short-term investment in solar equipment will pay you back over the long term.
As you might already know, solar energy is also sustainable energy. Solar panels and other system components do wear out over time. Still, over their lifespan, they will compensate for their eventual replacement and the cost of responsible disposal.
What’s more, if your home remains connected to the power grid, as so many are, most South Carolina utility companies offer one-to-one net metering — at least for the near future. Net metering is an electricity billing mechanism allowing consumers to generate some or all of their electricity to use at any time. It’s not only at the time that energy is generated.
Most solar companies connect your system to the grid. that means if the power goes out, you still won’t have energy without a backup solar storage plan. You can opt for “net-zero” (disconnecting from the grid), though. A solar battery bank can store excess solar energy for emergencies or other short-term extra power needs. If you’re interested, ask us about this option.
Energy-Saving Appliances and Home Systems
From your washer and dryer to your entire HVAC system, there are ways to cut your energy bills. For one, always consider buying replacement appliances that have earned the EnergyStar® rating. This rating means they meet specific energy efficiency criteria established by the federal government.
The HVAC System
Also, check the AFUE for furnaces and the SEER for EER for air conditioners. Does your unit rank low for one of these ratings? Is it near the end of its predicted lifespan? If so, consider replacing it with a model that has a higher energy efficiency rating. As with solar power, your energy bills will reflect the savings.
And don’t forget energy-saving measures like duct-sealing, replacing HVAC filters, and doing other routine maintenance. If you don’t identify problems when and where they arise, expect to see increased fuel costs and other issues over time.
Today’s Heat Pump Technology
Heat pumps have kept homes — especially ones in the southern U.S. — warm for years. But they have never been more efficient than they are now, in the 2020s.
Heat pumps use small amounts of energy to move heat from one location to another. They pull heat out of the air or ground to heat a home or other building. When reversed, they will cool a building.
A significant benefit of heat pumps over standard HVAC units is that you don’t need to install separate systems for heat and cooling. Heat pumps are energy-efficient because they transfer heat, so there’s no need to burn fuel to create it.
There are two types of heat pumps: geothermal heat pumps and air-source heat pumps. Although the two types share an operating principle, they collect their heat from different sources.
- Geothermal heat pumps draw heat from underground.
- Air-source heat pumps take heat from the air outside and pump it inside through refrigerant-filled coils.
We encourage you to consult with one of our HVAC experts on which would be the better choice for your home.
More Energy-Saving Strategies and Technologies
You might think about installing attic insulation as something you do once and then ignore. Still, we must tell you that checking and occasionally replacing attic insulation is critical to energy savings. Insulation wears and degrades over time. Plus, insulation innovations constantly tap new technological breakthroughs to introduce more energy-efficient products.
If you draw an analogy between your home and the human body, think of insulation as the fat layers that naturally regulate body temperature.
Likewise, think of the HVAC system as your home’s heart. Just as the human heart regulates temperature through fuel and nutrients (i.e., food), the HVAC system keeps a home’s internal environment safe and livable. With this analogy, you can also think of the devices controlling the HVAC system and related technologies as the brain and nervous system.
Smart home technologies include (among other technologies):
- Learning thermostats
- Automated light dimming and shut-off
- CURB energy monitors
Each of these is an example of how recent innovations can add convenience while saving fuel costs. For instance, CURB energy monitors plug directly into your home’s breaker panel. Thus, they can provide real-time data on your home’s energy consumption and production.
What Surface Bella Customers Say About Us
“Surface Bella replaced the roofing on our house and choosing them was the best decision we could have made. The entire experience was exceptional. The products used and the process were thoroughly explained, we were given a timeline for when we could expect the work to begin and how long it would last.”– Vince B.
“This is an amazing company to work with. Very respectful and professional and values customer relationships! Would recommend them to anyone in the area!”–Bailey K.
What Will an Energy Analysis and Its Recommendations Cost?
The cost of the energy analysis itself will depend on factors such as your home size, age, and overall condition. We offer complete transparency in pricing and will be happy to provide you with an estimate.
Once you’ve received and reviewed the analyst’s report, we recommend setting short, medium, and longer-term priorities. That way, you can budget to address needs that emerge over time. The goal is to have the most energy-efficient home possible. But, achieving this goal can take longer for some than for others.
Surface Bella Energy Services serves customers in Greenville, South Carolina and the surrounding counties of Anderson, Spartanburg, Cherokee, Pickens, Polk, and Rutherford. If you live in the Upstate of South Carolina or along the North Carolina border – we will happily serve you.
Your Home Will Thank You
And you will thank your home in return once you’ve completed a home energy analysis by Surface Bella Energy. Our trained analysts will provide a thorough overview of your home’s current energy efficiency level. They will also suggest steps for you to take to lower your energy bills and enjoy your home’s new energy efficiency level. Our contractors are eager to help!
Book a home energy analysis with us, and take advantage of all we can do for you based on the findings. Before you know it, you will have restored confidence in calling your house a home and loving every moment you spend there.
Please contact us for more information.