If you are considering Valley Village remodeling, why not take steps to save money on utility bills? Your Valley Village contractor, Hugs Construction, can provide you with tips on your remodeling project that will pay you back over time with savings on each month’s utility bill.
Remodeling Tips to Save Money on Utility Bills
1. Add Insulation – Most people tend to concentrate on updating the look of their home when considering a Valley Village remodeling project. While updating a kitchen or bathroom is a great idea, a renovation that includes aspects you can’t see is also important to consider. One of the best tips we provide to our clients is to spend money on renovations that will pay back your investment. For example, insulating your home, while not visible with your eye, will not only save you money every month, but will also provide a better living environment for you and your family. Insulating will help regulate your home’s temperature, keeping warm air in and your house warmer in the winters, and keeping hot air out and your home cooler in the summers.
Most older homes have poor insulation, but even new constructions can usually benefit from extra insulation. The Department of Energy provides a handy formula to calculate how long it will take you to recoup the money on insulating your home with your utility bills.
Your Valley Village contractor can survey your home to see what type of insulation you currently have, and then can advise you on adding anything extra. You can add insulation to walls, floors, ceilings, attics and roofs. “Blanket insulation — the most common and widely available type of insulation — comes in the form of batts or rolls. It consists of flexible fibers, most commonly fiberglass,” states the Department of Energy. However, many types of insulation materials are available. The site explains that “insulation materials run the gamut from bulky fiber materials such as fiberglass, rock and slag wool, cellulose, and natural fibers to rigid foam boards to sleek foils. Bulky materials resist conductive and — to a lesser degree — convective heat flow in a building cavity. Rigid foam boards trap air or another gas to resist conductive heat flow. Highly reflective foils in radiant barriers and reflective insulation systems reflect radiant heat away from living spaces, making them particularly useful in cooling climates. Other less common materials such as cementitious and phenolic foams and vermiculite and perlite are also available.”
2. Install a Skylight – Installing a skylight as part of your Valley Village remodeling project is an inexpensive way to improve your home’s look while saving money on bills in the future. A skylight placed in a correct spot will provide beautiful views of the sky, as well as add extra light into your home. This will prevent you from turning on the lights in that particular area as much as before, leading you to save money on electricity bills. Furthermore, a skylight can also provide ventilation that will lower your heating and cooling costs in winter and summer seasons. Just like with windows and doors, skylights come with ENERGY STAR® ratings that outline their energy performance ratings.
Your Valley Village contractor can help you determine what kind of skylight you need, and where to place it. Newer skylights have additional features, some even “use sun-tracking, open-sided cylinders; large lens-like elements; or mirrored reflectors mounted adjacent to a conventional skylight to provide daylighting without daytime heat gain or nighttime heat loss,” according to The Department of Energy.
3. Create Shade Through Landscaping – A great way to lower your utility bills is to prevent direct sunlight from hitting your house, therefore, lowering your air conditioning bills in the summer. Have your Valley Village contractor assess your outdoor space and recommend what greenery you can add to your property. “Shading and evapotranspiration (the process by which a plant actively moves and releases water vapor) from trees can reduce surrounding air temperatures as much as 9° F (5°C). Because cool air settles near the ground, air temperatures directly under trees can be as much as 25°F (14°C) cooler than air temperatures above nearby blacktop,” according to the Dept. of Energy. Make sure to consider native plants to your area to be more eco-friendly. For dry climates, like Los Angeles, don’t plant greenery that needs a lot of water.
The site recommends planting deciduous trees, or trees that lose leaves seasonally, to give off the best shade in the summer. “Trees with crowns lower to the ground are more appropriate to the west, where shade is needed from lower afternoon sun angles,” the website states. “Trees should not be planted on the southern sides of solar-heated homes in cold climates, because the branches of these deciduous trees will block some winter sun.”
4. Go Solar – In our other article, Los Angeles Green Remodeling Tips, we recommended installing solar panels during your Valley Village remodeling project to save on bills. What can be more green that living off the sun’s rays? When it comes to Los Angeles green remodeling, one of the wisest choices you can make is to install solar panels. Solar panels are installed on your roof by your Valley Village contractor, and convert light from the sun into electricity you can use to power your home.
While going solar is a big investment, it also offers big savings. “For example, a homeowner… who pays an average of $200 per month on electricity would spend more than $43,000 to have solar panels installed. After tax credits and rebates, the total cost would be just over $30,000,” according to Yahoo! Homes. “However, after just one year, that homeowner would save anywhere between $1,200 to $2,778 on electric bills. After 25 years, that savings could be as high as $116,560.”
5. Use a Tankless Water Heater – One of the costliest items on any utility bill is related to water. Traditional water heaters store a reserve of water, and heat it continuously so that when you require hot water, it’s ready for you. This results in high bills because of continuous heat used to warm the water. A good solution for this issue is installing a tankless water heater, which you can read more about in our post, Los Angeles Contractor Explains the Pros and Cons of a Tankless Water Heater. These heaters heat only the amount of water being used at a time. Cold water travels through the pipes, and then is warmed by a burner or electricity. A tankless water heater can save “24%–34% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters,” states the Dept. of Energy.
Hugs Construction has over 20 years of experience and is a full service construction company in the San Fernando Valley and surrounding Los Angeles area. We work on projects of all sizes, such as kitchen and bath remodeling, wiring and electric work, soundproofing, installing windows and doors, specialty projects and new constructions.
We pride ourselves on utilizing green products to sustain the environment. We strive to maintain high customer satisfaction with every job, making sure that our work lasts for many years to come.
To get a quote for your home renovation, contact us.