Dear Claire, what should I know about energy efficiency?
Today we’re going to be talking about energy efficiency today and what you can do to your house to make it more efficient. Something that the City of Portland has instilled is giving homes Home Energy scores, and we’re going to discuss how to improved those before you sell your house.
With energy efficiency it is not always real clear what to do to improve your house. It depends a lot on the property and what’s been done in the past. As you all probably know, Portland houses are generally old, with 80% of them are built before the 30s. Efficiency was not really a concern back then.
One of the easiest, and cost effective things to do is blown in insulation in the walls and an attic, while also adding insulation to the basement floorboards. Something to consider is if you have wiring that is going to contend with it and going to make it a little bit more complicated, but that’s something we can talk about another time. A couple other things that are going to help are a high efficiency furnace, high efficiency air conditioner, and replacing your old single pane windows with double or triple pane windows. A lot of heat is lost and as single pane window let in a ton of cold.
When it comes to water heaters you have either a standard water tank or a tankless on demand unit. Tankless units are usually super efficient and generally best if you have fewer people in the house, because if there’s only one person living there and they take one shower every two days, you do not need to keep 50 gallons of water hot for that time. It can be a pretty significant discount. However if you’ve got a family of four, it’s actually not going to be as efficient as you might think.
There are also tax credits both federal and state for energy efficiency upgrades, which are great because I can defer the cost significantly. Lastly, if you’re converting a house from an oil-fired furnace, or even electrical furnace, to gas you can possibly get the line to your house installed for free by NW Natural.
We know lots of tricks for getting those things done it your house, so keep the questions coming. If you have any more about energy efficiency, we’re happy to answer those and we’re here to be your real estate experts.
Call us or email us. Have a great day and take care.