Tagged : Energy Efficiency

Found 34 blog entries tagged as "Energy Efficiency".

Imagine walking into your Santa Cruz home and turning off the alarm, locking your doors, opening the windows and starting your coffee maker, all with a few taps of your finger on your smart phone? What if you had a home security camera that you could monitor from anywhere and a motion sensor that would send you an email when your kids come home from school? What if you could open your blinds or unlock your home for a visitor, even from halfway around the world?

The technology that powers our home security systems is getting more and more sophisticated and in the future, our homes will be more responsive than we could ever imagine. Rather than a simple line of defense that keeps out burglars, it will be a completely integrated and custom designed

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Making a commitment to go green in your home not only helps the environment, but also your wallet. The federal government and many states are offering tax breaks for upgrades made in 2013. So, take an interest in Mother Nature and advantage of the tax incentives by making your home more energy efficient.

1. Invest in a tankless water heater.
On-demand water heaters heat your shower or washing machine water as needed, so they are not constantly working to keep a large amount of water continually hot. Electric tankless water heaters can sometimes be twice as energy efficient as standard water tank heaters.

2. Install ceiling fans.
Ceiling fans help circulate the air in a room to make it feel cooler. This reduces the need to turn on appliances that

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If you’ve been considering taking your Santa Cruz home in a green direction, April is the perfect month to make an environmentally friendly update. Celebrate Earth Day by installing a solar energy system. Solar panels turn sunlight into energy that can save you money!

The federal government and many states are now providing tax incentives and rebates for installing solar panels in 2013. So don’t waste the opportunity to go green this spring. However, there are many installers that might not have the necessary experience, so be sure to ask the questions below when searching for your solar energy system.

How many solar panel systems have they installed?

You want to make sure to find a reputable company that has significant solar experience and has

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Going green is not just a new trend; it is a way of life that benefits not only the environment, but also your health — and your pocketbook. Green living cuts down on carbon emissions and creates a healthier environment both inside and outside of a Santa Cruz home. While green structures sometimes cost more initially, the money (and environment) saved in the long run is well worth the investment.

Health Benefits

Owning a green Santa Cruz home has significant health benefits. Many conventional buildings are not properly ventilated and indoor air quality is often more polluted than the air outside. Poor air quality is bad for your health and can aggravate asthma and allergies. Certified green properties tend to have excellent airflow and ventilation.

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In today’s environmentally conscious world, more homeowners are looking for property with green characteristics. Not only is an eco-friendly house better for the environment, but it also cuts down on the cost of utility bills. If you’re about to purchase a Santa Cruz home and want to go green, see below for a few eco-friendly features you should include on your checklist.

Proximity to public transportation or work

Taking a bus or a bike to work instead of driving can really reduce your carbon footprint, so definitely take into consideration a house’s location. Insurance companies might even provide cheaper rates to owners who live close to public transportation.

Quality of insulation

Look for a house that is insulated well at the right rating

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Whether you are energy conscious or just trying to save money, there are many steps you can take to lower your Santa Cruz home bills while helping the environment at the same time. Below are several energy-saving measures to help you save money either in your current house or future residence.

Heating and cooling
Keeping your Santa Cruz home at a comfortable temperature uses more energy than anything else. To save energy, install a programmable thermostat to adjust the inside temperature when you are not there for long periods of time. Seal windows and doors to prevent air leaks, and close doors and air vents to rooms that are not often used. Changing filters in your heating system monthly can also help it run more efficiently.

Water heaters
Heating

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With tax season in full swing, it’s time to start thinking about how you can save money on what you owe Uncle Sam this year. If you own a Santa Cruz home, there are a few things that may help you lower your tax debt in 2012. You can qualify for energy tax credits if you’ve made certain improvements in the last year.

Here are a few federal tax credits offered for installing energy efficient products in your house. If you did not make any changes in 2012, you may want to take a look at what you could do to lower your taxes next year! These credits expire December 31, 2016, so you have time to implement changes that could help both your tax return and your everyday energy usage.

To receive a tax credit of 30% of cost, with no upper limit, on your

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While we heard plenty about the negotiation battles leading up to the New Year’s looming fiscal cliff, after the fact, many people might not consider how passed legislation personally affects them — especially when it comes to Santa Cruz real estate.

If you haven’t filed your 2012 taxes yet, you might want to take a minute to review the tax limitations and credit extensions, which Congress passed through the HR 8 legislation. You’ll want to ensure you’re paying the right amount when it comes to coughing up your money to Uncle Sam.

Energy Updates
The tax credit for homeowners to receive a ten percent deduction, up to $500, for energy efficient improvements to homes is extended for 2013.

Estate Tax
Individual estates valued at up to five million

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A good way to save money in your Santa Cruz home is to improve your home’s energy efficiency.  You can save four to nine percent a year on water heating costs by installing a water heater jacket.  They’re quick and easy to install, here’s how:

Prepare to Shop

Before you go shopping, make sure you know if your water heater is gas or electric.  The access panels and materials can be different between the two.  The installation of a water heater jacket on a gas heater is more difficult.  You may want to have a professional do the installation on a gas water heater.

Write down your water heater model number.  Most water heater jackets list the compatible water heater models on the packaging.  Choose a jacket with a value of  R-8. 

Installation

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Indoor air quality (IAQ) has become an increasingly important element in home buyers' decision-making, and buyers have become more attuned to mold, radon and other issues that affect air quality.

Many air quality dangers once were invisible and difficult to quantify, but thanks to evolving technology, detecting and rating IAQ has gotten easier. In addition, new programs have emerged to inspect and rate homes' IAQ. One such program is the EPA’s Indoor airPlus.

Eric Werling, the Indoor airPlus coordinator, presented the April 2010 Webinar and discussed the one-year-old rating and home labeling program.

Indoor airPlus is a sister label to ENERGY STAR® and to get the label, a home first must meet ENERGY STAR® requirements. Gaining the Indoor airPLUS

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