Blog : GUEST BLOG: Two home improvements to save money, conserve energy, and reduce your carbon footprint

By Jim Cavan | Mar 19, 2012 | in

By Sam Marquit

Investing in green technologies for the home today is one of the fastest growing trends and smartest decisions you as a homeowner can make when looking to update your home. There are a couple of things that many folks don’t even consider, but really should when looking to decrease their carbon footprint and save some money: Installing a tankless water heaters; and radiant roof sheathing. I have installed both of these products in numerous homes throughout the East Hamptons area and the savings the homeowners realized because of it were almost unbelievable.

Radiant Roof Sheathing

Utility bills tend to run the highest in the blazing heat of summer and the frigid cold of winter. Your HVAC systems have to work twice as hard in effort to maintain your home’s temperature in these harsher environments. Although some regions of the country only have one or the other, in the East Hamptons we have the “luxury” of having both. Protecting your home against the changing seasons will definitely save you money in utility costs throughout the year.

Radiant barriers are designed to be installed underneath your roof and reflect the heat of the summer outside of the home, while keeping the heat your furnace is pumping out inside the house during the winter. With the technology built in to absorb heat, both internally and externally, radiant barrier sheathing can withstand just about any temperature Mother Nature can throw at it. Regardless of the season, by installing radiant barrier sheathing in your roof, you can ease some of the burden on both your furnace and central air unit. Not only will this drive down your utility costs, but it will also allow increase the lifespan of your furnace and air conditioning units.

Another great benefit I have seen from installing radiant barrier sheathing is the reduction in your home’s carbon emissions. By having your furnace and air conditioning units run less, you are reducing the amount of emission each of the systems is putting into the environment.

The last thing I would like to point out about installation of radiant barrier sheathing is how it evens out the climate of your home. Everyone has had the experience of having one room or area of their home being warmer or cooler than others. With the use of this sheathing, the temperature throughout the house will even out providing more usable living space in the home. It will feel like you’ve picked up more square footage, as you will not be deterred from using rooms that used to be too warm or cold to use.

Tankless Water Heaters

Now one of the current “turn-offs” to installing a tankless water heater in your house is the initial upfront cost. Yes, a good tankless water heater is not cheap initially, but over the course of the first few years you have it installed, the savings you will realize will more than pay for itself. Much like other water heaters, these systems are built to last, so once you buy one, it may be the only one you will ever have to buy again.

The beauty of a tankless water heater is they are just that; tankless. There is no bulky water tank eating up space in your utility room. These models are generally flat and easily mounted to just about any wall. How they work is that instead of relying on keeping a huge tank of water hot at all times, when you turn on a water source within the house, the water is actually heated as it moves through the system. This means you are not wasting energy to keep your water hot 24/7 when you may only need it for an hour or two every day. By installing a tankless water heater, you could potentially cut your energy cost to power a standard water heater in half.

The other great feature about a tankless water heater is you will always have hot water on demand whenever you need it. For larger families, this pays dividends when everyone needs to get ready in the morning and multiple showers are required. No more waiting for the standard water heater to heat up another batch of water. With a tankless water heater you can take shower after shower without fear of running out of hot water.

The efficiencies used to design today’s tankless water heaters are also great for your pocket book in that they require far less service and maintenance. Because there is not a tank involved, there is also far less chance of having a water leak ruin your basement floor.

If either of these options seems like something you would like to have installed in your home reach out to a home contractor in your area for an estimate. Remember, these options may cost a little more to install upfront, but as my ventures in Hamptons real estate have proven time and again, they are well worth the investment. You can greatly decrease your monthly energy cost, increase the lifespan of your HVAC system and reduce your overall carbon footprint on the environment.