By September 29, 2020 Socially-responsible banking
With the Puget Sound housing market reaching crazy heights, purchasing a ready-made, energy-efficient home is a difficult endeavor. Which means this is the perfect time to enhance and upgrade your home’s inner workings to lower your energy costs, increase your comfort and improve your long-term impact on the environment.
Here are some excellent upgrades for immediate energy-use reduction:
Energy efficient windows
Every home has windows, each providing a scenic or not-so-scenic view of your neighborhood. But good views aren’t the only things passing through your windows. Heat and cold travel those pathways too. Upgrading your windows to Energy Star® rated windows is a great way to prevent heat leakage during the colder months and keep the heat from creeping in during the warmer months. This not only saves you on energy costs to maintain your desired temperature, but also reduces the strain on your heating and cooling systems, potentially extending their life expectancy and reducing their maintenance costs.
As our Pacific Northwest weather gets colder in the winter and warmer in the summer, bolstering your home against the ever-changing elements is a necessity. Installing or upgrading insulation in your walls and roof can help keep your home’s interior comfortable in all seasons. As with windows, by reducing how much heat enters and leaves your home, you not only save energy consumption but also potentially allow your heating and cooling systems to function years longer.
Energy efficient heating and cooling systems
Along with upgraded windows and insulation, having an up-to-date and efficient furnace and/or air conditioning unit goes a long way in reducing your energy footprint. Expensive, yes, but absolutely worth the investment, both from the standpoint of energy savings and potential home resale value. With recent technological advances, you can now fine-tune the system to match your daily schedule and maximize its efficiency. And while you’re upgrading these systems, you can install an air filtration system that will improve the air quality for you, your loved ones and your pets, and help protect against spring and summer allergens, autumn wildfire smoke and those pesky winter airborne cold and flu viruses.
Energy efficient laundry machines
Washing clothes is a part of life, and as your household size increases, so too do the number of weekly loads of laundry. By upgrading to an Energy Star® certified washing machine, you could use at least 25% less energy and 45% less water, having a huge impact on the local community and environment. Adding an Energy Star® certified dryer or high-efficiency heat pump dryer into the mix could help you lower your energy usage by up to 50%. Savings for you, savings for the planet. A true win-win.
Energy efficient water heaters
With a house full of people who want to take showers, wash dishes and do laundry, having the most efficient water-heating unit is an optimal situation. You can upgrade your current water heater to a more efficient model, gaining up to 10% efficiency. Or, take the leap and get a tankless water heater to have instant, continuous hot water. Or, jump up another level and install a heat pump water heater, which uses the heat around the unit to help heat the water inside, providing you up to a 60% reduction in energy usage. Each of these options provides a valuable decrease in your energy costs and your impact on the environment.
Combine all of the above solutions to have a truly energy-efficient house of the highest order. But how, you ask, do you pay for all of these enhancements? All of these upgrades come with some sort of rebates from either Seattle City Light or Puget Sound Energy. Unfortunately, the rebate itself isn’t enough to cover an entire upgrade project. That’s where Verity can help. By leveraging your home’s equity, you can borrow money to make many environmentally-friendly upgrades to your home.
Verity’s commitment to the environment, and our signing of the Climate Change Commitment, means we’re actively working over the next three years to measure and track the carbon impact of our loan portfolio and investments. You get a more energy-efficient home and you’ll sleep even better knowing the financial institution you do business with holds the same values as you and your family.
To learn more about accessing the equity in your home, visit our home equity page.
The more you invest in your home’s efficiency now, the more it will pay you and the environment back over time.