Green is in for 2018: according to projections made by the United States Green Building Council, the sustainability of commercial and residential construction projects is expanding this year to more than $80 billion invested in eco-friendly structures. The number of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications will likely increase by a few thousand in 2018, and homeowners are expected to show greater interest in applying green upgrades to their properties. Eco-friendly upgrades are not only good for the environment, but also for your health and financial bottom line. Here are five upgrades for you to consider.
1. Energy-Efficient Windows
Saving on monthly utility bills is the primary reason property owners in San Diego inquire about energy-efficient upgrades to their homes. To this effect, windows that have received a favorable Energy Star rating by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can save hundreds of dollars each year in air conditioning costs. Excessive HVAC use has been confirmed to exacerbate global warming. With the right windows installed, your family can stay cool during the summer without straining the cooling system.
2. Solar Water Heater
During the mild winter months of San Diego, conventional water heaters tend to be the household systems of greater electricity consumption. Passive or active solar water heaters that connect directly to existing plumbing have an advantage that goes beyond monthly cost savings: they are usually considered part of the residential structure, which means coverage may be available through a standard San Diego homeowners insurance policy.
3. Efficient Washing Machine
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California offers San Diego homeowners a special rebate when they install high-efficiency washing machines that use less than half of the water normally used by standard automatic models. The rebates start at $85, and additional savings are realized in terms of electricity since less water requires less energy. For more information on this rebate, visit SoCalWaterSmart.com.
4. Engineered Wood Flooring
Over the last few years, a new material known as Brazilian Cherry has been gaining popularity among flooring contractors for its durability. Although it looks like an exotic hardwood, Brazilian Cherry is an engineered material made with recycled wood planks, boards, and pellets that looks just like the attractive species. The result is an extremely resilient and durable flooring option that is very stylish and easy to maintain.
5. Skylights and Natural Ventilation
Installing a skylight is a major project that requires careful compliance with San Diego building codes. Skylights that double as roof ventilation systems are more common in Latin America, but they are slowly being introduced to regions that enjoy favorable climate conditions such as Southern California. This upgrade serves a few green purposes: it cuts down on daytime lighting and HVAC electricity consumption while enhancing indoor air quality, reducing moisture, and contributing to a healthier household.
For additional suggestions on making your home more eco-friendly, reach out to the home insurance experts at American Tri-Star. We are also a leading provider of auto, RV, motorcycle, health, and commercial insurance in San Diego. Call 619-272-2100 to speak with one of our friendly agents and receive a free quote.