Back in 1997, the innocuously-named weather system “El Niño” was in full force, causing a fair amount of flooding and damage in California, particularly along the coast where cliffs and beaches eroded due to all the extra rainfall. However, El Niño doesn’t always equate to damage along the California coastline. Most years (including every year since 1997) that El Niño is in effect, the weather system provides much-needed rainfall to California’s water supply and agriculture industry. With 2014 already shaping up to be a particularly hot and dry year, many experts are actually hoping for a moderate El Niño weather system.
Extra rainfall would certainly be great for countering California’s hot drought. However, rain or not, homeowners will still be stuck paying a fortune in utility bills this summer. The leading cause of large utility bills is air conditioning. According to the US Department of Energy, air conditioning accounts for more than 40% of energy use in California during the summer. If you want to avoid painfully-high utility bills, there are a few tried and true home improvements that can help you do exactly that. While the thought of spending more money to keep your home cool might sound unappealing, the fact is that these home improvements will more than pay for themselves over time through lower utility bills. Plus, you’ll use less energy (which is good for the environment) while adding value to your home if you ever decide to sell it.
Tint your windows
Tinting the windows in your home can be more than just a privacy measure. As you may know, professionally-tinted windows can prevent nearly all of the sun’s ultraviolet, or UV, rays from entering your house. Normally, these rays enter your home through your windows, and heat the air and other objects throughout the day. However, just like sunglasses, window tinting bounce the UV rays (and the heat they would otherwise create) off your windows and back outside.
Mijac Alarm recommends window tinting to many of our customers for security purposes as well. 3M manufacturer’s a thicker film anywhere from 3mm to 10mm specifically developed to help prevent terrorist attacks. This security level film can be clear or smoked or mirrored and includes the same ultraviolet protection and heat blocking attributes from the sun. Would-be burglars no longer can smash-and-grab.
Professional window tinting usually costs between $5 and $15 per square foot, and can quickly pay for itself after a summer or two.
Most homes in California that have been built in the past decade or so are well-insulated. However, if you happen to live in a house that was built before 2000, there is a good chance that your home insulation could use some updating. According to the Department of Energy, a properly insulated house uses up to 50% less energy than one that is not properly insulated. In conjunction with window tinting, this can mean a dramatic reduction in the amount of energy you use to keep your house comfortable.
Energy Savings With HVAC Systems
Even with tinted windows and modern insulation, you are still going to need air conditioning from time to time. If you want to do everything possible to save energy this summer, installing a new HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system is the final step. Honeywell manufactures thermostats that tie directly into your alarm system and can be controlled via your smartphone from anywhere in the world. Imagine cooling your house down in the desert a half hour before arrival.
While El Niño might provide California with some much-needed water this year, energy doesn’t just fall out of the sky (unless of course you have solar panels on your home). If you want to help the environment and save money long-term, do some more research on the energy-saving home improvements suggested above.
For more information about ways you can save energy, or for information about Mijac Alarm’s residential and commercial security solutions, call us during regular business hours at (909)982-7612, or visit our main website by clicking here.