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Are You Losing Money or Are You Energy Star?

| Braustin Homes Blog

Are You Losing Money or Are You Energy Star?

Well, the Groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, tried to warn us… an extended winter was right around the corner – and boy did it hit us like a ton of bricks! The great Texas Snowmageddon.

If you live outside of Texas, you may or may not be aware of the what happened, but since our headquarters is in San Antonio, Texas, we are right in the thick of it and have quite the story to share with you all!

On the sweetest day of the year, the air was filled with more than just love. Yes, on February 14th, Valentine’s Day, at around 10 pm, the majority of Texas and surrounding southern states were shockingly coated with several inches of white powdered snow and ice. This may sound like “no big deal” to some, as snow is quite common in many states across the US. In Texas however, and more specifically South Texas, this is a true rarity! We were not prepared for this!

Some folks lost power, others lost internet, and a few weren’t able to get groceries for the week, before getting snowed-in… for days!

It was me… I’m part of the “few.” Whoops! Let’s see how long I can stretch some rice and frozen fruit.

Snow isn’t a normal occurrence for those of us in the southern states, and isn’t always top of mind. Just in case you are in the same boat, here’s some helpful tips to take into consideration when selecting your new mobile home, as well as update suggestions you should consider if you currently reside in a mobile home before the next winter storm blows in.

ENERGY STAR – Building Options

Since 1992, ENERGY STAR and its partners helped American families and businesses save more than 4 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity and achieve over 3.5 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions, which is about as much as the annual emissions of more than 750 million cars.

Now that’s quite the parking lot!

In 2018 alone, ENERGY STAR and its partners helped Americans avoid $35 billion (about $110 per person in the US) in energy costs. And even more savings to go around as this energy efficiency standard is available for manufactured home buyers as well!

Opting for this building standard means:

  • Thicker Insulation
  • Strictly Regulated Installation of Air Ducts
  • ENERGY STAR Windows
  • Higher Efficiency Heating and Cooling Equipment
  • ENERGY STAR Quality Products: appliances, heating & cooling, water heater, and lighting.

All of this, of course, translates into more year-round comfort, utility bill savings, and less strain on environmental resources.

Looking to save even more?

Clayton Homes also offers energy conserving options within their Energy Smart Package. This package includes innovative and eco-friendly technology that will increase energy efficiency such as:

  • Upgraded Insulation
  • Ecobee Smart Thermostat®
  • Low-E windows
  • Rheem® Dual Element Water Heater

By selecting this package, your home will be Energy Smart! These energy efficient features will do the hard work for you, by reducing the use of natural resources and saving on energy costs!

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Updating Efficiency on an Older Home

Sure, ENERGY STAR is great, but what are the efficiency options when owning an older home?

Well, we are sure glad that you asked!

There are some super easy and cost-effective updates as well as a few that might require a little more financial commitment.

Let’s start with the quick fixes:

Inexpensive Solutions

Caulk: Sealing up seemingly harmless cracks and crevices to the outside of your home will stop your “purchased air” from leaking out. This will also help keep water out and prevent mold from forming on your walls. Nobody likes that! So, take an hour to inspect all around your home for these troublesome energy thieves. Be sure to check wall vents, windows, door frames, and even around your tubs and sinks, as these are all areas commonly repaired by caulking.

Underbelly Gorilla Tape: We recommend this brand because it has 3x the strength and sealing longevity than regular duct tape. But, if duct tape is all that’s available, that’s fine too! There are many uses for duct tape; we recommend covering up any areas of your ducting that might be letting air escape as it is pushed across the house.

Weather Stripping: Homes expand and contract with heat and cold which causes slight shifting in door frames. Install weather stripping to make up the difference when there are small openings from your exterior doors to the outside. This material can also help prevent rainwater from entering entirely by rerouting the water.

Reduce Use/Unplug: Appliances use energy even when they aren’t necessarily in use. Unplug your toaster, flat iron, mixer, and even phone chargers when not in use. This may be a small step, but it can make all the difference and it’s super easy to do!

Flip the Switch: Be sure to turn lights off when you aren’t in a room, open drapes and blinds and use the sun to light and warm your home when needed. You can also, close drapes and blinds to reduce light and temperature in home when necessary. Easy enough, right?

Program the Thermostat: Did you know, most thermostats have programmable features? It only takes a few minutes to set your thermostat’s temperature based on the hours your home is occupied. Pretty neat little life hack right there, now I need to go set mine!

Clean out the Fridge: Overcrowded refrigerators require more energy to keep cooled. Make sure outdated items and empty containers aren’t taking up valuable fridge real estate. Nothing a good clean-sweep and quick wipe down can’t take care of!

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Pricey but Rewarding Updates

Replace Outdated Single-Pane Windows: This one is obvious, but still worth mentioning. There have been major advances in window technology in the last few years that dramatically enhance home cooling and heating efficiency. Windows can be expensive, but even replacing one or two windows every year will greatly improve your home’s efficiency. Remember a little at a time can go a long way.

Energy Conserving Appliances: From washers to refrigerators to stoves and microwaves, energy efficient products are available. The next time you are needing to replace an appliance, be sure to go for something that will do its job and save you money. What could be better than that?

Roof: When replacing a low efficiency roof, there are a few different types of roofing materials to consider, from asphalt shingles, to aluminum, and even TPO membrane roof overs. Obviously, price ranges can vary widely based on material and amount needed to complete the job. As a helpful resource, check out this “cool roof” calculator to estimate what benefits you would have from upgrading a low efficiency roof.

Insulation: This one’s a game changer! Adding thicker insulation, blowing insulation in attic spaces, and securing mobile home skirting will all add to the efficiency of your heating and cooling. This process is worth the expense if it means retaining the treated air flow that you pay for.

Hand putting red heart in to house piggy bank with smiling face

It’s Worth It

There are many ways to increase your energy efficiency if you are living in an older manufactured or site-built home. These little upgrades will not only make your home more comfortable but will be reflected in your monthly electricity usage statements.

If you are not a homeowner yet, consider the ENERGY STAR package as part of your “must-have” list. While the results won’t be immediately apparent in a style sense, your first bill from a severe weather season will make it all worth it! And if you lose your power in an unprecedented winter storm in South Texas like we did, you’ll have the thick insultation that you’ll need in order to conserve and retain the heat inside your home overnight! What a relief!

So that’s it: Are You Losing Money or Are You Energy Star? This blog has been revised to keep information and images previously shared, current. Follow the links in this page to read more information on each topic. We would love to chat with you or hear about your experience on our Facebook page or through our Contact Form.

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