August 28, 2017
Whether it’s providing relief on sweltering summer days or keeping your and your family cozy in the midst of winter, HVAC systems are crucial for comfort. Dated heating and cooling systems, aside from using excessive energy, can also hinder the air quality of your home. With the average American spending 87 percent of their time inside, running an HVAC that properly filters allergens and other harmful particles is vital for optimum health and well-being.
The Search for An Efficient HVAC
Scott Peters of Placerville, Cali. began exploring options for an energy-efficient HVAC for his 1953 home. Built without central air conditioning or heating, the home utilized an evaporative cooler in the summer months, and a fireplace insert with floor registers in addition to wall heaters during the wintertime. “Our house was run entirely on electricity – no natural gas or propane,” Peters said. “We first had solar installed to cut electrical costs, and then went shopping for an energy-efficient HVAC that could be retrofitted into our older home.”
Peters’ search led him to a ductless mini-split system with a wireless thermostat. Leaky ductwork can cause an HVAC system to lose between 20 to 30 percent of the energy it generates. By delivering air directly to different “zones” through a modest wall-mounted device, ductless systems can heat or cool only rooms that are occupied – thereby eliminating wasted air.
“We have six mini splits, three on each floor of our two-story house. All the mini splits are wall-mounted near the ceiling; very unobtrusive. The wireless thermostat controls the hot and cold air for each room,” Peters said. “The system is amazing and efficient – for heating or cooling, as the case may be.”
Financing Today, Saving Over Time
Rather than paying the $25,000 up front, Peters opted for financing through Ygrene’s PACE financing program. PACE, or property assessed clean energy, is an offering that allows property owners to leverage their home equity to finance improvements that save energy, save water, utilize renewables and protect against natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes.
Property owners then repay the amount financed as part of their annual property taxes, without having to worry about a monthly bill. “Before we initiated the project, I did a lot of fact-checking online and spoke to Ygrene customer service a couple of times with specific questions,” Peters said. “The whole process was very straightforward. The project team, the customer service team – everyone involved was on the same page with us and the contractor.”
Consistently Lower Utility Bills
It’s difficult for Peters to compare his new ductless system to the previous heating and cooling tactics. “The former is a sophisticated, energy-efficient system and the latter is ad hoc,” he said. Overall, his electricity bills are consistently 20 to 30 percent less, which he describes as “significant, knowing the cost of energy continues to rise.” The predictable annual payment of $2,600 is a more manageable amount to pay for year-round comfort. “We knew going in what the property taxes would be and have budgeted accordingly,” Peters said. “It’s comforting to know we are more energy efficient and that this amount will be part of our property tax declaration.”
With PACE financing, a lien is placed on the property to ensure payment, while securing a non-fluctuating interest rate. This aspect of PACE makes some property owners worry about selling their home, but Peters is undeterred. “Any real estate purchase agreement could be written in such a manner that the lien could be satisfied from the proceeds of the sale,” he said.
With refreshingly cool air in the summer and a toasty atmosphere in the winter, Peters has shared his experience with friends and family. “It’s a great program – very user-friendly and totally transparent,” he said. “We have a house in Florida and Ygrene financing is available there as well – we may look into solar panels.”
Find out if PACE is available in your area – contact Ygrene at (855) 901-3999; firstname.lastname@example.org.