There could be a number of different reasons for a replacement like that. Even if it is working it may be time for an update. I know my parents just had their really old water heater replaced. http://www.valleyrooterplumbing.com/water_heaters.html... more
Jake, Being green means different things to most people. Some of the best advice I can give you as an Energy Auditor is start saving by reducing. Reducing your consumption is the easiest way to save and be greener. This doesn't have to be just energy it can be anything. The next thing is use what you have. Buy quality items and materials and keep them around and when they have to go recycle, reuse, find an alternative to sending it to the dump. Use paints, cleaners, and even furniture that are more environmentally friendly.
For the home itself reducing consumption is good also. CFL and LED lights are a good option especially for the lights you use often. Low flow toilets, shower heads and aerators are inexpensive. Programmable thermostats are another good option. Keeping the heating, cooling and water heating equipment serviced is inexpensive every few years. Sealing air leaks is always worth wild. When in doubt hire an Energy Auditor like myself.... more
There are a few great reasons to install solar in San Francisco.
1. Go Solar SF: The City will pitch in between $2,750 and $9,750 for the cost of your solar system if you use an installer certified by the City (such as Luminalt).
2. Transfer Tax Reduction: The Assessor-Recorder will reduce one-third of the transfer tax on a home, up to the cost of the solar system (this means an essentially free system that can only help in terms of selling the home faster).
3. No Property Tax Increase: The increase in the property's value as a result of the solar system won't increase the assessment on the house.
4. Zero Down option: Leases are also available, making solar an even more attractive option. With the lease that Luminalt offers, transferring that lease to a new homeowner is easy.
Check out the link below for a summary of different appraisal reports and scientific papers from research institutes and the government about the impact of solar on a home's value and the time it takes to sell.
I'm glad you are looking at ways to reduce energy costs. You need to weigh the payoff point too. The panels I've seen depending on how good a location they can be placed payoff in 8-18 years. The typical homeowner moves about every 6-7 years so most of the owners may never realize any value themselves, but will at least be adding value for future home owners.... more