Energy Efficient HVAC Tips for Summer

Summer Energy Efficient HVAC Tips

Summer Energy Efficient HVAC Tips

Being cool is the number one priority for most of us during the intense summer heat. HVAC systems work overtime to remove the heat and make our homes comfortable and safe.

Cool summertime temperatures come with a cost. Homeowners see spikes in utility bills and must question their choices and consider energy-efficient alternatives. Here are some solutions to reduce your energy consumption during the summer.

Important Facts About Energy Efficient HVAC

Do you know what percentage of your utility bills come from your HVAC system? Let us take a quick look at some facts to help you better understand your HVAC system efficiency.

In the Texas Gulf Coast, over 95% of homes use some type of cooling system. In the U.S., 12% of the total energy consumption is from air conditioning systems. In Southeast Texas, that number is over 30%. Reducing the amount you use your air conditioning system is the easiest way to reduce your energy usage, but the cost is not worth it. Yes, your bill is lower, but often your comfort level is also below what is acceptable.

Energy Efficient HVAC System Upgrades

Older HVAC units are not as energy-efficient as newer and more modern options. Newer air conditioners are required by the Department of Energy to meet certain energy efficiency standards. Over time your HVAC system will lose efficiency. The older your unit is, the harder it has to work to reach the same comfort levels that you are used to.

Redesign Your Energy Efficient HVAC System in Your Home

Air conditioning systems work to cool your home. Rarely does each area of your home stays the same temperature or have the same cooling requirements. Zoning HVAC systems create comfort levels designed exactly like what you need and want. Zoning thermostats can redirect airflow to specific areas of your home as needed. This keeps the temperature consistent, between floors and rooms to provide the cooling and heating level you desire.

A zoned Energy Efficient HVAC system provides comfort and precision, and it helps you use less energy. Zoned HVAC systems can reduce airflow to unused rooms so energy is not wasted cooling/heating areas where nobody will be using it. When you pair your zoned HVAC system with a zoning thermostat, you can see additional savings that can further reduce your utility bills.

Summer Energy Efficient HVAC Tips

Looking for a more Energy Efficient HVAC system?

If you are sick of paying high utility bills and looking for an energy efficient HVAC system, call us at 281-238-9292 or contact us via email.

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How to Deal with a Thermostat War

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Come up with a compromise

This is probably the simplest solution when it comes to fighting over the thermostat. You won’t get your exact ideal temperature, but it’s certainly better than having contention over the air conditioning settings. Determine what temperature your partner prefers and what temperature you gravitate towards and choose a number in the middle. With this solution, you’re both winners.

Bundle up

If you prefer the temperature to be a little higher, there are always ways you can warm up. Grab your coziest pair of socks and wear a jacket around the house. Sip some hot water with lemon. Open the blinds to let the sunlight in. Remember, you can always layer more clothes and blankets, but the person who likes the temperature cooler can only do so much to escape the heat.

Turn on the fan

If your partner prefers to keep it warm out of personal preference or the desire to save money, there are ways to stay cool without blasting the A/C. Turn on the ceiling fan. Keeping the air circulating will help you cool down. Drink a large glass of ice cold lemonade. Close the curtains to keep the heat from the sun out. Sleep with a sheet instead of a blanket or comforter. When cooking, choose meals that don’t require the oven. There are plenty of ways to stay cool in a warm home, you just have to get a little creative!

Agree to alternate

If you don’t like the above options, you could always agree to take turns. You and your partner can switch off days controlling the thermostat. Create a schedule and stick to it. You’ll be more mindful of the other person’s needs and you’ll be able to reduce the contention that comes with thermostat wars.

How do you handle the thermostat war in your home? Let us know if you’ve come up with any great solutions. Remember, if you need A/C repair, replacement, or a tune-up, we’re here for you!

 

Tips for Buying a New Furnace for Your Home

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Winter is on the way, and it is not going to wait for you to buy a new furnace. You need to start thinking about your purchase now so that you can be ready for the colder weather. By planning ahead, you will avoid having an emergency Katy HVAC repair call in the middle of a cold snap. These tips will help you make the right choice.katy hvac repair,katy air conditioning repair,sugar land air conditioning repair, furnace repair, heating repair, hvac repair, hvac companies, heating and cooling repair, heating and air conditioning repair, heating and air repair, heating contractor, 24 hour air conditioner repair, emergency heating repair, furnace repair service, heating and ac repair, emergency furnace repair, commercial hvac companies, gas furnace repair, gas water heater repair, oil furnace repair, furnace companies, local hvac companies, ac heating repair, 24 hour furnace repair, local air conditioner repair, furnace repair cost, heat pump repair near me, commercial hvac contractors, hvac ductwork installation, fix water heater, emergency heating repair, gas heater repair
At first, you may be overwhelmed by the available options for your new furnace. The size, type and efficiency
rating will all have an impact on the cost of your new furnace and how much you will spend to keep your home cozy. These concerns will also have a bearing on how long you can expect it to perform at its peak level. Proper size and expert installation are two of the most important factors.

The first consideration is the furnace’s annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE). You should always choose the most efficient furnace that you can afford. Regulations stipulate that minimum-efficiency furnaces must have an AFUE of at least 80 percent. That means 20 percent of the natural gas is being wasted. High-efficiency condensing furnaces rate as high as 97 percent. By lowering your monthly heating bill, these models will pay for themselves. You should keep these things in mind when selecting a new furnace.

Types of Furnaces

Your central heating and cooling system could be either a packaged system or a split system. With a packaged system, your heating and cooling components are housed in a single unit. Packaged systems are good if you lack space inside your home.

On the other hand, split systems have a furnace, a condensing unit and a coil that is mounted on top of your furnace. They are usually found in the attic, utility room or crawlspace.

Gas or Electric

The most economical way to heat your home when the weather dips close to freezing is with natural gas. Electric furnaces are an alternative, but they can cost more to run than a gas furnace because electricity rates are higher.

The least expensive option is an electric-powered heat pump, which does not use as much electricity as an electric furnace. They also have the added benefit of functioning as an air conditioning unit in summer. An electric-powered heat pump could help you avoid a Katy air conditioning repair next summer.

Zones in Your Home

You may have noticed that different areas of your home heat or cool faster than others. This is due to location, number of windows, etc. For example, your thermostat may be near an area that warms rapidly. When the thermostat reaches the desired level, the rest of the house may not be as warm or as cool as it is near the thermostat. Conversely, if your thermostat is in an area that takes longer to heat, the rest of the home may be hotter than the area near the thermostat, which will result in a higher heating bill. A zoned system uses several thermostats that control their own zones. As the different zones become warm, dampers in your ducts will open or close so that the temperature within your home remains even. This assures that you will spend the least amount of money to keep your home comfortable all year long.

Variable-speed Blowers

You can also choose between variable- and fixed-speed blowers. Variable-speed units alter the speed of the blower so that it is quieter and keeps the air at a more consistent temperature.

All Cool A/C and Heating can consult with you and recommend a heating system that is the best fit for your home. Give us a call at 281-238-9292. We have been serving Katy, Sugar Land and Houston for over 25 years. We are available 24 hours a day for emergencies, such as a Sugar Land air conditioning repair.

 

Understanding the Energy Star Rating for Air Conditioners

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Minimum Performance Standards

The performance of central air conditioning equipment is expressed as the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). Most systems that are being replaced today were sold 15 years ago when the average SEER was between six and 10. Today, systems that meet minimum ratings allowed by law are 30 percent more efficient.

In January 2015, the minimum efficiency rating for central air conditioning systems increased from 13 SEER to 14 SEER. This regional standard applies to Texas and the southern states because most of our energy goes toward cooling rather than heating. To meet Energy Star requirements, air conditioners must have a SEER of 15 of better. Compared to entry-level units, Energy Star products are 7 percent more efficient at a minimum. The most efficient systems today have ratings of 18 SEER or more. Units with the highest performance ratings appear on the Energy Star Most Efficient list, which is published annually.

Potential Energy Savings

An ultra-efficient system with a variable-speed compressor could lower your energy bills by 40 percent. An air conditioner with the best rating could save you several thousand dollars on electricity in the first five years. In the past, air conditioning and heating represented more than 50 percent of household energy use. With the new technology available today, older HVAC systems account for less than half of residential energy use for the first time since central heating and cooling became accessible.

Other Considerations

Installation and maintenance will impact the performance of all air conditioning systems. According to Energy Star, improper installation can decrease the performance of HVAC units by 30 percent. Professional installation teams use national guidelines for sizing and installing new equipment. Attention to detail is also important if you need Sugar Land air conditioning repair. Annual maintenance reduces the cost of ownership and keeps equipment performing efficiently.

EnergyGuide Labels

If you have shopped for a refrigerator, hot water heater or another major appliance, you have probably seen the yellow EnergyGuide labels. They are similar to the fuel economy stickers shown in the window of new cars. These labels were introduced by the Federal Trade Commission in 1980. They are designed to help consumers compare products based on their energy efficiency and operating costs. The EnergyGuide on air conditioning compressors and package units will display the unit’s SEER rating compared to similar products. Air conditioners and most major appliances are required to display the EnergyGuide label. The numbers shown on the guide are supplied by the manufacturer, but most companies hire third-party laboratories to perform efficiency tests according to government standards.

Because operating costs vary by region and utility provider, annual energy costs are not usually included on air conditioning units. However, the EnergyGuide will show you whether the product meets Energy Star requirements. Since 2013, major appliances and air conditioning companies have published this information online.

If you need an A/C repair in Sugar Land, do not hesitate to ask your technicians for information about efficiency ratings and features that are available on new systems. In addition to lowering your energy bills, the new technology can keep you comfortable by removing more humidity and reducing temperature swings. For more information, give All Cool A/C & Heating a call at 281-238-9292. We are ready to help you save money and increase the indoor comfort of your home.

Guidelines for Optimal Thermostat Placement in Your Katy Home

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Out of Direct Sunlight

The rays of the sun can heat up your thermostat and reduce the accuracy of its readings, causing your air conditioning equipment to work overtime to reduce temperatures inside your home. This can put added stress on your HVAC system and can reduce its ability to keep your home comfortable. By positioning your thermostat out of direct sunlight, you can ensure the most accurate control over indoor temperatures and can save money on your monthly utility bills.

Away from Kitchens and Bathrooms

Your kitchen and bath areas can create significant humidity and heat that can skew the readings taken by your home thermostat. By locating your thermostat well away from bathrooms and kitchen spaces, you can enjoy comfortable temperatures without the added wear and tear on your heating and cooling system caused by localized temperature shifts that do not reflect the overall climate of your home.

In a Centralized Location

Especially during the hottest parts of summer, temperatures can vary widely near windows, doors and exterior walls. Installing your thermostat in a centrally located interior area can prevent temperature swings and allow more accurate readings of your indoor temperatures, allowing your HVAC system to maintain an even keel even when the mercury rises outside. Your Katy air conditioning service professional will work with you to determine the most effective and convenient placement for your home thermostat.

Away from Air Vents

Heating and cooling vents and air intake registers can drastically alter the ambient temperature in their areas. This can have a negative effect on your thermostat’s ability to collect readings and to respond to changes in your indoor temperatures. By positioning your thermostat well away from these vents and the cold or warm air they circulate, you can enjoy added comfort inside your Katy home.

In a Main Living Area

Placing your thermostat in one of the primary living areas of your home can allow it to collect the most relevant information about temperatures and comfort levels. By measuring the conditions in these rooms, your thermostat can more accurately adjust the data it sends to your HVAC system and can provide you with added comfort in the areas you use most often. Some modern thermostat systems incorporate sensors that can be placed in rooms throughout your home to collect data; however, these systems typically require added wiring or wireless connections to perform at peak efficiency.

Accessible to Wi-Fi

Modern programmable thermostats often include Wi-Fi capability designed to provide you with added control over heating and cooling functions. If your thermostat is equipped with Wi-Fi functions, finding a place inside the interior of your home that is accessible to these signals can help you make the most effective use of your home HVAC system.

The home HVAC experts at All Cool A/C & Heating can provide you with professional service for all makes and models of air conditioning and heating equipment. Our highly skilled technicians can provide you with emergency repair services to ensure optimal comfort during every season of the year. We have served the Houston metropolitan area since 1989 and offer expert installation and maintenance for heating and cooling systems. Contact us today at 281-238-9292 to discuss your heating and cooling needs with one of our professional technicians. We look forward to the chance to serve all your Katy HVAC repair and replacement needs.

Closing A/C Vents in Unused Rooms Will Not Save You Money

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When you first think about it, shutting vents in unused rooms seems like a smart, easy way to lower your energy expenses because there is less space to cool. Theoretically, if the door and vents are closed, no air will be pumped into the unused room or rooms, which will make it easier for your HVAC system to keep the rest of the house comfortable. By redirecting the forced air away from the unused spaces, you expect to cool the other rooms faster. However, the Consumer Energy Center has cited a Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory study from 2003 that reached the conclusion that closing vents actually leads to an increase in energy use, not a decrease.

Wasted Energy

For the same reason that closing a door to prevent airflow does not improve a house’s overall energy efficiency, closing the vents will not help it either. That is because your rooms have cold-air returns and vents that are meant to counterbalance each other. Shutting a room’s vents pressurizes the room. This makes the return ducts work harder, which results in air being sucked into the home through cracks around or in the window frames and doors. The extra burden on the system could result in the need for A/C repair in Katy if the HVAC system stops working properly.

While the return ducts are pulling in air from the outside, the air that is denied entry into the room has to find somewhere else to go. Usually, that means it is forced back into your attic. You do not end up using less energy. Instead, you pay to cool an area that you do not ever use.

Possible Damage to Your A/C System

Closing too many vents can also damage your system. Modern, high-efficiency HVAC units were designed to handle your home’s entire square footage while the fans spin at full speed. Blockages occur when you shut the vents, which makes it more difficult for the system to distribute air properly. Limited airflow in the wintertime can also cause condensation in the air ducts. The added work for your HVAC system can shorten its lifespan.

If you really feel the need to seal off a room that does not get very much use, hire a professional to do the job for you. An expert knows the right way to close off the ducts and adjust your system so that it does not have to work harder. Additionally, when you alter your HVAC system on your own, it will no longer be covered under warranty in the event of a breakdown. A professional can make alterations that will not affect your coverage.

Whether you require an emergency repair or a seasonal check-up, we will make sure that you stay cool this summer! If you need a Katy air conditioning service call or a visit to check out your system, call us at 281-238-9292 first. All Cool A/C & Heating offers a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee on all our work.

How High Efficiency A/C Systems Control Humidity

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Indoor Humidity

Improperly sized air conditioning units and heat pumps are the primary cause of high indoor humidity. The surprising reason is that they work too well. HVAC systems reduce humidity by cooling air below the dew point, but it takes time for enough moisture to be removed before you will feel a difference. Units that are too powerful cool your home quickly without having a chance to first get rid of the humidity. Correctly sized A/C systems run longer and remove moisture more effectively.

Heat and Humidity

Temperatures and humidity have a special relationship. First, warm air can hold more moisture. This is why humidity is commonly over 85 percent in the summer and much lower in the winter. Second, as relative humidity increases, temperatures feel higher than they really are. In the winter, extra humidity can make your home feel warmer. In the summer, it makes you feel uncomfortable.

Even with the A/C running, excess humidity can be a problem. Here are a few signs that your home is too humid.

  • – Cold and clammy rooms
  • – Condensation on windows
  • – Mold growth
  • – Allergy symptoms

Controlling Moisture

Using an efficient, properly sized HVAC system is the best way to control excess humidity and to stay comfortable all year. Before purchasing an air conditioning system, your contractor should complete load calculations based on current guidelines. The capacity of the appropriate air conditioning system depends on the size of your home, heat gain from windows, insulation levels and other factors. The only way to do this is by assessing your home in person.

A high-efficiency A/C system that is sized for your home will have many benefits in terms of energy savings, and it will also remove humidity more effectively. Multi-speed fans and compressors allow these systems to run at variable capacities. This feature reduces temperature swings and removes moisture more effectively because the system runs longer at lower energy-saving speeds.

A few newer HVAC systems are equipped with components that can remove humidity on demand by forcing the system to run longer. Some experts say you can reduce humidity by setting your thermostat one or two degrees lower on the hottest days. However, university researchers in Florida found that this increased energy use by 10 percent and led to additional problems, such as condensation and mold.

High-efficiency air conditioners that are the right size for your home can remove humidity, increase your comfort and minimize allergies and air quality problems. Katy air conditioning repair experts and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers recommend a maximum humidity level of 60 percent with an indoor temperature of 78 degrees. A properly sized air conditioner along with appropriate settings can keep humidity below this threshold.

Humidity Sources

Your air conditioning contractor may recommend additional tips for controlling moisture. For example, you can help your air conditioner work more efficiently by using exhaust fans to remove steam while showering or cooking and by keeping windows closed when it is very humid.

If your humidity problems have not improved, it might be time for an upgrade. With older equipment, it is sometimes better to put the cost of an A/C repair in Katy toward the purchase and installation of a new system. To learn more about high-efficiency HVAC systems from Rudd and Trane, call All Cool A/C & Heat today at 281-238-9292.

Tips To Reduce Your HVAC Energy Costs

SUGAR LAND HVAC REPAIR,SUGAR LAND HEATING REPAIR,SUGAR LAND AIR CONDITIONING SERVICE, ENERGY STAR AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEMS, ENERGY STAR HVAC, ENERGY EFFICIENT HVAC, ENERGY STAR RATED AIR CONDITIONERS, HIGH EFFICIENCY AIR CONDITIONER, EFFICIENT HEATING AND COOLING, HVAC EFFICIENCY, MOST EFFICIENT HVAC SYSTEM, ENERGY EFFICIENT HVAC SYSTEMS, HIGH EFFICIENCY HVAC, MOST ENERGY EFFICIENT HVAC SYSTEM, HIGH EFFICIENCY HEATING AND COOLING, MOST EFFICIENT CENTRAL AIR CONDITIONER, ENERGY STAR CENTRAL AIR CONDITIONER, HIGH EFFICIENCY CENTRAL AIR CONDITIONER, HIGH EFFICIENCY HVAC SYSTEM, EFFICIENT HVAC SYSTEMS, ENERGY EFFICIENT HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEMS, EFFICIENT HEATING AND AIR, MOST ENERGY EFFICIENT CENTRAL AIR CONDITIONER, MOST EFFICIENT HVAC, MOST EFFICIENT HEATING AND COOLING, EFFICIENT HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING, MOST ENERGY EFFICIENT HVAC, HVAC ENERGY SAVING, ENERGY STAR RATED PORTABLE AIR CONDITIONERS, ENERGY EFFICIENT HVAC UNITS, EFFICIENCY HEATING & COOLING, ENERGY STAR HVAC CONTRACTOR, ENERGY EFFICIENT HEATING AND AIRLiving in the Houston metropolitan area has its perks: sunshine, world class entertainment and dining establishments. It can also cost you an arm and a leg when it comes to paying your power bill. According to some residents in the Houston and Sugar Land areas, their power bills increased up to $500 or more at different times of the year; that is an incredible amount of money to spend on heating and cooling. When your HVAC unit raises your energy costs, you need a Sugar Land HVAC repair company that puts an end to outrageous power bills.

5 Ways to Cut Energy Costs This Winter

Although the Numbeo cost of living database reports that living in and around Houston is cheaper than living in New York, your power bill can jeopardize an otherwise inexpensive cost of living. Sugar Land residents enjoy high temperatures for most of the year, but those enjoyable temperatures plummet into the 30s and 40s or lower overnight in the winter. Therefore, you will want to winterize your home and have your HVAC system maintained to keep it from running longer than needed or failing to heat your home properly during those colder Sugar Land days and nights.

Seal the ductwork.

Even the smallest hole in the ductwork can force air out into the attic and raise your energy costs. Your furnace may have to work continuously to bring the interior temperature to the setting on the thermostat, forcing your energy bill to rise. Broken seals in the ductwork will make the furnace work harder and possibly fail, causing you to pay even more out-of-pocket expenses for repairs or a new installation. A professional can inspect the ductwork and seal any existing holes that could cause problems in the future.

Tune up your furnace.

What does your furnace have in common with your dishwasher? They are both appliances and require regular maintenance to work efficiently. If you hear any odd noises coming from your furnace, such as buzzes, clanks or loud humming, it could indicate a malfunctioning unit. Having a Sugar Land heating repair professional come in and tune up the system will keep the unit running better and more energy efficient.

Weatherproof the windows and doors.

Your heat and air conditioning does not just escape through holes in the ductwork; it also escapes through cracks around windows and spaces under doors. Use weather stripping around the windows, and apply a foam sealant or caulk to exterior cracks as added protection. You can also attach a rubber strip to the bottom of your doors to prevent air from seeping inside.

Run the unit only when necessary.

Turn off your heating unit when you leave the house or set the thermostat to a lower temperature during the day. Setting the thermostat to 68 degrees F and wearing extra layers of clothing during the winter will keep you warm and save on energy costs.

Insulate the attic.

Energy Star claims that homeowners can save up to 15 percent on their heating and cooling costs by sealing their homes and insulating their attics. You will also want to insulate the attic door to keep the warm air inside your home and prevent it from escaping through the attic access. Replacing a warped attic door and keeping it closed and locked will also help to form a tight seal.

Schedule Your Heating and Sugar Land Air Conditioning Service Today

You do not have to deal with rising energy costs. Contact All Cool A/C & Heating for an HVAC appointment. We specialize in maintenance, repairs and new installations and can help keep your home nice and warm. Cutting energy costs starts with having an efficient HVAC system and doing the little things to keep out the cold this winter.

 

Do Smart Thermostats Save You Money?

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Naturally, every company that manufactures smart thermostats claims that their product will save you money, but are the savings worth the investment? Several companies have conducted studies on just how much smart thermostats can affect your monthly budget for heating and air conditioning. Nest Labs claims that their research proves that you can save as much as 12 percent, which equals about $145 per year. That would make it easy to recoup the initial expense of hiring a Sugar Land air conditioning repair specialist to install the unit. In most cases, the thermostat would pay for itself in about two years.

However, it is possible that your savings could be significantly more or less than 12 percent because these studies are based on data from surveys. Here are some factors that will determine how much you could save.

  • – The cost of utilities in your area is important. In most cases, the rates increase every year.
  • – Your rate of energy consumption will affect savings. If you adjust your thermostat manually when you go to work or at nighttime, your savings will not be as high as if you leave the thermostat setting constant.
  • – Fluctuations in the severity of the weather from one year to the next can make a big difference. If you have the hottest summer on record, your cooling costs will be higher than usual.
  • – People in more temperate climates will experience lower savings than those in regions with very hot summers and extremely cold winters.
  • – Your home also plays a role. If you have good insulation, change your filter regularly and keep your HVAC system in good running order, your savings will be lower. Almost every home could benefit from a regular tune up or A/C repair in Katy and the entire Houston area. Larger homes cost more to heat or cool than smaller ones. That makes the potential for savings proportionately higher.

 

Most people set their thermostats once in the fall and spring and never change them. Other folks use daily “setbacks.” Smart thermostats make those changes for you. Some smart systems actually monitor motion within a room and turn the heat or air conditioning on only when there is someone in the area. When your system is not running, it is not costing you money. The rule of thumb is that setbacks, whether automated or not, will save you money on your HVAC bills. In some areas, the local utility company will contribute to an upgrade to your thermostat.

Is a smart thermostat really worth the cost? As you can see, there are so many variables that it is hard to make a definitive statement one way or the other. Some homeowners may recoup their expenses in a single year. Other people may not see that return for more than two years.

Savings are not the only consideration. Smart thermostats are very convenient. They never forget to adjust the temperature when you go to work. They are easy to set up and provide extra features, such as alerts and outdoor temperature readings.

It seems obvious that smart thermostats are worth the investment. This is especially true if you remain in your home for many years. Another nice thing is that you can have them uninstalled from your current home and reinstalled in a new home if you decide to relocate. You can take the savings with you.