Rashed-Ali has plenty of ideas on how homeowners in Lubbock can cut costs this summer.
Hazem Rashed-Ali is an associate professor and the associate dean of research and innovation in Texas Tech University's College of Architecture. Rashed-Ali has a doctoral degree from Texas A&M, a Master of Science in architecture from Oxford Brookes University and a Bachelor of Science in architecture from Ain Shams University.
His research focuses on sustainable architecture and urbanism with an emphasis on the design of high-performance, energy-efficient and carbon-neutral buildings and communities. When it comes to communities, Lubbock is one that uses a lot of energy during the hot summer months.
“High-performance design also can be applied to residential homes,” Rashed-Ali said. “Many automatically think of solar panels, but there are other ways to decrease energy usage too.”
According to Rashed-Ali, if a homeowner is not ready for solar energy, they can alternatively look at insulation or a new cooling system.
“Obviously, a new air conditioning system is a more expensive option,” he said. “But in the long run, upgrading an old cooling system can save homeowners a lot of money. Systems that were installed 15 or 20 years ago use much more energy to run, driving up monthly costs.”
Rashed-Ali also recommends making sure windows are well insulated and doors are weather-stripped.
“These are simple upgrades to make,” he said. “Not only do these changes save money, but they also make the air in your home healthier to breathe.”
For those who are interested in solar energy, however, Rashed-Ali acknowledges it's a great time to make the leap.
“There are a lot of tax incentives the government has created for going solar,” Rashed-Ali said. “If you look around right now, you'll likely notice there is a big push for this.”
According to Rashed-Ali, going solar makes most sense if a homeowner is planning to stay in their home long-term.
“The payback time for solar is between 5 to 10 years, meaning that's the amount of time it will take you to start making up the cost of installation. This is when the savings kick in.”
Rashed-Ali suggests that, if investing in solar panels, they be installed on a south-facing, sloped roof. Ideally, the slope should be about 30 degrees.
“These are just a few ideas of many,” Rashed-Ali said. “The point is, there are many reasons to reduce energy consumption in our homes. On a personal level, homeowners save money. On a community level, cities can invest funds in other needed areas. Building power plants is the most expensive thing a city can do. Then, on a global level, these little changes add up. I think we're all noticing shifts in the weather and seeing more natural disasters occurring closer together. When everyone makes a few small changes, we can have an effect on larger issues like these.”
Hazem Rashed-Ali, College of Architecture, associate dean of research and innovation and associate professor, (806) 834-5741 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Area of expertise:
- High-performance building technologies
- Sustainable architecture
- Investigation of energy-efficient potential
- Historical homes in humid climates