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Go Green or Go Broke! Eco-Friendly Remodels

Energy Efficient Remodels: Go Green!

News headlines today about energy range from home solar panels and homes that generate their own power, homes that are energy independent and recycle rain water for personal use.

You don’t have to go to extreme to be energy efficient, but making changes to your home can help save more energy AND money.

No time is better than during a remodel to make your home energy efficient. The definition of energy efficient is doing more with less power. We aren’t asking you to have a time period where you shut down the lights in your home every day; there will be no walking around with candles bumping into furniture. We are asking you to look deeper and see what other options you have to save energy while living comfortably. Who doesn’t want to see their utility bills cut down by nearly 20-40% every month?

Insulated walls and attic – If your home is not well insulated the rate of heat escaping your house during the winter and entering your home during the summer will be increased. Thus meaning you will be paying more for heating and cooling your house and wasting money. A properly insulated home will stay cooler in the summer and remain warmer during cold months.

Light bulbs- Upgrading traditional light bulbs to LEDs or CFLs light bulbs can save 25-80% energy used and last 25 times longer. If you change out light bulbs not only do you save energy but you will have to replace light bulbs less often.  Changing light bulbs may seem like a minor detail and is often missed when doing home remodeling, but any penny saved counts.

Windows- Ensure your windows are not single glazed and up to par to keep your home the right temperature. Single paned windows should be replaced to cut your air conditioning and heating bill down by 24%. Weather stripping around windows should not be cracked or leaking.

Appliances and Central Air Systems- Having two refrigerators and three deep freezers are a need or a want? If you have any old appliances that you don’t absolutely need or use to its full advantage; recycle them. New energy efficient appliances today are built and designed to save energy without sacrificing style or function. Setting your central air system to a heat and cool point can help regulate room temperature and save energy by turning on only when needed.

Updating furnace- Check the date your furnace was installed. If it was installed before 1992 research shows that it wastes 35% fuel that is uses. Have your furnace inspected for fuel utilization efficiency before you replace it.

Water heater efficiency- Start with checking the water temp setting, it should be turned down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Who takes a scolding shower anyway? By lowering the temperature on your water heater you aren’t making your water heater work harder for no reason, thus saving energy. Another way to save energy is have your water pipes insulated so that they stay warmer longer in between uses. Professional contractors can install a special pump to work on demand and save water heating energy.

Landscaping- Don’t forget about the outside. To lower the heat radiating into your home from the outdoors have shrubs and plants planted around your house. This adds as shade to your home and also a block to the heat. You can add plants that are low maintenance so that you are saving water also.

There are some simple and then more complex ways to make your home remodel more energy efficient.

Consult with a professional to ensure you are making the most out of your energy use.