A remodel could be just the excuse you need to improve the performance of your home. Older homes typically don’t adhere to the higher standard for energy efficiency that newer homes have. There are many ways to fix that during a remodeling project.
Fast and Cheap Energy Efficient Upgrades
Improvements to your home performance are similar to improving your car’s performance. The same way you might tune-up and change the tires on your car, you need to upgrade and improve your home. A remodel is a great time to do it! Air sealing your home from the crawlspace to the attic and adding insulation will keep heating/cooling costs down. It is one of the best investments you can make in your home. Adding insulation and air sealing while the walls are open is also a good way to improve the performance of your home. You may even include solar panels on your roof with a long-term loan that can cover the cost with the energy savings.
Start with an Energy Assessment
Find out through an EnergySmart assessment (Home Energy Audit) of your home to find out what needs to be done to improve the performance and comfort of your home. Another way to ensure that your project is as environment-friendly as possible is to work closely with your contractor. Discuss the energy upgrades that you want. Can these upgrades be added during your remodel? Don’t be shy about making it clear that you want to improve the performance of your home and energy efficiency where it is possible. Your contractor may even have some additional suggestions about ways to make your remodel more energy efficient.
Deconstruct, Don’t Demolish
Before getting into home upgrades that can make your home eco-friendly, there are some ways to make sure the remodeling work itself is eco-friendly. As you’re taking down walls or getting rid of a chimney or replacing flooring, etc., you’ll have the choice of demolishing or deconstructing. There is an important difference. While demolishing is less expensive and a lot faster, it destroys the current materials in use. Deconstruction, on the other hand, involves the careful taking apart to preserve any materials that might be recycled through Habitat for Humanity or sold for reuse. Old doors, windows, counters and sinks in your home may no longer be important to you, but they can get a second life through someone else for which it is the perfect piece for their home.
Adding Air Conditioning?
In the dry air of the Rocky Mountains it healthier and less costly to add an evaporative cooler. The cost to purchase, run and maintain an air conditioner (AC) are higher. There are now high tech coolers that are thermostatically controlled (just like an AC!) with variable speed motors that are nearly silent and will automatically drain the water to keep your home sweet smelling as it cools and moisturizes your home.
Energy Star appliances
Energy Star certified appliances are more energy efficient. Not only is that good for the environment, it’s good for your wallet. It will reduce energy bills year-round. If your remodel entails new appliances, ask the sales associates for recommendations on products that use less water or less electricity.
Choose materials carefully
Materials that are natural or require little processing are going to be the best for the environment. When possible, select materials that are made from other recycled materials and are 100% recyclable.
AboutSavingHeat.com is a full-service energy efficiency contractor, AboutSavingHeat.com can help by performing your energy assessment (home energy audit) that will pinpoint where and how to improve your home performance while saving you money for the life of your home. We will specify the scope of work needed and bring in our experienced crews to do the efficiency portion of your remodel.