In a remodel, there are a few choices you can make to become more efficient in your home. These choices are not necessarily more expensive than other choices, and they aren’t flashy “green” choices either. However, asking your contractor to help you with these decisions will guarantee you a remodel that is not only beautiful, but offers more energy savings than you had previously.
- Install appropriate insulation in area to be remodeled. Making sure you insulation does its job is one of the foremost ways to be green in your remodel. You won’t see it on the surface, but you’ll notice in your heat and air conditioning bills. Which ever insulation your remodeler recommends, make sure all spaces are sealed so air can’t escape or get in. One effective way to insulate fully, and get into tight spaces and crevices is to use blow-in insulation. It will cover every space you blow it onto, leaving no gaps—eliminating a lot of energy waste in the future.
- Install high-efficiency windows. Heat and cool air escape through closed windows—not just open ones. By installing windows with glass that has Low-E coatings, you’ll reduce the amount of heat loss. Pair that with a double paned window to keep cool air in, and you’re saving heating and cooling costs year-round.
- Seal all exterior penetrations in areas being remodeled. Exposed holes where light fixtures were or other spots where you’re working with exterior walls should be air sealed. Leaving even small spots open to the outside can eat up energy during your remodel.
- Install only low-flow water fixtures. If you are remodeling a bathroom, choose fixtures that are low-flow or choose to add aerators. Such choices are easily made if you’re re-doing anything anyway, and you’ll save water and money in the long run!
- Purchase only Energy Star®-rated appliance. This is another decision that won’t take any more time than if you didn’t do it. Either way, you’re likely going to be choosing new appliances if you remodel your kitchen. So why not be sure to choose Energy Star®-rated appliances? Appliances with the Energy Star® rating typically us 20-30% less energy than federal regulation requires.