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Monthly Archives: November 2015
Over time, the appliances and features within your home become inefficient, and they start requiring frequent maintenance and repair. When you embark on a home remodeling plan, it’s important to choose materials and to make decisions that will help you create an energy efficient home. You’ll save money on your utilities after making eco-friendly upgrades, and you’ll also do your part to reduce your home’s carbon footprint and the energy you use each year.
Here are a few projects you’ll want to consider as you upgrade your home, as well as some easy steps you can take to reduce your energy usage each day.
The First Step: Get an Energy Efficiency Audit
Having a professional conduct an energy audit of your home is a terrific way to determine whether your home uses too much energy. It’s also an ideal project to guide your renovations and help you plan your budget. Are your windows in need of replacement or repair? An energy audit will help you make the decision.
According to an article on Forbes:
“Heating alone costs an average of $500 per year, with attic and basement air leaks accounting for up to $70 of this expense. But sealing the house can cost as little as $100, paying back the investment in less than two years. Extra attic insulation can cost $2 per square foot, and pays back within five years in energy savings.”
An energy audit can help you make the best decisions when remodeling your home. If you’re already on board with replacing your windows or getting a new door, it’s important to combine those projects alongside small, energy-efficient upgrades and improvements as part of the overall plan.
Consider: It’s less expensive to hire a contractor once for a big job rather than twice or three times for three smaller jobs.
Some of the Best Energy-Efficient Remodeling Options
The projects you choose for your energy efficient renovations will usually fall into one of three categories:
1. Brand new features and items like windows or a new HVAC system.
2. Upgrades of current features like window repair or sealing attic ducts.
3. Devices that reduce energy waste like programmable thermostats.
After your energy audit is complete, you might find out that features you thought were fine are actually costing you hundreds of dollars a year in wasted energy. Old windows are often one of the first features a homeowner will consider when making a home more energy efficient.
According to an article on U.S. News & World Report:
“Replacing old, leaky windows with higher-efficiency models can also make your home greener.”
If you’re on a particularly tight budget, there are some options for repairing old windows, but your contractor can also help you find brand new windows that are affordable, as well as incredibly energy efficient. New windows have features like special glazes that make them a wise investment.
Understanding window performance and energy performance ratings are great ways to choose new windows for your home. The Department of Energy reveals:
“You can use the energy performance ratings of windows, doors, and skylights to tell you their potential for gaining and losing heat, as well as transmitting sunlight into your home.”
Your contractor is an ideal source for information on window performance, so make sure you utilize his or her knowledge before upgrading your windows.
Simple Energy-Efficient Upgrades
If you’re in the planning stages of a major renovation like window replacement, there are several cost-effective upgrades and changes that are a great investment. Farmers Insurance offers three suggestions for making your home green-friendly and sustainable:
- Install a smart thermostat to control the temperature in your home.
- Use blackout shades or curtains to save energy and protect furniture from sunlight.
- Consider installing skylights to reduce the need for artificial lighting.
Other energy-efficient upgrades and easy fixes you may want to handle during your remodeling project include repairing faucets that drip, installing motion sensors on lights, and checking your dryer vent to make sure it’s not blocked and causing energy waste.
Are You Ready for New Energy-Efficient Windows?
According to the professionals at O’Sullivan Installs:
“Replacing windows can improve a home’s energy efficiency. The majority of all heat lost in homes happens through older windows. Newer windows are designed with energy-efficiency in mind. Improving a home’s energy efficiency means feeling less of a chill during the winter and less heat inside the home during the summer.”
Is your home due for an exterior upgrade? Want to learn more about new windows, or other energy-efficient home renovations? Contact O’Sullivan Installs for a FREE Consultation and download our free guide: “Seven Questions to Ask When Hiring an Exterior Remodeling Contractor in Massachusetts“ for valuable guidance on your home improvement project.