Green Home Remodeling, How to Make the Highest Impact for the Least Cost!

When planning a remodeling project, many homeowners want to make their home more green while also improving its comfort and functionality. Where can you get the “greenest” bang for the green you spend? Let’s take a look.

Upgrade Insulation

An inadequately insulated home wastes a lot of energy, and there’s no need for it. Start with the attic. Adding a layer of insulation is the easiest way to reduce energy use, and you’ll lower your bills too.

Consider a Tankless Water Heater

Most storage tank water heaters are very inefficient. A gas-fired tankless water heater can be 95% efficient or more, reducing energy use by as much as 40% when radiant heat loss from a storage tank is considered.

Choose Energy Star Appliances

If you’re remodeling the kitchen or laundry room, replacing old appliances with Energy Star rated products is the green choice.

Select Energy Efficient Windows and Doors

Windows aren’t cheap, but if you’re installing windows during remodeling, spend a bit more if needed to ensure that you get the right Energy Star windows for your climate. Most manufacturers offer a variety of Energy Star glass packages, and there is one that will reduce energy loss most effectively where you live. Choose energy efficient insulated exterior doors for the project too.

Add Weatherstripping to Windows and Doors

For windows and doors you’re not replacing, add weatherstripping to reduce energy loss in all seasons. This is an inexpensive fix that can lead to surprising reductions in your energy use.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Reducing energy use when no one is home will save 10%-20% per year. Turning down the heat when everyone is tucked in bed will help too. A programmable thermostat allows you to do these things without having to remember. Just program the system to save energy.

Upgrade the Furnace

If you’re adding a furnace to serve a home addition, pay a bit more to get a 90% efficient model or better. Standard furnaces are 80% efficient, so you can do the math on how much energy a 90% or 95% furnace will save.

Consider a Pellet Stove

Is a fireplace part of the remodel? Why not go with a pellet stove instead? Fireplaces tend to be inefficient. After all, the chimney flue is a large hole in your house, letting out heat. A pellet stove with a glass window will allow you to enjoy the ambience of a fire while using pellets, corn or nut shells. They burn much cleaner than wood. A wood burning fireplace will increase energy use; a pellet stove will reduce your home’s energy use.

Kermit the frog was wrong. It’s actually pretty easy being green. These tips are a great place to start.

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