There are so many reasons to promote energy efficiency in your home. Naturally one of the biggest is saving money. By making over your home for energy efficiency, you can significantly reduce your utility bills. The eco-friendly nature of energy efficiency also attracts a lot of homeowners. Using less energy is less taxing on natural resources. The following three remodel jobs go a long way toward making your home more green.
Whatever the temperature outside, you usually want the opposite inside. You cool off during the summer and warm up during the winter. The way to keep that air inside is with added insulation. You should plan to add insulation to the ceilings, in the walls, and under the roof.
The three main types of remodeling insulation are bats or blankets, loose fill, and spray foam. The bats or blankets are the sheets of insulation that fit between studs in walls and ceilings. This is only appropriate if you're doing a major renovation. Both loose fill and spray foam get sprayed into the walls through a relatively small hole. Loose fill insulation consists of cellulose, fiberglass, or mineral wool. Spray foam is a heat-activated polymer that contractors send through a special hose. Both loose fill and spray foam insulation do a good job of filling in the cracks, though spray foam offers a better seal in oddly-shaped spaces.
Walls aren't the only thing keeping your heated or cooled air inside. Your windows are an important part of your house's envelope. If you have old, drafty windows, you probably need to replace them.
A large part of the energy efficiency in windows comes in the glass. Double-paned glass is a good starting point. You can choose to have the space inside filled with an insulating gas such as argon. If heat loss is a major concern, look at the windows' U-value, which measures its resistance to heat loss. For cooling, consider adding a reflective material to the glass.
Concerning frame material, aluminum is not ideal for insulation purposes. Wood is the most energy efficient, while vinyl is a good middle ground choice. Wood-clad vinyl seems to offer the best of the two materials.
Energy Efficient Appliances
Besides heating and cooling, you should save in consumption of electricity. The biggest electricity drains are major appliances. The Do It Yourself Network recommends looking for Energy Star appliances, which have a rating from the Department of Energy. As the site points out, energy-efficient appliances can save you up to $70 a year per appliance in reduced utility bills. If you have appliances around 15 years old, it might be time for replacement.
Add insulation, replace your windows, and use energy efficient appliances to boost your home's eco-friendliness.Share