With the cost of water and electricity rising year by year, many homeowners take energy efficiency into serious consideration when deciding how to remodel their homes. Whether you’re primarily concerned with lowering your utility bills or with reducing your environmental footprint, you’ll be happy to know that energy-saving home improvements can also increase your comfort and improve both the aesthetics and resale value of your home. Some of the top energy-saving home improvements are:
1. Sealing and insulating: Sealing the outside envelope of your home from drafts is an essential first step in saving energy. This may also include replacing exterior doors with new, better-insulated ones, which can also improve your home’s curb appeal. It’s also important to seal up any leaks from your ductwork that may be venting cool or warm air into spaces that don’t need it. Finally, adding insulation in attic spaces and walls will help keep your house warm in winter and cool in summer without having to overwork your HVAC unit.
2. Low flow fixtures: With new improvements in low-flow technology, adding low-flow shower heads, toilets, and faucets no longer means sacrificing comfort for water savings. These additions can mean significant savings not only on your water bill but also on your energy bill, as you can enjoy the same hot, luxurious shower you always have without using nearly as much water.
3. Energy efficient HVAC with programmable thermostat: An older heating and air conditioning unit can be one of the worst energy hogs in a home. A modern, energy-efficient unit coupled with a programmable thermostat can lower your utility bills considerably while keeping you in comfort. The newest thermostats on the market can even be adjusted remotely by smartphone, giving you instant control over your energy usage.
4. Updating appliances: As with HVAC units, energy-intensive appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers have improved considerably in both energy and water use over the years. In particular, an old refrigerator is a smart bet to replace—new stricter Energy Star guidelines for refrigerators came into effect in 2014, and as an appliance that runs 24-7 and typically lasts 15 to 20 years, a refrigerator represents a significant chunk of a home’s energy usage. Newer appliances also typically offer updated features and improved performance over their older counterparts.
5. Replacement windows: New energy-efficient windows don’t just offer energy savings, they can also significantly improve the look of your home. Double-paned windows help to eliminate energy loss through drafts and heat transfer, and special coatings can help control heat loss or gain through the windows, depending on the season.
To determine the best energy-saving upgrades for your home, it’s a good idea to consult with a remodeling company experienced in evaluating the overall needs of your home and formulating a strategy to maximize energy efficiency and lower consumption. To find out how you can incorporate smart energy-saving upgrades into your next remodeling project, contact the experts at Sea Pointe Construction today.