Remodeling? Build in Energy Efficiency
Are you planning a home renovation? It's a great chance to remake your energy bill as well. From lighting to appliances to building materials, the choices you make can help improve the comfort and efficiency of your home.
Adding new appliances? Purchase an ENERGY STAR® qualified refrigerator and dishwasher; they use less energy than standard models. Install high-efficiency, LED fixtures and lamps for under-cabinet and ceiling lighting. LEDs use 75 percent less energy than conventional lamps and last a lot longer.
Install WaterSense labeled low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators to conserve water and reduce your water heating costs. While you're at it, seal air leaks and install the appropriate insulation in the walls behind tubs and showers. Finally, control moisture and save energy by installing ENERGY STAR qualified ventilation fans.
By finishing your basement, you can add living space without adding to your energy budget. Insulate basement walls and crawl spaces based on recommended levels. Seal air leaks around plumbing and wiring holes on outside walls. Replace older, single-pane windows with glass block or ENERGY STAR certified high-performance windows. It's also a great opportunity to replace your old clothes washer and dryer with new, ENERGY STAR models.
A bigger home doesn't necessarily mean bigger energy bills. Ask your contractor about advanced framing techniques. Advanced framing can help improve the insulating value of your new walls, while reducing material and labor costs. Make sure all new windows, skylights and doors are ENERGY STAR qualified.
If you're not planning a major renovation, you can still improve the efficiency of your home. Hire a qualified energy auditor to assess your home. You'll receive a customized list of energy-saving recommendations that will improve comfort and efficiency all year long.