Remodeling Your Home? Make it Energy Efficient
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.
Here are a few simple suggestions to get you started:
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 and boost the bottom line on your energy budget as well. Add insulation to 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.
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.
For more energy-saving ideas and remodeling tips, see Home Design & Remodeling from the U.S. Department of Energy.