Making Your Home More Energy Efficient During a Renovation
Thinking of doing a home renovation? Whether it’s just one room or your entire home, you can prepare to save money by keeping energy efficiency at the forefront of your project. Most houses, especially older homes, could benefit from new technology. Major advancements have been made in the manufacturing of appliances, insulation, plumbing, and more that allow homeowners to use significantly less energy. While you’re renovating, you might as well save yourself some money now and in the future by making some energy saving improvements such as a new heating and air system.
Before you start your remodeling project, it helps to have a professional energy audit performed on your home to uncover any energy drains that could be costing you extra each month. Berico offers free energy audits for anyone who wants to reduce their household energy usage.
Potential Areas that are Energy Drains in Your Home
- Air conditioners
Outdated appliances or leaky ductwork can waste a lot of energy in your home. Places where cold air leaks in during the winter or where hot air gets in over the summer cause your HVAC system to work much harder and run more often to heat or cool your home. Older appliances waste a lot of energy when compared to newer appliances. Even the type of lightbulbs you use can make a difference. Remodeling gives you the opportunity to reevaluate your home and make energy efficient upgrades.
Install a New Heating and Air System for the Biggest Energy Savings
If you really want to see a noticeable difference in your energy bill, start by replacing your biggest appliances like your HVAC system. Heating and cooling account for at least half of the energy usage in the average American home. Advances in technology have brought us high-efficiency HVAC systems that use a fraction of what older systems require. An air conditioner that is even 8 years old is significantly less efficient than a newer model. Furnaces tend to last longer and therefore get replaced much less often than air conditioners, which means there’s a good chance you have an old, inefficient heating system right now. If you are remodeling, especially if you’re adding onto your home, it’s a great time to consider a new home comfort system. Adding significant square footage to your home most likely means you will need a bigger HVAC system that can handle the additional space.
Of course the biggest reward comes from the biggest investment. You may find that HVAC replacement pays for itself in the long run in the form of lower monthly bills. Save money by watching for specials, discounts, and rebates on energy efficient systems from your HVAC company. Many offer discounts to new customers as well as loyal customers on AC and furnace replacement.
Next Stop for Major Energy Savings: The Kitchen
If you’re renovating your kitchen, upgrading appliances is a basically a must. Refrigerators, ranges, dishwashers, and microwaves all use a significant amount of your household energy budget. Upgrading to energy efficient appliances will help keep your monthly utility bills lower, from electricity to water. Besides, new appliances will go a long way toward helping you achieve a fresh look for your kitchen and add significant resale value to your home. Lighting is another aspect of any kitchen remodel that provides an opportunity to save energy. The use of fluorescent, halogen, or LED bulbs require less energy, give off more light, and emanate less heat, thus saving energy in multiple ways.
Bathroom Renovation: Conserve Both Water and Energy for Double the Savings
Remodeling your bathroom offers many opportunities to save money. Start by installing a low flow showerhead in your new shower or tub. Try to avoid the temptation to install multiple showerheads. It may be luxurious, but it doubles, if not triples, the amount of water used when you shower. You can also conserve water with a low flow toilet and reduce your water usage by 500 gallons a year simply by installing an efficient sink faucet. This also allows your water heater to produce less hot water, which saves significant energy. Consider a tankless water heater for the optimum energy savings. It may cost more up front, but the advantages outweigh the costs. A tankless water heater heats water on demand, eliminating the need for a tank and ensuring that there is a limitless supply of hot water in your home.
High efficiency exhaust fans, lighting, and alternate heating elements are some ways to save electricity in the bathroom. Radiant floor heating is much more efficient and feels warmer for bathrooms than forced air heat. Fluorescent, LED, and halogen bulbs work well in bathrooms where a lot of light is required. Installing a high efficiency bathroom fan and using it sparingly can also help use less electricity and regulate indoor temperature.
Insulation: How to Quit Fighting a Losing Battle
One of the biggest energy drains in your home could be lack of proper insulation. When your home was built, most likely, there was insulation installed in all the usual places like walls and ceilings. But as a home settles and endures varying temperatures and humidity, cracks can form in walls, around doors and windows, and in floors. Weather stripping around doors wears out over time as the rubber hardens and cracks. Extra caulking around window pains and door frames can help keep outdoor air where it belongs, outside. Adding or replacing weather stripping around doors goes a long way toward keeping outdoor air from leaking in. A remodeling project is an opportunity to improve on or increase insulation. If you are adding onto your home, make sure the new part is fully insulated from the beginning and you’ll save a lot of energy.
Ductwork is an often overlooked area when it comes to insulation. When you have a forced air HVAC system in place, the air travels through a series of ducts to the vents in each room of your home. If ductwork is leaky or not properly insulated, conditioned air can escape and outside air can get in, causing your furnace and air conditioner to work overtime. Be sure to have the ductwork installed by a professional in any new part of your home to be heated or cooled to ensure proper insulation and operation.
Save on your Renovation with Professional, Reliable HVAC Replacement by the Experts at Berico
Saving energy directly translates to saving money. If you want to save money, start with a free energy audit by Berico. An expert technician will evaluate your home and find your biggest energy drains, then come up with a comprehensive plan to help you fix them. From furnace replacement to ductwork installation, Berico provides solutions to save you money and make your home more comfortable. A home renovation project offers the perfect opportunity to reevaluate your household energy usage and make a positive change. Whether you’re remodeling current rooms in your home, adding on, or finishing a basement or attic space, you can plan for the future and keep energy costs low. Check out the current specials on a new heating and air system and professional installation by Berico.