When planning a renovation of your kitchen, bathrooms, or adding additional living space to the home, talk to a professional contractor about creating a house that is more efficient and safer to live in. The benefits of green remodeling include saving money through greater efficiency, improving indoor air and water quality and reducing the negative impact on the environment.
Energy efficiency is the top reason why homeowners choose green remodeling, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelers. Homeowners save money on utility bills when the home is more energy efficient. This is an attractive feature to home buyers, so creating an energy efficient home also adds to its market value. A certified contractor can conduct an energy evaluation of the home and suggest changes that can be made through professional remodeling or even simple changes, like using newer energy-saving lights or installing a programmable thermostat.
Some ways you can improve energy efficiency:
• Hire a professional contractor to replace drafty, old windows with energy-efficient dual paned windows and replace aluminum siding with newer vinyl siding.
• Properly insulating an attic will yield the biggest cost savings-your home will retain heat better during the winter and stay cooler during the summer. There are many insulation options, depending where it’s used, including fiberglass, spray foam, rigid foam board and cellulose. R-values measure the performance of the insulation, so generally the higher the R-value, the better the insulation level.
• Look for the Energy Star symbol when buying new appliances for a kitchen remodel or when replacing a water heater or clothing dryer, Energy Star is a government-backed program and the symbol represents energy efficiency, helping consumers find appliances and other products that provide cost savings through lower energy and water consumption.
• How old is your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system? Systems older than 10 years are not as efficient as newer models. When considering a new system, choose the most efficient model that will efficiently support the size of the home, especially if remodeling includes additional living space.
Other cost-saving measures include installing a programmable thermostat, having the system professionally checked and cleaned annually, and sealing and insulating the ductwork.
IMPROVING INDOOR QUALITY OF LIFE
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