Your reasons for renovating can be as varied as the trees in the forest. Whether it’s for comfort, or to increase the value of your home, your reasons are your own. With an increased focus on green initiatives in our every day lives, we thought we’d take some time to talk about renovating your home for energy efficiency.
Your home is a grouping of sophisticated systems that all work together to keep you and your family safe and comfortable. Everything that makes up your home, including your siding, ventilation, heating and cooling systems and even your family’s activities can affect how the system works. So the question becomes “what can you do to help that system run more efficiently?”
First things first, schedule a home evaluation (click here). The evaluator will prepare an in-depth energy efficiency report. This report is going to show you how much energy you’re using, and give you insights into what upgrades can improve the efficiency of your home. Using that information, you can decide what you should renovate.
The Basics: Start with the easy stuff.
- Increase the insulation in your home so it meets minimum recommended values. That would be your walls, floors, attic, and basement.
- Drafts can also be an energy sucker, so air sealing is going to be important as well. Check around your doors and windows to make sure air isn’t seeping in.
- Roof repairs can increase the performance of what’s called the building envelope, which is your siding and roofing among a few other things that make up the outside of your home.
- Replace older style light bulbs with CFL bulbs.
Next Steps: Once you’ve got that stuff done, there are a few more things you can do to increase the efficiency even more.
- Consider replacing your current heating and cooling system. If you’re running on oil or electric heat, you can find more efficiency with mini-splits or heat pumps.
- It’s a big job, but a full roof replacement can increase the performance of your house’s envelope. The tighter the envelope, the less that seeps in and out.
- Your windows, doors, and skylights are often the biggest culprits of energy loss in a home. If your home is older, it could be time to replace your windows and doors. Speak to your contractor to find out what products they offer that have the best energy ratings to help you be more efficient in the long run.
While it can often be a big expense upfront, renovating your home for energy efficiency makes sense, in the long run, both for your pocketbook and for our planet.