Remodeling your home seems like an expense at first, yet this investment in your property can easily lower many costs over time. Remodeling your home can replace older and inefficient items, reducing your needs for repair and replacement, and lowering your overall energy bills. So how exactly does this work?
ENERGY STAR® Products
A quick reference guide to use when selecting your energy-efficient products for your home remodel is to choose certified ENERGY STAR® items (EC). These EC items are based on government efficiency standards created in 1992 when industrial, commercial, utilities, and governments all banded together to create savings for the American Consumer through a non-biased certification agency. Thousands of brands including Truwin have adopted these standards for many building products and the results are clear — 2017 alone, ENERGY STAR products helped Americans avoid $30 billion in energy costs. Additionally, you can often find local rebates for installing EC certified products in your home.
As an added benefit, less energy consumption has affected not only people’s pocketbooks but also the environment. Since the program’s launch, 4 trillion kilowatt-hours less has been used in electricity consumption and a reduction of over 3 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas adds to these achievements.
Some of the best energy-saving solutions include the following.
Electronics and Appliances
A home remodel is the perfect time to update your old energy-guzzling appliances. Chances are no matter what the brand and the type of appliance — if it’s older it isn’t very efficient. While a new refrigerator may not require a remodel, it can be far more difficult to replace installed dishwashers, over-the-range microwaves, and other built-in appliances during regular home maintenance. Take this opportunity to save up to 25% on your utility costs by selecting savings-based options. You can calculate your specific cost differences here through Energy.gov’s Estimator Tool.
And remember that even simple upgrades will make a difference during your remodel, including items like light bulbs. A household will spend up to 5% of its annual budget on lighting, and upgrading as few as five of your most frequently used light fixtures can offer an annual savings of around $45. And speaking of light, there are other ways to reduce your electric light bill.
Windows, Skylights, and Doors
Natural lighting is an obvious solution for high electricity costs from artificial light — and this is most easily achieved through great windows, doors, and skylights. In addition, your most efficient windows will have added features such as Low-E glass to help let in light but not unwanted heat, extra weather sealants to help stop drafts and leaks, and easy openings to allow a cooling breeze when it’s wanted. Windows, in addition to doors, can also help provide added insulation to your home. Using certified EC products, this savings averages out to about a 12% reduction in energy bills annually.
Truwin works to help you discover which green energy changes can help make that remodel pay for itself and why.
Heating, Cooling, and Water
The first step in water reduction is to reduce your consumption as well as stop and repair any leaks. Any new pipes or plumbing items your produce should be leak-free when installed by a professional. In addition, EC certified products should reduce the amount of water and energy needed when in use. You can also get pressure-reducing or water-saving faucets and showerheads if that is needed in your area. Water heaters are yet another source of large energy and utility consumption in a home, the second-largest energy consumer actually. A tankless water heater is a welcome addition to most busy households, reducing the need to schedule shower and cleaning times. By choosing an EC certified option, you could save up to $1500 over the appliance lifetime in gas heating costs.
And heating water isn’t the only large energy consumer, but heating and cooling a house are significant costs too. The first steps in efficient heating and cooling are insulation and weatherization. Consider strongly your home’s installed doors and windows, as well as your siding, roofing, and installation. This is the beginning of keeping your heat or air conditioning on the inside of your home. The next step is an energy-efficient heating and cooling system. Some homes may only need lightweight heaters, a ceiling fan, or a window air conditioner. Larger homes will need a house-wide system to stay comfortable like central air. In fact, experts estimate that if your central air conditioning unit is more than 12 years old, you could save up to 30% on costs by replacing it with an EC certified model.
So take a moment to talk to the experts and add up the figures. Licensed sellers and installers can help you prioritize the remodel options that will earn you back money in utility savings. Identify the most cost-effective upgrades in lighting, appliances, doors, windows, heating, cooling, and water. Take charge of your budget with an energy efficient remodel.