Home Renovation Tips
Start with an Energy Audit
Start with a Home Energy Audit
Looking for great home renovations tips? After the dreams have settled in, and you’re looking at the first home renovation tips to accomplish your dreams, make green living one of your renovation goals, and start with a Home Energy Audit. Knowing how you and your home use energy, and knowing where your “energy leaks” are, you can plan to not only make your home nicer to live in, but also be more energy efficient – saving energy which will save you money. And it can actually reduce the cost of the renovation because of tax incentives, credits, and other government sponsored savings. So home renovation tips save you money during your renovation, and you save money on your utility bills for all the years following the renovation because of the home energy savings you incorporate into your remodeling.
A home energy audit is not just a quick mental walk through the rooms of your home. It must be a real audit. There are many good instructions and forms that can guide you through the audit of each room of your home, so carry a clipboard with forms to record your observations and keep accurate records of everything in each room that uses energy (even an unheated garage uses energy if they are attached to the house); electricity, gas, whatever: lights, clocks, heaters, air conditioners, timers, etc., along with estimates of the amount of time each energy consumer runs and the amount of energy it consumes. The types of windows you have and how much energy they are likely to lose every year. What you will find as you walk through each room carefully observing, recording, and analyzing energy users, usage, and loss, you will also see places where you want to make sure that your renovations and updates include energy saving ideas and concepts, ways to conserve energy – new windows and doors, insuring that outlets on outside walls have insulating pads installed inside to keep cold air out of the room, as much insulation as possible, sealing all cracks where cold air comes in during the winter months, or warm air leaks in during the summer months, changing old fashioned, energy wasting incandescent light bulbs to energy saving L.E.D., or Compact Fluorescent bulbs, energy saving curtains and drapes, etc. And while you budget for your renovations, also budget for energy saving – it will save you money.
So where will you be looking to create energy and money savings as you create your renovated living space?
Home Renovation Tips
- Energy Star – Always look for high Energy Star rated materials and appliances every step of the way
- Energy Efficient Windows – if you will be replacing windows make sure your select the best windows for your climate and exposure – will cold rejection be more important than shielding from sunlight?
- Energy Efficient Heating – if you will be changing your heating system, investigate the most energy efficient, Energy Star unit or system
- Energy Efficient Air Conditioning – as with Heating, investigate the most energy efficient, Energy Star air conditioning units or system
- Energy Efficient Hot Water – will you need to replace your water heater? Look for any savings you can find in newer, Energy Star technologies.
- Water Conservation – look at energy saving high rated Energy Star appliances: dishwasher, clothes washing and drying, shower heads and faucets, etc.
- Exterior – look to create shade wherever possible, awnings over windows, and plantings to shade the house from the sun
- Weatherization – paying careful attention to where weather leaks into and out of your home can save you a great deal of energy and money
- Is it time to add solar panels to your roof to create solar electricity, solar hot water, or both?
- Is there a place you might be able to add a windmill electric generator to your property?
- As you design your interior spaces, make sure you incorporate blinds, drapes and other shading to work with curtains and blinds to keep the sun out during the warmer months and keep the heat in during with cooler months
- Make it look GOOD! Your deserve an energy efficient home, but you should also be happy living there, so it should look good
- Preventive Maintenance
- Look at energy saving design credits and tax advantages
Here are more detailed home renovation tips about your own Home Energy Audit.