Reducing your home’s carbon footprint helps the environment, and it also cuts your utility costs and boosts the home’s resale value. It only takes a few years, in many cases, for the energy savings to outweigh the costs of the updates. By integrating the energy-efficiency updates into a home remodel, you can save time and money. Quality DesignWorks, a design-build company in Gainesville, FL, explains how to make your home green during renovations.
Home Energy Audit
The first phase in any remodel is a design plan created by the design-build company and the client. Once in place, all else follows that design plan. Similarly, when making a home more energy-efficient, the starting point is a home energy audit. The audit highlights the key energy problems that the renovations will solve. Qualified energy-auditors include the regional utility company and the design-build company that is performing the remodel.
Following an energy audit, a typical home shows five primary sources of energy problems.
- Missing or insufficient insulation in the walls and ceilings.
- An over-sized or inefficient water heater.
- Inefficient incandescent lighting throughout the home.
- An outdated HVAC system or a system with leaky ductwork.
- Air leaks in the attic, crawl space, and around electrical outlets and windows.
The two categories of home energy-efficiency updates are construction updates and technology upgrades. Both types of updates are doable while remodeling in Gainesville.
During home renovations, there are several construction updates to consider. These updates either solve a notorious energy problem or proactively conserve natural resources.
New insulation can preserve up to 80 percent of the hot and cool air in a home. During a remodel when the walls are exposed is a perfect time for the builders to replace the old insulation with more energy-efficient insulation. For the best results, use insulation that has the recommended thermal resistance or R-value.
If there is a home addition or new construction in the remodel, ask the builders at that stage if they could reduce the amount of lumber in the framing to meet the building code’s minimum requirements. Reducing the framing preserves a natural resource, makes room for more insulation, and is safe structurally.
Bathroom renovations are popular remodel projects. The adjustments tend to be aesthetically significant, such as upgrading the countertops, sink basin, and floor tiles. But one energy-efficiency upgrade is to install a low-flow showerhead. These heads conserve water and energy from the water heater.
For new doors or windows, ask the builder to also install weather stripping. Weather stripping is a low-cost product that can prevent drafts and, in turn, lower your utility bills. If your budget allows, switching to insulated doors and windows is an effective way to make a home energy-efficient.
During a remodel, there are several features in the house that merit technology upgrades to bolster efficiency. Your home remodeling company may also employ designers who can source the specific upgrades, saving you trips to the home-improvement store.
New light fixtures are hot design items in remodeling projects. But instead of choosing chandeliers or overhead lights based on looks alone, also consider the energy ratings. Many modern lights use Fluorescent bulbs, which illuminate homes better but use less energy. For lighting tips, consult designers at the remodeling company you hire.
Many people take the opportunity of a remodel, when the walls may be exposed, to replace home insulation. Rather than traditional fiberglass insulation, which can leave gaps for warm or cool air to escape, newer technologies of insulation, such as spray-on foam insulation, make homes more energy-efficient and green.
Hire A Gainesville Design-Build Company
Making your home energy-efficient could be easier than you think. At Quality DesignWorks, we can integrate eco-friendly updates seamlessly into a home renovation. We also have a variety of green products and materials available. Our design-build company is known for its modern, innovative, yet sustainable home remodels in Gainesville, FL. Before your eyes, we take your design ideas from renderings to reality. And since we start every project with a deliberate plan, your budget and expectations are always front-and-center. Contact us to discuss energy-efficiency updates and more home remodel ideas!