Did You Know That.....
May is National Home Remodeling Month?
Remodeling that includes sustainable features, durable and healthier design is skyrocketing in popularity than at any other time before: It may be to save on utility costs, to redesign spaces to better suit the family's lifestyle or to be better caretakers of our natural resources (in fact, over the next five years, the percentage of remodelers who will be doing more than 60% of green projects is expected to double).
Some of the top upgrades for a more energy-efficient home include: Putting in high-efficiency windows, low-flow water fixtures, replacing appliances and water heaters with ENERGY STAR-rated models, and buying the best HVAC system you can afford-or a heat pump.
Installing High-efficiency Windows
Regular window glass transmits ultraviolet rays from the sun, which will greatly increase the cost of your air conditioning bill. ENERGY STAR windows can help control this because: These particular windows may have two or more panes of glass, warm-edge spacers between the panes, improved framing materials and microscopically thin metal or metallic oxide layers deposited on windows to reduce radiative heat flow.
Installing Low-flow Water Plumbing Fixtures
Did you know that in the average home, flushing toilets adds up to 30 percent of water use? Using low-flow toilets, as well as faucet aerators and showerheads can save up to 25 percent of that same water use.
Buying ENERGY STAR-rated Appliances
There are many ENERGY STAR appliances: Dishwashers, refrigerators, vent fans, TVs and computers (including the one I'm working on!) among others, all meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and U.S. Department of Energy (advanced technologies are incorporated that use 10 to 50 percent less energy and water. These products may cost more in the short-term, but in the long-term, they'll more than recoup your money back).
Buying the Highest Efficiency HVAC System That's Affordable
Did you know that over a 10-year period, the average home owner will end up spending more than $10,000 for heating and cooling? Installing a high-efficiency HVAC can reduce costs on average by 10 to 30 percent.
Buying a Heat Pump
Here's a few reasons to consider:
They're energy-efficient, having lower operating costs than conventional heating or cooling devices.
Heat pump filters clean the air, thus improving the overall quality of it.
Heat pumps save space because they're always situated outside the home.
You won't need an air conditioner; heat pumps both heat and cool your home.
And since they heat and cool a home, the heat pump will add value, becoming more desirable to potential buyers.
To learn more about green remodeling (and for a list of HBA certified contractors) or to find a remodeler in your area, visit www.MyHBAworks.org or www.nahb.org/remodel.
The Home Builders Association (HBA) represents local contractors that not only build new homes, but also remodels existing ones.
(Please Note: The HBA encourages consumers to verify that a contractor is an actual member even if they're using the HBA logo).
Sources: “May is National Home Remodeling Month” by HBAMV, Special to the Vindicator-The(Sunday) Vindicator, May 4, 2014, “Try these easy ways to green your home”-Home Builders and Remodelers Association of the Valley-Special to the Vindicator-The (Sunday) Vindicator, July 28, 2013 and Permission for use of heat pump info from heatpumpinfofraphic.jpg given by www.outcareyourcompetition.com.