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How to Plan an Energy Efficient Home Renovation

January 19, 2015

If you’re going to renovate your home this year, consider taking the energy efficient route. Start by contacting a RESNET Home Energy Auditor or Rater for an energy audit or rating to determine where and how your home is losing energy. If you opt for an energy rating, compare your home’s before and after HERS Index scores to see the difference that energy-saving measures can make.

Here are 5 areas that you can target specifically to make your home renovation as energy efficient as possible:

1. Fix Dripping Faucets

It’s a small thing, but repairing dripping faucets can save you up to 2,082 gallons of water annually, which is a significant amount of money. Also, think about installing high efficiency showerheads in bathrooms. With high efficiency showerheads, you can expect anywhere up to a 400% return in the course of one year.

2. Make All Your Kitchen Appliances Energy Efficient Ones

When it comes to high utility bills, your refrigerator, dishwasher, stove, washer and dryer can all be major culprits. So when you’re renovating, swap out those older models for newer, energy-saving ones – you’ll notice the change in your energy bill immediately! As for those old appliances, don’t stick them in the garage or pass them down to friends and family – you’re not doing them or yourself any favors. Instead, you’ll find that most counties or states have programs that collect old appliances. They’ll properly recycle, or repair and refurbish and donate them to a family in need.

3. Replace Old Windows with New Energy Efficient Ones

Nearly 20% of a home’s energy loss can be attributed to windows. Energy efficient versions have an invisible coating, which reflects heat back into your home, thus saving both energy and money. If your budget doesn’t stretch to window replacement, consider putting in storm windows or even just simple weather stripping.

4. Energy Efficient Lighting

Replacing the lighting in your home with energy efficient versions will not only make your home look great but also save you a significant amount of money! For example, LED lights can last up 10 years (or 50,000 hours) and use only a fraction of the electricity of incandescent ones. Another good option is compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), which are six times more energy efficient than their incandescent cousins.

5. Invest in an Energy Efficient Roof

You can actually make your roof more energy efficient depending on the shingles you choose. Start by selecting light colored shingles rather than dark ones to reflect heat. This prevents your home from overheating in summer, which reduces the load on your air conditioning. Some estimates claim that a lighter colored roof can reduce heat absorption by up to 40%. Also consider using alternatives to traditional asphalt roofing shingles such as metal, clay or slate, which can be more energy efficient.

Whatever you do, make sure you invest in ENERGY STAR qualified products, and work with certified RESNET home energy professionals and contractors who are specially trained in energy efficiency measures. You’ll see the results in your next energy bill!

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