Have you noticed how important energy efficiency has become? It wasn’t long ago that most of these words and phrases — not to mention the ideas behind them — weren’t very mainstream at all. Twenty years ago, solar panels were the pet hobby of a select few individuals. In 2018, it’s nearly impossible to go about your day without hearing something about energy efficiency, being environmentally responsible, “going green,” or protecting the environment.
This is, of course, a wonderful thing. It’s good to see people becoming more concerned about the impact their decisions have on the earth, and to think about ways to mitigate and control environmental problems through everyday decisions. It’s also nice to see factories and manufacturers investing more time and money into creating environmentally friendly products and services. The more mainstream it becomes, the better it is for the planet.
Home renovation is one area that affects a huge number of American homeowners every year, and people are always thinking about creative ways to renovate their homes. The object might be to improve market appeal or market value for a possible sale. It might be simply to create the home you’ve always dreamt of — or it might be a combination of these things.
But people normally don’t consider their home renovation plans as something that could make their lifestyles more eco-friendly. This is an interesting fact, since there are many definite ways in which home renovation can translate to a more energy efficient (and thus environmentally friendly) home.
Windows and doors are an obvious example. If you could quantify the amount of heat lost through inefficient doors and windows each year, you’d come up with an enormous dollar figure. By replacing windows and entryways that are faulty or old, you can prevent huge amounts of heat and cooling from leaking out of your house throughout the year. This allows your HVAC system to work more efficiently, lowers your energy costs, and ultimately lowers your environmental footprint.
Insulation is another key. Have you ever thought about the amount of money you could save by upgrading your home’s insulation? The answer might hinge on knowing when your existing insulation was installed, and what kind of quality you’re dealing with. But it’s definitely possible to reduce your environmental footprint by having a professional check your insulation and replace faulty material where necessary. Technology has come a long way, and this includes building materials. If it’s been decades since your insulation was upgraded, this can be a meaningful way to save energy.
Finally, it’s worth looking at upgrading your HVAC system itself. You might have perfectly installed windows and doors, and you might have strong insulation that was correctly installed by a pro — but if you’re running an old and inefficient furnace and/or air conditioner, you simply won’t have the best heating and cooling results. New appliances can solve a lot of problems and save a lot of money in the long run.
There are other things your home renovation contractor can do to make your home more efficient, so it’s worth asking for specifics. Any truly reputable professional will be able to tell you about the best ways to lighten your footprint and help the planet — without compromising your home renovation dreams!