As the warmer temperatures start to dominate each week, many homeowners are thinking about what they can do to save money and energy during the hot summer months. There are plenty of small and large changes that can help to increase the energy efficiency of a home while decreasing energy costs. Improvements can be made both on the outside and the interior of your home. This post will give you energy efficiency tips on what home improvement projects can help save you the most in energy bills.
Remodel Your Bathroom
A bathroom renovation is a great opportunity to improve your home's energy efficiency, while lowering your bills by updating old lighting fixtures and appliances. Talk to your bathroom contractors about lighting for your bathroom that uses less energy. Both Energy Star qualified LED bulbs and compact fluorescent bulbs use very little energy. Some residential LED bulbs use up to 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than regular light bulbs. We also recommend making your bathroom more water efficient by purchasing a low-flow showerhead that will reduce the amount of water you use while taking a shower.
Replace Your Windows
Your windows greatly affect how much you pay for energy in the summer months. That being said, vinyl replacement windows are one of the most energy efficient options available. Vinyl replacement windows are extremely effective insulators for your home, due in part to the windows low U-factor. Essentially, a U-factor score measures the heat loss or gain through a material, so the lower the value, the greater the window's resistance is to heat flow and the higher its insulation. Additionally, many vinyl windows include two or three panes of glass, has low-e coating and multiple insulation glazes. These features provide better thermal protection for your home and increase the effectiveness of your AC in the summer. Also, vinyl windows are recyclable so that eventually, when you replace them, they can be reused to make new resources. Vinyl replacement windows easily meet all of Energy Star's eco-friendly criteria, which qualify you for federal tax credits.
Carefully Landscaped Trees
Strategically planted trees can help you to cut down on home energy waste. In the past, the original layouts and tree positioning of most lots were governed by builders' profit models, not energy savings, so it's up to homeowners to position clusters of trees to shade windows and rooftops in summer. Trees and shrubs can act as natural insulators, reducing the air temperature surrounding homes by as much as 9 degrees.
Deciduous trees, which provide shade in summer, then shed their leaves to admit sunlight in winter, are the best choice for the New England climate. Evergreens are more effective in providing windbreaks that reduce chilly northerly winds, as long as they are positioned away from the house at a span that's from two to five times the trees' heights. Obviously large trees and evergreen windbreaks are long term investments that require careful planning and consideration, and poor choices of species or locations can actually do more harm than good. Also, don't fail to consider the maintenance requirements of plants.
Replace Your Entry Doors
Another way to save money on energy bills is to replace your entry door with an energy efficient door. Nearly all Therma-Tru doors, for example, are Energy Star qualified and NFRC certified. Energy Star rated doors must insulate well and provide a complete seal. Fiberglass doors insulate up to five times better than wood doors. Fiberglass entry doors do not conduct heat, which minimizes the exchange of heat between the two sides of the door, and in the winter, your door will be warm to the touch. According to the professionals at EnergyStar.gov, replacing drafty doors with energy-efficient doors that meet Energy Star requirements lowers energy bills by 7-15%. Each of the doors we use for our projects is sturdily constructed of durable fiberglass or steel around an insulated core, and then finished with triple-seal weather-stripping to maximize energy savings.
Fiderio & Sons | Energy Efficiency Experts
As you can see, choosing the right connecticut remodeling home improvements can save you money beginning almost immediately and can increase the resale value of your home, while also making your home a more comfortable place to live. In the future many homebuyers are going to be more concerned with energy efficiency and total cost of ownership. If you are interested in learning more about home remodeling, check out our FREE Home Remodeling & Addition Check list below. And as always, we would be glad to assist you with any project.