Remodeling your home in an eco-friendly way is not only beneficial to the environment, but to you personally as well. By preserving the earth's precious resources, you can save a great deal of money on your energy bills.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) approximately 56% of the energy consumed in the average American home is composed of heating and cooling, which makes it also the biggest energy expense for these homes. By making the commitment to remodel green, you can reduce your energy consumption anywhere from 30 to 50 percent. If that's not impressive enough, let's put it in perspective.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, if current buildings were remodeled green, they would save $20 billion worth of energy each year. The reason for this is because green remodeling provides your home with maximum energy efficiency by using modified, energy-efficient appliances, adjustable thermostats and airtight, low-emissivity windows.
Remodeling green can be a complex process that requires an entire evaluation of your home called an energy audit. This involves several scientific systems including a blower door and a depressurization fan meant to evaluate the current energy-efficiency of the home. These evaluations will pinpoint where the weak areas of your home are for leaking heat and air conditioning as well as detecting certain appliances that consume a lot of energy. The audit will also take into consideration the climate of your area to determine the extent of insulation to add to your home.
A simple way to patch up air leaks in the home is by utilizing caulk, foam and weather strips. These devices help to combat the mass amount of energy that is wasted on heating and cooling the home when most of it is slipping through poorly insulated areas of the home. Crawl spaces and attics are important areas to pay attention to as these can often have an affect on air leakage. The problem with maximum insulation, however, it is can lock in moisture and become a breeding ground for mold. To combat this, it is recommended that you install proper ventilation systems throughout your home to avoid this problem.
As far as cutting down on other energy usage, you can make a few important changes to the way you use certain appliances in your home. For example, you can use ceiling fans as opposed to air conditioning to save money by circulating air. You can also hang your laundry outside on a clothesline to dry instead of using energy-sucking dryers. Use a microwave instead of the oven because ovens usually take four times as long to cook food and make your kitchen hotter, which forces the refrigerator to work harder to cool. Turn all lights, appliances and air conditioner/heating systems off when you're not in the house. This may seem like common sense, but surprisingly this contributes to a large amount of energy consumption.
Finally, there are many incentives for remodeling green and the process itself is relatively simple. It's time to stop making excuses and make the commitment to go green today.