Watt, Why & How e-Newsletter

Remodeling Your Home? Make It More Energy Efficient!

Home remodelingRemodeling is a great way to make your home more comfortable and attractive. It also provides an opportunity to improve energy efficiency, helping to reduce energy costs and protect the environment. Here are a few suggestions to help you get started.

Kitchen. Save energy in the kitchen by installing ENERGY STARqualified appliances, such as refrigerators and dishwashers. Consider high-efficiency, light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures and lamps for under-cabinet lighting. LEDs not only use less energy than conventional lamps; they last much longer and are more durable.

Bathrooms. Conserve water and reduce water heating costs by adding low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets. While you are at it, seal air leaks and install the appropriate insulation in the walls behind tubs and showers. Finally, control moisture and save energy by installing ENERGY STAR qualified ventilation fans.

Room additions. Use advanced framing techniques to lower costs and improve energy efficiency, and to reduce the amount of materials needed and minimize waste. Advanced framing replaces lumber with insulation material, increasing the overall insulation value of entire walls. Install ENERGY STAR qualified windows, doors, and skylights, and make sure outside walls are insulated to recommended levels to maximize energy efficiency.

Basement. Finishing your basement not only adds living space for your family, it is an opportunity to reduce energy costs as well. Add insulation to basement walls and crawl spaces based on the levels recommended by the U.S. Department of Energy. Seal air leaks around all plumbing and wiring holes on outside walls and in the crawlspace. Replace older, single-pane windows with glass block or ENERGY STAR certified high-performance windows.

For more energy-saving ideas and remodeling tips, see Home Design & Remodeling from the U.S. Department of Energy.

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