Going green is a popular topic with today’s homeowners. It’s easy to incorporate eco-friendly building materials and energy-efficient products in new home construction, but what about existing homes?
According to national housing studies, there are over 125 million homes in America that are at least 32 years old or older. These homes were built when energy costs were cheap, so they lack the energy-efficient materials and features found in newer homes with green construction.
Green remodeling offers immediate energy savings and health benefits for homeowners, but it also offers long-term benefits. Every remodeling project that doesn’t encompass green technology is a missed opportunity with implications that will last for generations. For example, assume that each home that gets remodeled may not be remodeled again for 30 years. If every home renovation project was a green remodel, each homeowner would experience 30 years of reduced energy bills, lower maintenance costs, healthier indoor air quality, and improved home comfort. Every project that’s not a green remodel deprives current homeowners as well as future buyers of their homes of the benefits of going green.
What Makes a Remodel Green?
With a green remodel, you’re looking to incorporate three important features: energy efficiency, resource conservation and healthy indoor air quality. Whether your house is old or new, planning for a green remodel is the same. In an older home, start with a home energy audit to see where the biggest green opportunities are, and then look for ways to incorporate those improvements into the scope of your remodeling plans.
Green Building Products
Green building materials are made from renewable, rather than nonrenewable resources. Green materials are environmentally responsible because their environmental impacts are considered over the life of the product. There’s a wide range of green building products available today. You’ll find lumber; roofing; siding; flooring; paints and stains; insulation; soundproofing; decking and fencing; doors and windows; and caulks and adhesives that meet sustainable regulations.
Energy-efficient products are available for exterior and interior remodels. Exterior products like solar panels, cool roofing, and energy-efficient siding, doors and windows help to conserve energy and reduce home energy costs. These products provide improved comfort and even temperatures within your home. Interior products include energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment, water heaters, programmable thermostats and a variety of household appliances.
For more information on the benefits of going green, get more details on green remodeling for your home.