Home Renovation Green Building Tips: Redesigning one’s home presents an opportunity to reconfigure home running expense – a win for the consumer and the environment.
Home renovations are often about improving appearance, but they also provide an excellent chance to cut electricity and gas bills. By including a smart selection of energy efficiency measures in your home renovation, you can save thousands of dollars in utility bills over time. At the same time, you will be lowering the environmental footprint and greenhouse gas emissions of your property.
How LED Lighting Improves Efficiency and Home Appearance
LED lighting is known for its energy efficiency: you can expect savings of over 80% when replacing a halogen bulb, and over 30% when replacing a compact fluorescent light. However, the creative possibilities of LED lighting are less known:
- Some LED products can change their color and lighting intensity, and they include wireless connectivity to be controlled from a smartphone app.
- You can create lighting “scenes”, such as dimming the laps to a warm color when watching a movie.
- There are also LED lamps that can sync with multimedia, and they can be transformed into color-changing disco lights for a party.
Since LEDs are very compact, lamp designers have more freedom when creating lighting products. For this reason, you will find that LED lamps are available in almost any shape and configuration, something that is not possible with conventional lighting.
Improving Energy Efficiency with a Window Upgrade
If your home renovation includes a window upgrade, it also represents a great chance to improve efficiency. Homes lose plenty of heat through windows during winter, and this drives up heating expenses. The opposite happens during summer, when heat gain through windows adds to the running cost of your air conditioner.
Triple-pane windows with coated glass offer the best performance in the market. The gaps between glass panes are vacuumed or filled with an inert gas to improve insulation, and performance is even better when the window has a coating with low heat emissivity. Compared with conventional windows, the best triple-pane windows with coating can reduce winter heat loss and summer heat gain by over 60 %.
How Smart Home Technologies Can Save Energy
Smart homes are much more than a tech hobby. Connected devices can improve comfort, while making your home more efficient. Lighting automation and smart thermostats are two simple and cost-effective technologies that can be added to a home renovation project.
Lighting automation is an excellent complement for LEDs, since it enhances both their energy savings and decorative features. There are many ways to make a lighting system smarter:
- You can program a schedule for lamps that are used the same hours each day, ensuring they are only on when needed. This is also a safety feature, since it gives the impression of occupancy when homeowners are away.
- Occupancy sensors switch the lamps on and off automatically when they detect persons. They normally use ultrasound, infrared sensors, or both.
Mechanical engineers recommend smart thermostats, which save energy by constantly adjusting the temperature for space heating and air conditioning equipment. According to the US Department of Energy, savings of over 10% are possible by setting back the thermostat when a home needs less heating and cooling.
Why Solar Power Is Effective in Homes
Society has relied on power plants for decades, and those that use fossil fuels release many tons of greenhouse gases on an hourly basis. Solar power systems have become much more affordable in recent years, while electricity prices continue to rise. Solar panels save several thousand dollars throughout their service life, which is now rated at 25 years, while sending a clear message that you have a green lifestyle.
In fact, solar power systems can now be obtained without paying upfront: if you have access to a low-interest loan, you can purchase them with the bank’s money and pay the loan with the savings achieved. There are also companies that install photovoltaic systems for zero cash upfront, and ask that you sign an agreement to share the savings with them.
Solar power is an excellent complement for energy efficiency measures in a home renovation. While energy efficiency measures reduce the amount of energy you need, solar panels can provide electricity locally while reducing your power bills further.