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Green Home Remodeling Part I

Economical Options

When remodeling a home, homeowners are faced with a vast array of decisions. From spatial orientation to color choices, there are an endless number of ways a homeowner can make their house a home. Yet, one decision should be easy – going green! A green home remodel will not only improve the aesthetic appeal to your home, but can also offer (depending on the level to which it is done) additional value, monthly savings on utility bills, increased indoor air quality, and of course the added benefits to the environment. There are green remodeling options for every remodeling budget.

An energy audit is one of the least expensive ways to make your remodeling project greener. An energy auditor will come to your home and perform tests to see where your home is leaking energy. The auditor may take a thermal imaging picture of your home, to visually see where heat escapes. A blower door test may also be conducted, making the infrared more effective in determining overall points of heat-loss. With this test, a 15- to 20-mile per hour wind is simulated in the house, depressurizing the interior, so the auditor can see where heated air is leaking and recommend appropriate weatherization methods.

Weatherization involves a variety of activities homeowners can undertake to make their home more energy efficient. Simple weatherization techniques include sealing gaps, cracks and holes often found around windows and doors, as well as where wiring and pipes penetrate floors and ceilings. Recessed light fixtures are also an area for weatherization to prevent air and heat from leaking into the unconditioned attic. Other weatherization techniques include: storm doors, storm windows, exhaust dampers, and installing energy efficient windows. Depending on the extent of the weatherization needed, once the areas of heat and air escape are identified, a typical homeowner can invest as little as $250 to $300, to reap the benefits of having a more energy efficient home.

See Green Home Remodeling Part II: Higher Cost