You might think that going Green is “trendy,” but it is not a trend. It is a lifestyle choice, and one that ought to be implemented in your way of living. Incorporating small Green changes and materials in your eco-friendly home can make a big impact on your comfort and in protection of our natural environment. Here are some simple Green remodeling projects you should consider.
- Install energy-efficient windows. Your home can lose up to 30% of its heating and cooling efficiency through its windows. Double- and triple-pane glass energy-efficient windows will save you money on heating and cooling costs.
- Switch to energy-saving appliances. In a typical home, your appliances, including your refrigerator, washer, dryer, and stove, can use up to 20% of your energy bills. With high-efficiency Energy Star appliances, you can save hundreds of dollars on your heating bills alone. In addition, there are rebate programs that can help you retrieve some of the money spent on the upgrades.
- Insulate the water heater. Approximately 25% of each dollar you spend on energy goes towards heating the water. An insulated water heater is much more efficient and is one of the simplest green remodeling projects.
- Install a programmable thermostat. Maximize your energy savings without sacrificing comfort with a programmable thermostat and you can save between 5% and 15% on your heating and cooling bills. Using Smart Home technology, you can control your thermostat remotely.
- Increase natural light. Install skylights to flood rooms with natural light and save on lighting costs. Use automatic blinds to control the time or amount of sun. Switch from incandescent light bulbs to low-voltage lighting and fluorescent bulbs.
- Insulate the roof. Heat flows upward and much is lost through the roof. Roof insulation can help reduce the amount of energy needed to heat your home in the winter and can save up to 13% on your heating bills. Wall cavities can also be fortified with additional blown-in insulation that can be added over existing insulation.
- Switch to natural flooring materials. Switch to hardwoods and Green flooring materials like bamboo throughout your home. Choose responsibly-sourced wood, like that which is certified by the FSC, or Forest Stewardship Council.
- Use natural insulation in the walls. There are a number of types of natural insulation: animal-based like sheep’s wool, plant-based like hemp or cork, and mineral-based like clay or vermiculite. These are not only effective in providing high-efficiency insulation, they have a low impact on the environment, thus making them an excellent green remodeling project.
- Install a low-flow shower head. Using low-flow faucet aerators and showerheats can reduce water consumption up to 50% without sacrificing water pressure, plus you can save on water and energy costs.
- Install a water-saving toilet. A standard toilet can use as much as six gallons of water per flush. Low-flow and dual-flush toilets can significantly reduce your water consumption.
- Look for solar solutions. Passive solar solutions can include heat-reducing film on your windows, awnings or eave overhangs to block direct sunlight, automatic or smart blinds that can open and close in response to temperature changes, and planting shade trees on the side of the house that receives direct sunlight. Installation of solar panels can harness some of the sun’s energy to help with energy costs.
What is Green Construction or Green Remodeling?
Overall, Green construction falls into four categories: reducing energy use, providing a healthy indoor quality of living, efficient use of resources, and a reduction in environmental impact. The guidelines for Green construction are laid out by the U.S. Green Building Council, with its certification in Leader in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, which have become the industry standard. Many people today are looking for simple green remodeling projects for the home that can help them be more comfortable and save money, along with helping to protect our environment.
Talk to Someone Who Knows About Green Remodeling
Here at Schroeder Design/Build, Design Team member Jessica Criqui is LEED Green Certified and can help you design an entire Green home! There are simple Green projects you can implement yourself, however, if you’re looking to create a healthy indoor environment and save money, consider going Green on your next remodeling project like your addition, kitchen remodel or whole house remodel.
When you work with a Design/Build firm like Schroeder, you can design and build your Green home with a single firm. This will not only make the project easier, it will help you control costs, complete the project faster and manage quality more effectively.
This Green project, a whole house remodel in Fairfax, VA, was the 2020 Local, Regional and National winner of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry’s (NARI) Contractor of the Year (CotY) award in the category of Green-Entire House/Addition. Read about its evolution in our Project Stories and virtually walk through this home in our 3D tour.
Contact Schroeder Design/Build
Contact Schroeder Design/Build for your free consultation on Green remodeling. We’re serving clients throughout Northern Virginia.
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