Deciding to remodel can be a challenge under the best circumstances, and keeping your project environmentally friendly can make it seem even more difficult. When you consider the environmental impact of materials, toxic off-gassing, wasted energy consumption, and other concerns, it can feel overwhelming.
As green homes have moved into the mainstream, it is easier than ever to take concern for the environment into account. There has been huge growth in the number of green home remodels; by 2018 an estimated 62 percent of home builders will be constructing homes that are at least 60 percent green.
The first step to cutting the environmental impact during renovations is to work with a construction company that shares your convictions. When you plan a remodel with San Diego custom home builders like Wardell Builders, you can count on a commitment to sustainability.
1- Look for heating and cooling systems that are energy-efficient.
Install systems that have high Energy Efficiency (EER) or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratings (SEER). Higher-efficiency systems will reduce your energy costs and consumption. Tankless water heaters are another green choice; they reduce water use while decreasing energy usage as they heat water on demand rather than keeping an entire tank hot 24 hours a day.
2- Install solar panels
There is no better choice for renewable, low-cost clean energy than everyone’s favorite star. Use Google’s Project Sunroof website to evaluate the potential for solar panel installation on your roof and help you position your panels. You could even generate enough energy to sell your surplus power back to your utility company. Additionally, install passive solar elements like southern-facing windows and skylights to take further advantage of natural light and decrease electricity usage.
3- Use Sustainable Building Materials
Working with San Diego home builders to incorporate sustainable materials into your remodel is essential to reducing reliance on nonrenewable resources, decreasing toxic emissions, and eliminating material off-gassing into your home. There are a number of materials you can use in your custom remodel that have a low environmental impact, including bamboo, cork, recycled glass, concrete, and reclaimed wood. Products certified by The Greenguard Environmental Institute guarantee that your project will stay as eco-conscious as possible.
4- Replace your windows
Look for windows that have the Energy Star label to reduce heat loss and increase energy efficiency. Homeowners could see savings as high as $340 per year by installing windows with the Energy Star label. Another bonus is that these windows reduce noise from outside, making your home quieter and more relaxing.
5- Replace outdated appliances
While you are renovating, don’t forget to swap old appliances for new products with Energy Star ratings to save on utility costs and reduce energy consumption. Energy-hogs that should be replaced include:
Washers and dryers
Stoves and ovens
6- Invest in a cool roof
A traditional roof can get as hot as 150°F in the summer, making your home hotter by absorbing the heat of the sun. You can reduce your summer air conditioning use by using reflective materials, which can lower temperatures by over 50°F. Cool roof coatings can be as easy to apply as paint or you can work with your home remodeling San Diego experts on a complete installation of reflective shingles.
When you work with a team that understands your commitment to the environment, even the largest green remodeling project will stay worry-free. For more information on services, pricing or design ideas call (858) 793-4190 or fill out our contact form. We look forward to seeing you.