Energy Efficient Remodels: It's Time To Go Green!


Energy Efficient Remodels: Go Green! light bulbs

News headlines today about energy range from home solar panels and homes that generate their own power, homes that are energy independent and recycle rain water for personal use.

You don’t have to go to extreme to be energy efficient, but making changes to your home can help save more energy AND money.

No time is better than during a remodel to make your home energy efficient. The definition of energy efficient is doing more with less power. We aren’t asking you to have a time period where you shut down the lights in your home every day; there will be no walking around with candles bumping into furniture. We are asking you to look deeper and see what other options you have to save energy while living comfortably. Who doesn’t want to see their utility bills cut down by nearly 20-40% every month?

Insulated walls and attic – If your home is not well insulated the rate of heat escaping your house during the winter and entering your home during the summer will be increased. Thus meaning you will be paying more for heating and cooling your house and wasting money. A properly insulated home will stay cooler in the summer and remain warmer during cold months.

Light bulbs- Upgrading traditional light bulbs to LEDs or CFLs light bulbs can save 25-80% energy used and last 25 times longer. If you change out light bulbs not only do you save energy but you will have to replace light bulbs less often.  Changing light bulbs may seem like a minor detail and is often missed when doing home remodeling, but any penny saved counts.

Windows- Ensure your windows are not single glazed and up to par to keep your home the right temperature. Single paned windows should be replaced to cut your air conditioning and heating bill down by 24%. Weather stripping around windows should not be cracked or leaking.

Appliances and Central Air Systems- Having two refrigerators and three deep freezers are a need or a want? If you have any old appliances that you don’t absolutely need or use to its full advantage; recycle them. New energy efficient appliances today are built and designed to save energy without sacrificing style or function. Setting your central air system to a heat and cool point can help regulate room temperature and save energy by turning on only when needed.

Updating furnace- Check the date your furnace was installed. If it was installed before 1992 research shows that it wastes 35% fuel that is uses. Have your furnace inspected for fuel utilization efficiency before you replace it.

Water heater efficiency- Start with checking the water temp setting, it should be turned down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Who takes a scolding shower anyway? By lowering the temperature on your water heater you aren’t making your water heater work harder for no reason, thus saving energy. Another way to save energy is have your water pipes insulated so that they stay warmer longer in between uses. Professional contractors can install a special pump to work on demand and save water heating energy.

Landscaping- Don’t forget about the outside. To lower the heat radiating into your home from the outdoors have shrubs and plants planted around your house. This adds as shade to your home and also a block to the heat. You can add plants that are low maintenance so that you are saving water also.

There are some simple and then more complex ways to make your home remodel more energy efficient.

Consult with a professional to ensure you are making the most out of your energy use.




Eco Friendly Kitchen Ideas – that aren’t so boring


Eco Friendly Kitchen Ideas – that aren’t so boring $30 billion: Money saved by Americans using ENERGY STAR appliances, lights, and windows in 2013, saving the energy equivalent to 277 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.


Eco- Friendly kitchens go beyond just eating green and recycling materials. Now-a-days you have to think bigger and by bigger we mean lots of small details that make your kitchen a true Green Kitchen. Energy-efficient food preparation and cleaning habits, using equipment made from sustainable materials, and tossing out toxic chemicals are also important if you want to have a truly healthy kitchen. Fortunately, making the right choices for your well-being is also good for the pocket and the planet. Who knew that there could be more that we can do besides buying energy star appliances, and installing better insulated windows and doors could make such a positive impact on the earth!

We have broken down design ideas that go beyond just Energy Star appliances and recycled materials for your Green Kitchen remodel.

So of course buying EPA program’s Energy Star appliances can cut down water and energy use by 10-50%. This you should know by now, as the commercials about this are on every few hours, it feels this way at least.  But did you know that Electric stoves are actually the healthier option when it comes to purchasing Gas vs Electric range? Gas stoves can add 25-40% more NO2 or CO to the indoor air pollution than already being produced. Americans spend an average of 90% of their time indoors, which increases the indoor air pollution compared to being outdoors. No matter if you end up choosing a Gas or Electric range, make sure it is simple and remember that it doesn’t have to have any special features that are unnecessary. Quick tip: Save energy by skipping the “Preheat”, newer ovens heat quickly to their setting and do not need to be sitting for 30 mins “getting hot”.  Want to save more water? Efficient dishwashers can cut down on hot water as compared to you washing the dishes by hand! There is your great reason to stop washing all of your pots and pans and utensils by hand!

Also, purchasing good quality utensils and cookware can actually benefit the earth. If you are wasting fewer things, for instance you have to throw out a plastic spatula because it melted; you will save more materials and have a great impact on the environment. Ditch the Teflon – it has a very limited useful lifetime.  Think of the lifetime that each item you buy for your kitchen has the longer the lifetime the more eco-friendly you are becoming. Waste not, want not! You may have to invest a little bit more when it comes to quality utensils, and cookware – but the longer you have these things, the less has to be produced. Less production = less pollution. Quick tip: Use cloth towels for clean ups and ditch the old fashioned paper towels.

Don’t forget; if you can’t utilize any materials from your old kitchen for your new eco-friendly kitchen remodel, see if you can make a few extra bucks by selling them to someone who can use them. This will ensure that old materials and appliances are recycled and not gone to waste.

Check back for more use tips on remodeling and remodeling green.