How-To-Be-Green & Keep
More Green In Your Wallet

How-to-be-green is being talked about everywhere. It’s nearly impossible these days to open the newspaper and not see a story about what-is-going-green and the rapid growth of green building, where new homes are built using materials that conserve energy and environmental resources.

Home owners of green homes said in a survey that they were happier 85 percent of the time with their new green home than with their previous, more traditionally built ones, due in part to the lower operating and maintenance costs that come with energy- and resource-efficient homes.

Save With Green Home Improvement by MonkeySee

But for the 120 million existing homes in the United States, remodeling is the only way for home owners to incorporate green. NAHB Remodelers offers the following suggestions to home owners who want to increase their home’s efficiency, decrease costs, and take advantage of the other benefits that green offers.

How-To-Be-Green Technique 1
Maximize The Insulation

Green Remodeling Wall Section Cutaway to see insulation

Install maximum insulation in the area to be remodeled. Forty percent of the energy consumed in a typical house goes to heating and cooling. Adding insulation is an easy way to increase efficiency. Insulation is rated by its ability to resist heat flow, commonly known as “R-value.”

The higher the R-value, the better its ability to resist heat flow. Adding insulation will help save energy costs, increase comfort by better controlling temperature, and improve indoor air quality by eliminating many gaps through which dirt, dust, and other impurities can enter.

To get an idea of fiberglass pricing that you'll need for your project check out some of these fiberglass insulation products available at Amazon.

Yes you will be amazed at the amount of home improvement inventory that Amazon now carries, AND at a very affordable price.

Or, use our FREE ESTIMATOR to find pros in your area that will do the job for you.

How-To-Be-Green? Technique 2
Save Energy With High-Efficiency Windows

Simonton Window ENERGY STAR Rated Windo Cut Away showing how an ENERGY STAR window works

Install high-efficiency windows instead of those that just meet the energy code. Ordinary window glass transmits ultraviolet heat rays from the sun, which can increase your air conditioning bill dramatically.

ENERGY STAR windows can help control this effect. These windows may have two or more panes of glass, warm-edge spacers between the panes, improved framing materials, and microscopically thin metal or metallic oxide layers deposited on windows to reduce radiant heat flow.

Many homeowners are not comfortable attacking this type of project as you never know what you're going to run into once you start tearing out the old. Then there is also the fact that your replacement windows MUST BE MEASURED accurately or you're on your own.

It's best to hire a pro for this improvements--just use the "Get Free Estimates" widget above. It will prompt you for your zip code, then type of improvement, and windows is one the options, so go for it.

How-To-Be-Green Technique 3
Air Seal All Those Nooks & Crannies

Seal all exterior penetrations in the area being remodeled. You can reduce cold air drafts and heat loss by inspecting your home from the inside and outside and plugging cracks or openings. Be sure to check the areas where window frames meet the structure or siding of the house.

Use caulking to seal all small cracks on non-moving surfaces and weather stripping on windows, doors and other movable parts of the home.

Man sealing knooks and crannies in an attick for proper green remodeling and air sealing

In some cases you may have a larger area to fill than caulking will work well, so you should also consider utilizing a two part foam sealing kit to seal those larger holes gaps once and for all.

Although this job can be done a an avid DIYer you've got to find all of the nook and crannies and get them filled to stop all air infiltration, in and out. I did the three main living floors of my home, then hired a professional to do the my attic and insulate it--WOW what a difference that made.

To get a FREE ESTIMATE from a Pro, just use the "FREE ESTIMATE" widget on the page above and choose the "insulation" link after you've put in your zip code.

How-To-Be-Green Technique 4
Purchase ONLY Energy-Star Appliances

Purchase only ENERGY STAR-rated appliances. ENERGY STAR -rated appliances, ranging from dishwashers and refrigerators to computers and televisions, meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and U.S. Department of Energy.

Qualified refrigerators, dishwashers and vent fans incorporate advanced technologies that use 10-50 percent less energy and water than standard models, more than making up for the slightly higher costs of these products.

Green Remodeled Kitchen Featuring All ENERGY STAR Rated Appliances

What-Is-Going-Green Technique 5
Install Low-Flow Water Fixtures

Lo Flow water fixtures used in green remodeling best practices

Install low-flow water plumbing fixtures. In the average home, flushing toilets accounts for some 30 percent of water usage. By using low-flow plumbing fixtures such as toilets, faucet aerators and showerheads, you can save up to 25 percent of that water compared to conventional fixtures while providing the same utility.

How-to-Be-Green Technique 6
Upgrade The Water Heater

Tankless hot water heater used in green remodeling cut away view

Upgrade to an ENERGY STAR-rated or tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters provide hot water on demand at a preset temperature rather than storing it. Replacing an electric water heater with a solar water heater model can reduce costs by up to 80 percent a year.

Over its 20-year lifespan a solar heater will prevent more than 50 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. A low-cost option is to wrap insulation around your heater, which can reduce standby heat losses 25 to 45 percent.

How-To-Be-Green? Technique 7
Get The Highest Efficiency HVAC System You Can Afford

High Efficiency HVAC System used in Green Remodeling

Purchase the highest efficiency HVAC system you can afford. Over a ten year period, the average home owner spends more than $10,000 for heating and cooling.

Installing high efficiency ENERGY STAR HVAC equipment can reduce utilities costs on average by ten to 30 percent over minimum efficiency equipment.

It also can improve home comfort with more heating and cooling and a quieter operation, and often features higher quality components that result in longer equipment life. This is not a DIY project unless you have the mechanical engineering background to balance air flows, determine air exchanges/hour, cfms, determine heat loss/gain, an on and on. Leave this one to a professional. Use the "Get An Estimate" Widget toward the top of this page and you'll have competing bids in no time flat.

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For more information on how-to-be-green and green remodeling, visit NAHB Remodel

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