Taking a home built prior to energy-efficient developments and turning it into a green home sounds like a huge undertaking and extremely expensive. Instead of doing a complete home makeover, consider making modest upgrades that will put you on the green pathway.
Start with an energy audit. An energy assessment will evaluate your home’s green status, giving you an idea of which upgrades you should consider doing. It will determine the source of any energy loss, systems operating inefficiently, and the best cost effective measures to take. This may seem overwhelming, and it might be, but it’s a great starting point instead of jumping on a project without knowing if it was the right choice.
Upgrade or replace windows. The source of significant heat loss often comes from windows that are more than 20 years old. Also, if you have single-pane windows in your home you may want to consider changing to double-pane windows which are more efficient at keeping heat in and cold out.
Insulate your home. Insulating your home will help with reducing the rate of heat-flow out of the house during cold weather and in the house during warm weather. Improving your home’s insulation will also save you money by cutting utility costs.
Choose smarter siding. If your home is in need of new siding, consider these factors: how long will the material last; is the material recyclable; and if the material is readily biodegradable in landfills. Also consider the maintenance that comes with the siding. High-maintenance requires frequent upkeep, which means using additional resources and energy during the siding’s lifecycle.
Going green doesn’t have to be scary. Making a few modest upgrades is a great way to start off without breaking the bank. Start the process with an energy audit to determine the best upgrades for your home. Create a plan that keeps you within your budget and on track with going green.
Article by Danny Paradee of Neponset Valley Construction