Most people undertake home renovation projects in order to make their space more functional or to create more space somehow. What some of them fail to recognise is the opportunity to make the house much more energy-efficient through renovation, thus making the investment even more sensible and worthwhile.
Luckily, today we are able to hear and read a lot about how we can kill two birds with one stone, i.e. make the space both more liveable and environment-friendly. Here are just some of many ideas that can help you start thinking in this direction if you haven’t already considered the option of improving your home even more.
Minimise air exchange
It’s widely known that the more airtight your house is, the less energy is wasted. So, you need to think about making your home as airtight as possible. You need to make sure you don’t lose the air you heat or cool because that means you’ll have to spend more energy to regulate the indoor temperature. Needless to say, this also means you’ll be spending more on your bills.
To begin with, insulate the exterior walls of your home properly. Having an air barrier before installing siding or masonry is one way to achieve the desired effect, but you can also explore other options. Also, every expert will tell you that it’s the roof that poses the biggest problem when it comes to properly insulating your house. Whether you use that part of your home for living or simply as a convenient attic storage, make sure you have proper flooring and roof insulation. Finally, pay attention to any gaps and drafts around the windows and doorways, since they cause a lot of energy waste.
Windows and doors
Again, most people start thinking about replacing their old doors and windows when they reach a state that is beyond repair. In the meantime, such homeowners have spent hundreds or even thousands of dollars because of inappropriate insulation. What you need to do is actually consider how energy-efficient your doors and windows are even if they look fine. Needless to say, no matter how great and functional your new windows and doors are, they won’t help much unless you provide proper insulation to the whole house. Similarly, if you address all other issues, but fail to tackle this problem, the result will be equally devastating.
You need to know that modern windows come with two panes of glass, with some special gases between them. They are also coated with a microscopic layer of metallic oxides that deflect UV rays. They also help keep heat inside the house in the winter and reflect heat away from the house in the summer. Again, make sure there are no gaps around the windows and doors and that they are properly flashed to prevent moisture infiltration.
Insulation is the key
In case you still haven’t realised, we’ll reiterate this simple truth. Insulation is the most important contributor to energy efficiency. We’ve already discussed the attic and exterior walls, but it’s also worth mentioning that if you can’t add an insulation layer to the exterior or interior walls for some reason, you may consider installing it between the two layers of bricks or stud walls. There are different types of insulation materials available now and you should consult an expert to help you choose the best one for your home.
Finally, make sure you address the problem of having locations where conditioned space is in contact with unconditioned one, such as the place where the laundry room meets your unheated garage. That wall needs to be properly insulated if you want your home to be more energy-efficient. The same goes for the floors over unheated areas.
As you can see, it’s quite a challenge to make sure all the points are covered, but it would be a pity to miss an opportunity to renovate your home, upgrade it, invest significant funds and make it more energy-efficient. Not only would you be helping the planet, but you’d also spend much less on your bills, which will see your investment pay off quite quickly.
Tell us your experience, have these tips worked for you?
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