Spring fever has motivated many a home renovation project. But why put off planning till the flowers are blooming and “to do” lists are calling?
1) Why you should consider installing energy efficient evaporative cooling.
It may seem strange to think about sizzling summer heat when snow is still a possibility. Consider having your cooling system checked so unneeded hassles can be avoided when HVAC contractors are overbooked. Advances in technology over the last decade have shown evaporative coolers as a favorable alternative to air-conditioning! An evaporative cooler does a great job of cooling by combining a natural process – water evaporation with a simple, reliable air-moving system. Fresh outside air is pulled through moist pads where it is cooled by evaporation and circulated through a house. As this happens, the temperature of the outside air can be lowered as much as 30 degrees. An added benefit of evaporative cooling is that it works best in the hottest time of the day.
2) Upgrade your windows
Sure, plain ol’ double panes save on energy, but when triple pane windows with multiple low e (short for emissivity) coatings, warm edge spacers and two spaces filled with argon or krypton gas are used, the savings skyrocket in the summer. Ask a window professional about energy saving windows that are best suited for your home’s location and that qualify for the 2011 tax credit.
3) Fill your Ceilings, Not our Landfills!
Insulating your attic is one of the most effective way to improve the energy efficiency of your home. Cooling in the Summer and Heating in the Winter time becomes easier for your cooling/heating system. Typically, houses in Colorado should have a minimum R-38 to R-60 insulation in the attic. These insulation levels will keep heated and conditioned air from migrating out of the living spaces. Blown-in loose cellulose provides R-3.5 per inch of insulation. Cellulose insulation is made from recycled wood fiber, primarily newspaper. When you choose cellulose insulation you help reduce the waste disposal problem and help fight air pollution. It certainly contributes to a cleaner environment while providing a blanket for your home that will cut the amount you spend on energy.
4) Air Sealing
Air leakage, or infiltration, occurs when outside air enters a house uncontrollably through cracks and openings or conditioned air in the house leaks out. Properly air sealing such cracks and openings in your home can significantly reduce heating and cooling costs, improve building durability, and create a healthier indoor environment. In winter, less cold, outdoor air would replace heated air, reducing drafts and cold areas. In summer, more hot, humid air would be kept out of the house. Another potential benefit associated with reducing air leakage, as with most other upgrades such as improved insulation or windows, is the ability to downsize heating and cooling equipment when it is replaced.
5) Replace those loose gutters with a maintenance free gutter system
There are a number of reasons to consider a gutter protection system. The most important is the safety of your loved ones. Each year, over 175 thousand people fall from ladders. Often times those falls occur while someone is on a ladder cleaning debris from a gutter. Clogged gutters can cause thousands of dollars in damages to your home from rotting fascia boards, landscape erosion and foundation repair, not to mention the convenience of not having to clean your gutters, giving you extra free time to do the things you like to do. And finally, a quality gutter protection system can add value to your home, making your home more desirable when it comes time to sell.
6) Cut energy costs with new landscaping
A well designed landscape can save as much as 25% in cooling costs each year and increase your property value by 15%. Money matters aside, a nicely designed landscape increases your quality of living and adds beauty year round. When planning a landscape upgrade consider going native—this can save energy, water and eliminate harmful chemicals.
7) Create outdoor living space
Get ready for the best days of the year by planning a deck, outdoor kitchen or even an outdoor family room. Boost your home’s marketability and save on energy while enjoying the great outdoors right at home. Explore the possibilities and get free estimates from a outdoor living design professional.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Before warmer days beckon you outdoors to attend to those “to do” lists and long awaited fun in the sun, take the time now to plan energy saving renovations that will make your home more comfortable and cut those energy bills. Enjoy your home more this summer and have more to spend on those fun things in life.