Steps for Going Green at the Start

Remodeling projects can offer you a chance to start living more environmentally conscious and even add in some energy conservative methods to your home while you're renovating. You can choose sustainable remodeling practices to ensure that your home is green from beginning to end. The right way to go green is by starting with a thorough evaluation, inspecting existing insulation, air sealing, and mechanical systems, such as HVAC and plumbing, You can look for areas to implement solar energy and identify structural problems with your home that are causing energy deficiencies.

Starting with the Envelope


If you're not sure what a building envelope entails, hire a HERS rater, (Home Energy Rating System) or a building performance expert, or any green building consultant to come to your home and look for issues. Common practices include sealing any air leaks and thermal bypasses, renovating your insulation and managing any large amount of moisture and vapor in your home. When you build a greener home, you contribute to the green movement and allow your home to become an example. Consider adding new solar panels and waterless tanks to your home for even more energy conscious choices.

Building Less You should try to reuse as much of your space as well and limit building to a minimum. You can use finished areas instead of constructing new spaces. When you do have to add new space, build up instead of out to reduce the impact on the land, including soil erosion, damage to existing landscape and trees, and adding new surfaces that will increase runoff.

Heating and Cooling


You can incorporate unconditioned areas of your home, such as porches, decks and patios to provide natural ventilation through any windows and doors in your home. This could reduce the amount of energy that you use with an HVAC system.

Window Placement


How you place and where you place windows is a major part of a remodeling project. You should remember that north facing windows will bring in diffused light and don't provide any heat energy. In cold climates, these types of windows will increase your energy usage. On the contrary, south facing windows will be good in all climates, because they can be shaded to avoid summer overheating with modest overhangs. In colder climates, you can gain heat.

Architecture Advances


You shouldn't go against the old architecture. Many homes were built to help with the climates back when HVAC systems weren't installed yet. The way that buildings were structured in the South allowed them better heating and cooling advantages while also protecting from rainfall. You should pay attention to your house's architecture and try not to deviate from the original design.

Amy Wright
Amy Wright is the Lead Editor of Remodeling Central. When she isn't playing with her dogs she is trying to remodel a classic Chicago style brownstone with her husband.

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