The Remodeling Corner

Janet Cook

Home remodeling is primarily an investment in one’s quality of life, and a monetary one as well. A savvy homeowner thinks long term, including aging in place and green remodeling elements that will save money as well as make for a healthier home environment. By specifying products that will save on energy and water costs, the smart homeowner can save thousands over a 10 year period, and make the home more attractive when it is time to sell.

The costs to heat and cool the home make up about 40-50 percent of a home’s energy bill. A programmable thermostat provides the greatest return on investment. Utilizing the thermostat to be five degrees cooler in the winter while you are sleeping, to adjust use your heating/cooling system less when you are not at home (including vacations), can save $1,800 over a 10 year period. If you have a “time of use” plan, during peak use/cost, using ceiling fans will make the room you are in seem cooler. But there is more to heating and cooling efficiency than the thermostat. The government estimates 10 percent of the heating/cooling costs are due to air leakage in the duct lines, windows, doors, vents, and electrical sockets. Sealing duct leaks could save $3,000 over a 10 year period.

Next, make sure you are well insulated from the outdoors. Investing in windows with a low U factor (the lower the number, the better) and Low-E will lower heat transfer, help prevent fabrics from fading, and can save $3,000 over a 10 year period. Having well insulated walls and ceilings will also save as much. Some homeowners add cross ventilation to their attic to pull in the cooler night air, pushing out the warmer air, which is estimated to save $2,400 in a 10 year period. A less expensive option would be a solar attic fan, saving an estimated $2,000 over a decade. Another smart design would be having a patio roof, especially for a west facing wall to block the sun from heating up the exterior wall of the house.

Conserving water will also add up to big savings. A water sense certified shower head can realize a saving of $3,000 over 10 years, faucets: $1,000 and dual flush toilets: $500. Energy smart homeowners also specify radiant floor heating in bathrooms to efficiently warm those rooms. A Tornado Body Dryer will also save the cost of needing to launder large towels.

These estimated 10 year savings came from the site, A link to see the annual savings on their Master ROI Table can be found our website.

Happy Home Remodeling!

Janet B. Cook, CAPS, President of Cook Remodeling who is celebrating their 37th year, blogs (with photos!) on Join their Facebook page for homeowner tips!