“Green” remodeling continues to grow in popularity. More and more homeowners are taking note of the environmental impact they can have when undertaking a renovation project.
And the good news is that there are some encouraging developments trends within the “Green” remodeling space that can help homeowners stay on “the green side of the street.”
It’s Easier to be Green. It used to be that using green, environmentally friendly materials in remodeling automatically meant higher costs. But new materials and technologies are making “green” remodeling more affordable all the time. And there are increasing numbers of inexpensive, simple retrofits and energy efficiency upgrades available all the time.
Appliances Are Getting Smarter. You now have the ability to track your energy use when you install appliances with smart meters. This lets you conserve energy during peak energy consumption periods (when energy is more expensive). You can also monitor exactly how much energy your appliances consume—in real time. And as manufacturers introduce more “grid aware” appliances, you will have increased control over your energy consumption.
Advances in Residential HVAC: Changing your Heating, Venting, and Air Conditioning system may not be among the sexier home renovation ideas you have in mind. But it may be something you want to think about. Programmable thermostats can help improve heating and cooling efficiency. And many new HVAC units are considerably more energy efficient than the ones that were installed in homes even 10 years ago.
Get a Double Dose of “Green” with Some Materials. Some newer building materials can give you a double dose of green impact. Not only are they made from recycled materials, but they last longer as well—meaning you save money by not having to replace them as frequently, and because they last longer, they stay out of landfills. Ask your remodeling professional where it makes sense to use recycled materials in the remodeling process—and which ones they recommend.
Some of these trends may too new for you to feel comfortable using them. Again, your remodeler can help guide you in the right direction. And keep watching for new developments. There are more all the time!