Chronicle: Think Green When Remodeling Your Home

A remodel provides the perfect opportunity to make green updates, since areas of the home are likely already cleared of furniture; studs, wiring, and pipes may be­come exposed; and the con­tractor is already there to work.

For homeowners, there are three main objectives to focus on when incorporating sus­tainability into a remodel:

  1. Resource conservation (especially water).
  2. Energy efficiency.
  3. Having a healthy indoor environment

Thanks to major advances in both selection and perfor­mance, homeowners who are interested in tackling these challenges have a wide variety of products and methods they can incorporate into the renovation projects. Still, to gain in one area you might have to give up part of another.

Conduct an energy audit

First, conduct an energy-efficiency audit with blower door test and thermal imaging survey. Check your lighting, appliances, venting heat­ing system, and water heater. You ran do this audit your­self, but the best way to real­ly find out what’s going on is to like an energy audit contractor.

Once your home audit results are in, you can target those places where air is entering and escaping the home. Caulking and weather-­stripping spots of air leakage need to happen before add­ing insulation in walk, windows, doors, or the attic, because it may need to go on top of any areas that need sealing.

Solar panels

Doing roofing work or adding onto your home? Then you might consider incorporating the gold standard for energy efficiency: solar panels, or even solar shingles, the newest entrant to the photovoltaic products industry. Some roofs aren’t big enough or angled properly to make a solar installation worthwhile, but if you’re renovating, you may be able to design the roof to get the perfect orientation for your panels to capture the most sun rays and maximize their output. You could also choose shingles made of recycled material.


A tankless water heater saves water by providing instant hot water, eliminating the need to run water to warm it up and the energy to keep hot water on standby in the tank. Installation is fairly complex, requiring re-rout­ing piping, whirls and con­necting to a gas line (for gas models). That’s why a bath­room remodel makes a per­fect time to switch from a storage tank heater.

In addition, if your pipes are going to be exposed dur­ing the remodel, insulating them will reduce heat loss as the water travels from the water heater and provide additional water and energy savings. New eco-friendly taps, showerheads, and toi­lets can also cut down on your water usage,. well.


When you’re adding or replacing windows, you can boost their energy-saving abilities by installing win­dows with features to keep heal out. summer, and in during winter. These include double or even triple panes, high-quality flames of vinyl, fiberglass, or wood, Low-E glass coatings, gas injections between panes, and pane spacers Intelligently located, large windows and “so-leak’ skylights ran also he used to light rooms such as the kitch­en and remove the need for turning on the lights during the daytime.

In general, green remod­eling means thinking about your remodeling project with its environmental impact in mind whether that’s waste reduction and recycling, energy efficiency, or using salvaged or local materials. J. deciding to remodel rather than rebuild h a green choice. So, if you’re willing to incorporate green remod­eling practices, you’re mak­ing a significant impact.

By Dan Bawden