October is Energy Awareness Month! 80% of American homebuyers say new homes don’t meet their environmental expectations. Thinking of remodeling?
Today’s homeowners look to remodeling as an attractive alternative to selling their home. Many practical home improvement projects may also include a “green” environmentally friendly strategy.
Green remodeling, the latest trend in enhancing living space, attempts to make a home look and work better for both the homeowner and the environment.
Green home remodeling boosts benefits
- A nationwide study conducted by Kelton Research, on behalf of Pella Windows & Doors, found that today, Americans are opting for home improvement projects that work to add value to their home and to their monthly savings.
- 80 percent of homebuyers say new homes don’t meet their environmental expectations, and 96 percent said they are willing to pay more for a home with green features.*
- Last year, the government estimated that Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR® products, saved a reported $16 billion on energy bills.
- Energy-efficient products reduce monthly utility bills. Installing a high-efficiency washing machine can save up to $90 on energy bills and 6,000 gallons of water every year.
- The most efficient new appliances typically use 50 percent less energy than the most wasteful models. Efficient and durable features can last longer and cost less to maintain.
- In 2007, the government estimated that Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR®, reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 27 million vehicles.
- Health-focused designs maximize fresh air and natural light.
- The EPA includes poor indoor air quality on the list of the top five most urgent public health risks. Using low-toxic materials and good ventilation techniques can help to stem molds, allergens and poor air quality.
Replacing windows: a simple, effective green solution
Kelton Research also reports:
- More than half of Americans (51 percent) said that windows offer the most potential when it comes to energy efficiency as compared to other products like insulation and heating systems.
- 65 percent or two out of three homeowners believe that energy efficiency, even over durability, safety, ease of use, and soundproofing, is the most important quality to consider when choosing new windows.
- Nearly half (49 percent) reported their utility bills actually went down after their last window replacement project.
- According to Remodeling Magazine, window replacement often returns an 80 percent recoupment value.**
- Pella’s Designer Series windows and patio doors with triple-pane glass rate number one for energy efficiency among top national brands.***
- Pella’s Low-E insulating glass with argon**** helps prevent the transfer of heat and reduces ultraviolet rays that damage carpeting, fabrics and wall coverings.
Green home remodeling tips:
- Windows ─ Install Low-E double pane windows for at least the east and west windows, subjected to intense morning and afternoon sunlight, causing significant summer heat gain. Look for a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of 0.40 or less.
- Lighting ─ Purchase compact fluorescent bulbs; they use 75 percent less energy
- Appliances ─ It makes economic sense to buy energy efficient appliances. The initial purchasing cost is often less than the cost of running them over a long period of time.
- Daylighting ─ Consider adding natural light sources to reduce the need for artificial light.
- Flooring ─ Buy more durable and natural surfaces such as tile, stone, cork, harvested wood, exposed stained concrete, or bamboo. Carpets are often the source of allergens and can create an unhealthy indoor environment.
For more information on green home remodeling:
- Sustainable building program ─The City of Seattle provides a resource for homeowners considering a green remodeling project. The informative overviews provide visuals and discuss sustainable remodel options ranging from kitchen and bath projects to roofing and painting options.
- ReGreen program ─This resource offers 10 case studies, for 10 common home remodeling projects.
- Green home remodel: This resource explains green remodeling and its benefits as well as provides green remodeling project tips, and advice.
- Pella has launched a new website devoted to window replacement.PellaReplacement.com helps guide homeowners through the entire installation process.
*City of Seattle, “Sustainable Building Program Overview”
**Recoupment value means that you could receive up to 80% of the amount invested into the project when you sell the home.
**Superior NFRC U-values and SHGC ratings
***High-altitude Low-E insulating glass does not contain argon