While your family members may not have initially agreed, it actually may be a payoff that you waited so long to renovate your home. The latest technological opportunities and the eco-friendly upgrades available on the market today will enable you to transform your home into a castle that provides long-term savings, better functionality, improved efficiency, and a significant increase in its value all with a click or touch of a button.
Cooling Down and Keeping Warm
Old windows and doors in a home are notorious not only for being the culprit of heat loss during Indiana’s snowy winters, but also the reason for all the excessive heat in your home during the region’s sultry summers. The top-of-the-line windows and skylights on the market today provide information about their energy ratings to help you choose the most energy-efficient products for your home’s remodeling projects. Developed by the nonprofit National Fenestration Rating Council, these ratings and labels document criteria including U-factors, better known as the heat transmittance rating of the window, and solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) which numbers the increase in temperature in a space. When selecting the best window or skylight forIndiana’s mixed climate choose solutions that have a:
- National Fenestration Rating Council-certified U-factors with less than or equal to 0.40 (they typically range between 0.2 to 1.2)
- National Fenestration Rating Council-certified SHGC less than or equal to 0.40 (they typically range between 0 and 1).
The lower a window’s U-factor a window, the more energy-efficient it is. A window with a high SHGC is effective at collecting solar heat gain during the cold seasons; a window with a low SHGC is efficient at reducing cooling loads during the hotter months.
Also look into ways your windows can incorporate more automation. Automatic blinds and covers will do your home wonders during the warmer seasons. Adding app operated covers to the outside areas of the home that get the most sun are also a wise investment to make for the long term savings and prevention of sun damage in the long run.
Automation can go a long way in today’s world of home improvement. In fact, many areas of the home that used to require daily control and adjustments can now be operated with the ease of an app. In particular, items like programmable thermostats that not only save your desired settings, but also use your preferences to learn about new ways to cool or warm your home in the most efficient manner possible are now here. According to Consumer Reports, programmable thermostats like the recently popular Nest and those being introduced by Honeywell are seeing a huge rise in interest for homeowners that want to see the savings in their utility usage but can use a little help from a thermostat that can program itself to their daily usage and needs.
Statistics by GRACE Communications Foundation confirm that low-flow toilets significantly reduce the amount of water needed to flush by as much as 80%. So, instead of trying to save water usage by not flushing after every light use, simply choose these highly-efficient low-flow solutions when you’re renovating your home’s bathrooms. More and more bathroom fixture companies are introducing more efficient models to customers that require less water and in some cases, flush according to the amount and density of the waste.
Another major trend in homes looking to upgrade their water efficiency is the renovation and replacement of water heaters. Traditional standing water heaters are bulky and costly in comparison to some of the latest innovations being introduced to the market. In particular, experts in the plumbing industry have confirmed that switching to a tankless water heater can cut energy costs by 40% and they don’t sacrifice the purity or temperature quality of the water.
Your kitchen is one of the most high traffic areas in your home you use to entertain in. It’s one of the top rooms to be renovated in any home at some point not only because it has the potential to significantly increase your home’s value, but also because it’s often the “go-to” gathering place for your friends and family and so a comforting appeal is imperative. As you work with your contractor to plan the designated zones, style, and finishes of your ideal kitchen, the next step is selecting your kitchen appliances. Taking into account the importance of the sustainability, efficiency, functionality and beauty of this integral kitchen component, consider smarter solutions that are available to the market today. Brands like LG, Samsung and Whirlpool, are examples of companies that are looking to lead the charge in more efficient smart digital appliances. Stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers and laundry machines are just the surface of the appliances that are changing the way we clean and maintain our kitchen. Things like setting timers, allowing notifications, and creating custom settings at the touch of a button are going to change the way every homeowner does their chores.
Going digital is inevitable and so why not incorporate the latest tech trends to the way your home operates. The latest innovative technology in appliances and home accessories is going to change the way we live in the sense that homeowners can have long term savings, better energy efficiency, quicker and easier functionality and all of this without sacrificing overall appeal and home comfort. Smarter, greener, more efficient homes can go much deeper than the solar panels that you see on the outside of the home. Talk to us about ways we can make your home more efficient in areas of the home that you use every day.