Energy Efficient Renovations
The word “Green” has become a hot topic or buzz word in housing in the past few years. It is also an often misunderstood concept that is sometimes interpreted as merely being energy efficient. While “green” does refer to energy efficiency, there is much more to it.
The concept behind a green home is conserving resources. It’s an easy concept, with a variety of ways to implement it, and it does not just apply to a new home. Below are some energy efficient renovations that Broadbent Construction can do for your home.
Tankless Water heaters
Broadbent Construction has installed tank less water heaters in homes throughout Fairfield County. Tankless water heaters have caught the eye of many homeowners lately—as a way to reduce the 19 percent of total home energy use consumed by water heating.
According to research sponsored by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), heating water with a tankless system is 12 to 34 percent more energy efficient than using a conventional storage tank system. When tankless systems are installed at each water outlet, gains in efficiency can range from 28 to 50 percent.
Others are impressed by the ability of tankless systems to deliver hot water “endlessly” in a busy household, as well as the space saved because a storage tank is no longer needed.
These factors, combined with rising energy bills, a federal tax credit and greater availability, make tankless a technology well worth considering.
High Efficiency furnaces.
If your furnace was built before 1992 and has a standing pilot, it probably wastes 35 percent of the fuel it uses, and it is probably near the end of its service life.
High efficiency furnaces will cut your gas bill by 30% or more compared to the bill received for use of an older furnace. These efficient machines can use 30% less natural gas than older models. If you are now in the market for a new one it is wise to choose a high efficiency furnace since the price of natural gas is expected to rise in the future. The worlds supply of natural gas is not unlimited and as we continue to use more every year it is certainly to be expected that gas prices will increase substantially in future years. Installing one of these can save big dollars on your gas bill and over a term of years the saving will amount to thousands of dollars.
As we are forced to drill ever deeper wells to find new gas supplies the cost of finding this new gas escalates dramatically. This cost must be passed on to consumers and means that a high efficiency furnace is even more necessary and will save thousands of dollars in fuel costs over a period of time. A mid efficient model converts 80% to82% of the gas it burns into usable heat. A high efficiency furnace converts 90% to 97% of the gas into heat for your home. It is fairly obvious that the most highly rated appliance you can obtain will be the best buy and will pay for itself with fuel savings over a few years. The actual time to payout, depends of course on just how much gas you use. In cold climates, where a lot of natural gas is used, the payout will be even faster with the savings in fuel costs.
High efficiency furnaces also have the advantage of running much more quietly and will keep the temperature in your home more constant due to the way they operate. It is very important to get the right size of furnace to heat your home properly. It can be of lower BTU output than a mid efficient furnace or one of the same BTU as the old furnace will do the job. If your house is not well insulated, you should make sure that this is taken care of before the new installation. Poor insulation and/or areas where heat leaks from the home need to be identified and corrected if possible. The cost of installation of the machine varies depending on the amount of work and materials required. They are vented through an outer wall and cold air is pulled into the furnace via plastic piping.
Your new appliance will keep your home warm and comfortable while saving you a great deal of money on your gas bill. It is certainly a wise investment which will pay for itself many times over.
Install operable windows and skylights.
Although exterior windows and skylights are a part of a homes envelope they play a much different role than insulated roofing and walls. Windows for the home are a key component as they interact between the indoor and outdoor environments all the while allowing light to enter the home. They also react to sunlight, wind and occupant uses within the home.
A sure way of improving your energy efficiency in the home is by replacing old windows with new high performance rated windows and skylights. Windows, doors and skylights are all rated by two governing bodies ENERGY STAR and the National Fenestration Rating Council.
Windows and skylights are the most energy-efficient method of clearing vapors and indoor air toxins from your kitchen. With enough openings, placed for cross and stack ventilation, you can run your exhaust fan only to evacuate the heaviest cooking odors. It also works well in the bathroom.
Install an attic fan that uses fresh air to cool the home
If you have enough attic space, this is very smart investment to make in your Fairfield County home. Imagine a fan that cools your entire home naturally, with fresh outside air. Well it exists and it is called a whole house fan. The fan is used primarily during evening and morning hours, when the outside air temperature is cool. Using a whole house fan allows you to turn off your air conditioner which in turn will save you a lot of money, money not spent on high utility company bills.
Traditionally, a whole house fan installs between the ceiling and attic space of your home. When turned on, the whole house fan pulls warm air from your living area, into your attic and pushes it out through your home’s existing roof vents. Of course, you must open a few windows to allow the cool outside fresh air into your home. This cooling process works at a fraction of the cost of operating an air conditioner.
In the past, whole house fans were large, noisy and time consuming to install. Recently, advances have been made that have made the larger noisier whole house fan obsolete.
Whole house fans can be compact, easy to install and quiet. The units require no maintenance and are equipped with automatic insulating doors that close securely when the fans are not in use. This allows for an air tight seal between your attic and living area. More importantly, these fans are self insulating. Instead of having a large hole in your ceiling as you would with older model whole house fans, these fans help to keep your heat inside your home.
A whole house fan is a great way to save on energy costs. In fact, when used regularly, they pay for themselves in a short period of time. Broadbent Construction doesn’t claim to be a Green Certified Builder, but most of the these energy efficient renovations are common sense to do and can save you money for many years. Contact us for a free consultation and estimate.
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Broadbent Construction service areas:
- Fairfield County
- Cos Cob
- New Canaan
- New Fairfield
- Old Greenwich