(BPT) – Once spring cleanup is done, you may feel ready to tackle some renovation projects this summer. If so, you’re not alone: 62 percent of homeowners plan to undertake a home improvement project this year, according to a Harris poll. Homeowners will renovate to improve their home’s appearance, livability and energy efficiency, the survey found.
It’s possible to make renovations that are stylish and also reduce your energy bill. With temperatures heating up this summer, take on renovations that not only make your home more beautiful, but make it cool and comfortable as well.
Here are a handful of projects that can accomplish those goals:
You’re probably aware quality new windows can help your home retain heat in the winter, but did you know they can also keep your home cooler in the summer? By tightening your home’s envelope and reflecting heat, energy-efficient windows can help maintain more even temperatures inside your home. What’s more, because they’re energy-efficient, new windows can help your heating-ventilation and cooling (HVAC) systems operate more efficiently.
If you live in an older home, you may not have the space you need to install a traditional central HVAC unit with ductwork. Adding ductwork can be costly and troublesome, yet you probably don’t love the look of window air conditioners, either. Duct-free split systems like LG’s Art Cool Line provide plenty of cooling power from wall-mounted units that can be subtle or splashy, depending on your design vision. An outdoor unit works in tandem with up to eight interior units for individual room-by-room temperature control. LG offers three interior Art Cool unit styles, including a customizable picture frame, a flat panel with a modern charcoal mirror finish and a traditional unit in sleek white. All feature a hand-held remote control operation, varying fan speeds, quiet operation and auto operation modes for the utmost in comfort this summer.
Limiting the amount of sunlight that enters and warms a room is an important way to supplement your home’s cooling units. Summer décor cries out for light, airy window treatments, but you don’t have to give up that bright look to better control sunlight. Window blinds or shades in a slightly darker hue can work well with a lighter looking window treatment while still allowing you to limit sun exposure when you draw them shut. What’s more, cellular shades also have an insulating effect to enhance your windows’ ability to reflect heat in the summer.
Cooler lighting and appliances
Electrical appliances and incandescent light bulbs all contribute to the amount of ambient heat in your home. As you’re renovating, replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient options that give off far less heat, such as LEDs or CFLs. Most light fixtures are now able to use these cooler bulbs, so replacing them is easy – and can also help reduce your electricity bill since they use about 80 percent less energy than incandescents, according to the Energy Star program. You can also reduce heat output from appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers and dryers by upgrading to more energy-efficient models.
You can also make outdoor renovation choices that will enhance your home’s beauty and help keep the interior cooler. Strategically plant shade trees to shield windows from the hot sun in summer time. Or, consider adding awnings that will shade windows and doors. For patios and decks, choose materials that reflect heat away from your home and outdoor spaces. Finally, paint siding in a lighter color to help minimize heat absorption.
Summer home renovation projects can be exciting, beautiful and energy efficient when you keep a cool head about your design choices.