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Published on May 15, 2024

 When it comes to home remodeling, one of the most frequently asked questions is whether investing in energy efficiency is worth the extra cost. As the owner of Coons Construction in Lynnwood, WA, I have firsthand experience that sheds light on this important query. Two years ago, I purchased an older home and meticulously audited my energy bill throughout each stage of the remodel. This real-world insight allows me to confidently answer this common client question.

The Journey to Energy Efficiency

The initial state of the house presented a significant challenge—there was no insulation, and the heating was reliant on an old electrical forced-air furnace. In the first stage of the remodel, we focused on adding insulation to the walls. We opted for blown-in insulation where we did not open the walls and batt insulation where the walls were accessible. Additionally, we replaced most light fixtures with energy-efficient LEDs and installed several new lights.

Stage Two: Tackling the Basement

After the first winter, we moved on to the basement in the second stage of our remodel. Here, we used batt insulation for the exterior walls and rigid foam for the interior walls, ensuring air sealing was completed per code. To manage heat flow and combat noise, we added insulation to the ceiling between the basement and the first floor. Some existing walls were left without added insulation due to budget constraints. We removed the supply ducts from the furnace and installed two electric wall-mounted heaters for the basement, which, while not the most energy-efficient solution, allowed for multiple heating zones instead of a single zone for the entire house.

The Decision to Delay a Heat Pump Installation

You might wonder why we didn't replace the old furnace with a heat pump right away. While this was considered, it would have significantly increased the project's cost. The timing of the work, scheduled for early 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, also influenced our decision. Adding a Mini Split system to both floors is now planned for the third stage of the remodel.

Insights from the Energy Audit

Throughout the remodel, I conducted an energy audit to gauge the effectiveness of our improvements. Over the two-year period, the household size increased, leading to higher heating and lighting use, which complicated detailed tracking. However, even with the increased usage, the energy bill showed a noticeable decrease, confirming the value of our energy efficiency investments.

The Long-Term Benefits of Insulation

The key takeaway from this experience is clear: investing in making your home more energy-efficient is worthwhile, especially if you plan to live in it for ten or more years. The initial costs of insulation and other energy-saving measures may seem high, but the long-term savings and increased comfort make it a sound investment.

Conclusion: Plan for the Long Haul

At Coons Construction, we understand that every home remodel is unique and presents its own set of challenges. Our goal is to help homeowners in Lynnwood, WA, and beyond make informed decisions that enhance their home's efficiency and comfort. If you're considering a remodel and want to explore energy-efficient options, contact us today. Let us guide you through the process, ensuring that your investment pays off in the long run.

By integrating energy efficiency into your remodeling plans, you not only save money but also contribute to a more sustainable future. Trust Coons Construction to help you achieve a home that's both comfortable and environmentally friendly.

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