Cantor’s Corner: Recommended Order of Home Improvements
Presented by Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel
by Gregg Cantor
Resident Expert, The Home Pro Show
President, Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel
U.S. Department of Energy
Recommended Order of Home Improvements
The U.S. Department of Energy’s recommended order of home improvements can help you modernize your home and make it more energy efficient. Older homes were not constructed by today’s building codes and can mean a lot of wasted energy.
In addition to energy savings, you can make your home healthier and safer by improving air quality. When your home was originally built, many small holes may have been drilled to run pipes, wiring and ducting. Typically these small holes add up to a gaping hole that creates air exchanges between your attic and living spaces allowing unwanted pollutants into your home and wasting valuable energy.
Listed in order, they are, Shell, HVAC, Hot Water, Electrical, Windows & Doors and Renewables.
Air sealing with caulking, foam and weather-stripping. Attic insulation and blown in wall insulation to achieve higher R values.
Air conditioning, furnace and heat pumps upgrades to more energy efficient models.
Hot water Includes:
Tank and tankless type water heater upgrades to more energy efficient models as well as solar or thermal water heating.
LED lighting, home controls and upgrading appliances to Energy Star compliant models.
Windows & Doors Include:
Retrofit or replacements windows with vinyl frames and Low E glass.
Photo voltaic solar systems and geothermal energy production.
I recommend a whole home evaluation which includes utility bill analysis, building shell, air conditioning, furnace, ductwork, water heater, attic insulation and home energy solutions. Once you know what shape your home is in, you can follow the U.S. Department of Energy’s recommended order of home improvements.