There are many things we can do in the remodeling process to make your home more energy efficient, reducing your electric bill and possibly even saving you money on taxes, homeowner’s insurance and home maintenance.

Let’s start with the simplest change first. We’ve all heard about the energy savings of LED light bulbs, which are very efficient compared to the old incandescent and florescent lights. The good news is that the upfront cost of LED lighting has come way down compared to when the technology first became available, so now is a good time to switch out light fixtures and bulbs to save energy.

Solar panels are quite common in Southwest Florida, helping homeowners reduce energy costs by heating pools. If you’re adding a pool or new pool heater to enhance your outdoor living space, solar energy could be a great option for you.

Windows and doors have come a long way since many Southwest Florida homes were built, especially those found in the homes of the historic McGregor area of Fort Myers or the residential area surrounding Fifth Avenue South in Naples. The older windows in this renovation-worthy homes don’t insulate the home as well as the windows and doors on the market today, and normal settling of the home damages seems, letting cooled air escape. As a result, the air conditioner runs excessively to maintain a comfortable temperature, affecting your energy bill and shortening the life of your AC unit as well. We can help you calculate the average energy savings to determine if new windows and doors will pay off as part of your older Florida home remodel.

While we’re on the subject of HVAC heating and cooling, if your air conditioning system is more than 10 years old or not keeping you comfortable, consider replacing it with a new, more efficient system. If your system is running all the time, that is not normal and could cost you more than necessary on your energy bill. This is a factor for relatively newer homes, such as those built in the communities of Fort Myers, Estero, Bonita Springs and Naples. While it isn’t necessarily time for a full remodel on a newer Bonita Bay home, for example, you might be ready for a kitchen or bathroom update, and you should seriously consider replacing the HVAC systems at the same time.

Appliances have also become more energy efficient over the years, and as part of your kitchen remodel, we can help you select the most energy efficient refrigerator, dishwasher and oven. A new washer and dryer might also be in order. New appliances could go a long way toward making your home more energy efficient.

Insulation is a big consideration in Southwest Florida, where attic and surface temperatures reach the triple digits throughout most of the year. That heat can affect the internal temperature of your home if it’s not properly insulated from it, causing the air conditioner to run more to maintain a comfortable internal temperature. Replacing inferior insulation, especially materials that have badly degraded over time, is a great energy saver.

Along the same lines, insulation goes hand in hand with roofing. A good roof is your first line of defense from exterior heat and cold, and it could also help you qualify for a discount on your homeowner’s insurance. Many companies provide a discount for homes that meet their criteria on a Wind Mitigation Inspection.

In recent years, homeowners have seen tax savings, as well as a reduction in energy costs, for certain energy efficiency investments. Keep good records of your expenditures and talk to your accountant about the potential for tax credits for the purchase of energy efficient appliances, solar panels and more.

Each of these tactics presents some upfront costs that could take time to recoup, but if you’re planning a renovation, remodel or addition, it’s good to know the money you spend on your Southwest Florida home will not only improve your lifestyle; it could also save you money and reduce your carbon footprint. If making your home in Fort Myers, Bonita Springs or Naples more energy efficient is a priority for you, talk to our team at Progressive Builders about incorporating energy efficient products and strategies into your design-build plans.