real estate

Green remodeling fights home-value blues

The air isn't free
3 of 8

Much, if not most, of a home's energy use goes toward heating, ventilating and air conditioning, or HVAC. Making sure that your HVAC system is as energy efficient as possible is likely to be a major focus of any green remodeling project.

One term you should familiarize yourself with is SEER. It doesn't refer to a fortuneteller, but rather it stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It's a Department of Energy rating that measures how efficient your home's air conditioning system is. The higher the SEER, the more efficient your air conditioner is. In 2006, the U.S. adopted a minimum SEER rating of 13 for all new air conditioners.

But remodelers stress that you don't necessarily need a new system to improve efficiency. Philip Beere, LEED AP, and founder of GreenStreet Development in Phoenix, the first company to earn an Emerald rating on a home remodeling project, says even minor fixes can yield major gains. On one historic-home remodeling, "we increased ventilation in the bathrooms and vented the clothes dryer to the exterior,'' he says.

Besides reducing the need for air conditioning, these changes also improved indoor air quality.




Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us

Timely market news and advice for consumers ready to buy, sell or invest in real estate. Delivered weekly.


Holden Lewis

Jobs rise and so will rates

With the economy growing by 295,000 jobs in February, it looks like rising mortgage rates are here to stay.  ... Read more

Partner Center

Connect with us