Sponsor spotlight: Ideas for making your home more livable

As you spend more time at home, consider ways to make your house more comfortable. (Photo courtesy Irons Brothers Construction)

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a resounding effect on the way people live — not only in how they interact with those around them, but potentially in how they view their homes as well. More time at home may be changing the way individuals think about how tangible elements such as increasing their capacity to work from home, as well as the not-so-tangible elements — like indoor air quality, noise reduction and overall home performance.

High-performance homes can provide increased comfort, improved air quality, reduced noise, and lower energy and water bills, which can benefit the health, well-being and finances of you and your family. Your current home may not provide these elements, but investing in remodeling or a new home could ensure they’re incorporated going forward. Asking the right questions will help ensure you are getting the types of features you’re looking for in a remodel or your next new home.

For example, you may notice now that it seems like the AC or heater is running all the time, or fluctuations in temperature as you move from room to room throughout the day. Or maybe you’re using more energy and water during the daytime, so you’re increasingly concerned about how this will affect your utility bills. Raising these types of concerns with a home builder or remodeler can help them identify the right high-performance solutions for your current or future home.

Solutions may include:

  • Products and building materials to increase energy efficiency, such as:
    • Smart thermostats to help regulate temperature
    • High R-value insulation in floors, walls, and ceilings to retain heat within home
    • Weatherstripping around windows and doors to avoid air leakage, which can overwork air conditioning units
    • WaterSense-labeled fixtures to reduce water usage
    • Appropriately-sized heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment to heat and cool your home comfortably and efficiently.
  • Products and building materials to improve ventilation and air quality, such as:
    • Smart appliances to improve efficiency
    • HVAC systems with sensors and automation to help regulate circulation
    • Sustainable building materials that use fewer chemicals and irritants

For more information, including specific questions to ask your home builder, visit homeperformancecounts.info. Home Performance Counts is a joint initiative between the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) to help homeowners better understand the rapidly growing high-performance home marketplace.

A local professional who can help you is Irons Brothers Construction, Inc. www.ironsbc.com

— By Melissa Irons, CGR CAPS CGP
Irons Brothers Construction, Inc.