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If you have an older home, a planned remodel could be just the excuse you need to make it a little more eco-friendly. Older homes typically don’t adhere to the higher standard for energy efficiency that newer homes have and there are many ways to fix that during a remodeling project.
Deconstruct, don’t demolish
Before getting into home upgrades that can make your home more eco-friendly, there are some ways to make sure the remodeling work itself is eco-friendly. As you’re taking down walls or getting rid of a chimney or replacing flooring or whatever it is you’re doing, you’ll have the choice of demolishing or deconstructing. There is an important difference. While demolishing is less expensive and a lot faster, it destroys the materials in question. Deconstruction, on the other hand, involves careful taking apart to preserve any materials that might be recycled or sold to someone else. Some things in your home may no longer be important to you, but they can get a second life through someone else for whom it is the perfect piece for their home.
Work closely with your contractor
Another way to ensure that your project is as environment-friendly as possible is to work closely with your contractor and discuss with him/her what their recycling policy is. Don’t be shy about making it clear that you want to deconstruct, reuse, sell, or recycle whenever possible. Your contractor may even have some additional suggestions about ways to make your remodel more environmentally friendly.
Choose materials carefully
Materials that are natural or require little processing are going to be the best for the environment. When possible, select materials that are made from other recycled materials and are in turn 100% recyclable.
Energy Star appliances
Energy Star certified appliances are more energy efficient. Not only is that good for the environment, it’s good for your wallet since it will reduce energy bills year-round. If your remodel entails new appliances, ask sales associates for recommendations on products that use less water or less electricity.
Energy efficient upgrades
Look for ways to make your home itself conserve energy. A lot of lost energy is the result of drafty windows. Replacing old windows with energy efficient ones is a great upgrade that will pay for itself over time. Installing solar panels on your roof or even just replacing asphalt shingles (which are petroleum-based and end up in landfills) with a metal, tile, or slate roof is another great upgrade. New insulation in the attic will keep heating/cooling costs down and is one of the best investments you can make into your home.
Use baseboard heaters
Baseboard heaters are a more energy efficient way to stay warm in the winter months compared to central heating since they’re strategically placed below windows for maximum efficiency and they can be used to target specific rooms in the home to be heated rather than paying to heat the entire home including rooms that aren’t in use. If you don’t like the look of baseboard heaters, you can purchase attractive baseboard heater covers to more seamlessly integrate them into your home’s design.
Measure the height from the floor to the top of the metal wall plate.
Follow our guide for baseboard heater cover measurement:
Any baseboard larger than 7 3/8" (188 mm) will be compatible with our standard cover.
Any measurement greater than 9 3/8" (238 mm) will fit our tall cover.
Measure from the bottom of the finned tube heating element to the top of the metal wall plate,
A measurement of 5 1/2" to 6 3/4" (140 mm – 172 mm) will fit our standard cover.
A measurement of 7 1/2" to 8 3/4" (191 mm – 222 mm) will fit our tall cover.
Measure the distance from the wall or the metal wall plate attached to the wall, to the outside of the finned tube heating element.
Any measurement of less than 3 1/8" (76 mm) inches from the wall will fit our
Any measurement of less than 3 1/8" (76 mm) inches from the wall will fit our tall cover.
EZ Snap™ Wall Widgets are used when your old or existing wall back plate has been removed or if you have to hang your new cover 1 inch or higher to bring them up to a height that will fit our installation guidelines. Just measure your overall desired height, subtract 1", drill a hole, preferably in a stud and attach it to the wall with the included screw.
EZ Snap™ Floor Fidgets easily raise your new covers ¾ inch to compensate for any ¾ inch floor (wood, tile, or other) that has been installed any time since your baseboard heater was originally installed. May be used for any reason when the overall height has been shortened and the total height is less than 7-½ inches for standard height or 9-½ inches for the TALL height EZ Snap™ BaseBoard Covers. Just use the self-tapping screws to secure them to the top of your existing wallplate.
EZ Snap™ Wall Contraptions are used when your wall back plate has been completely removed. EZ Snap™ Wall Contraptions receives your EZ Snap™ BaseBoard Cover and keeps your aluminum fin tube from sagging. These completely replace your wall back plate. To install, slide up from the bottom and make sure the top is at your desired height. Screw to the wall, then bend the front finger up to hold the fin tube in place.
Measure from wall to wall and subtract ½ inch (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.) The endcaps can be pulled or slid ½ inch outward on either end to fit your existing length requirements. Choose 2 flush to wall end caps.
Measure the overall length of the existing unit with ends attached then subtract ½ inch (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.) The endcaps can be pulled or slid ½ inch outward on either end to fit your existing length requirements. Choose 2 Closed or Open-end caps.
Measure from the corner to the end of the unit with ends attached then subtract ½ inch (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.) The endcaps can be pulled or slid ½ inch outward on either end to fit your existing length requirements. Choose 1 Closed or Open-end & 1 flush to wall end cap.
Measure the left side from corner A to corner B (see diagram). Then subtract 3 inches for the 90 degree inside corner, then subtract another ½ inch (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.) Repeat for the right side if also wall to wall. You need to subtract a total of 3½ inches from each side that is wall to wall. Choose your end caps.
Measure the left side from the corner of the wall to the end of the unit with ends caps. Then subtract 3 inches for the 90 degree inside corner, then subtract another ½ inch (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.) Repeat for the right side. You need to subtract a total of 3½ inches from both left and right sides. Choose your end caps.
L-Shaped outside radiators ending in the middle of the wall:
Measure from outside corner of the wall A to the end of the radiator unit with end caps attached B, then subtract ½" (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.)
Measure from outside corner of the wall to the corner of the wall, then subtract 1/2" (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.)
Left leg - measure from the corner out to the end of the radiator subtract 3" for the corner and ½ (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.)
Center leg - measure from corner to corner and subtract 3" for each corner a total of 6"
Right leg - measure from the corner out to the end of the radiator subtract 3" for the corner and ½" (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.).
We recommend that you order covers a little longer than normal and cut them on site, as there are many opportunities for mistakes in measuring and installation. By cutting on site you can fit and cut to fit. The covers can be cut with a good quality jigsaw and a fine metal cutting blade.
Now that you’ve learned how to measure baseboard heaters,
you’re ready to order.