If you’re in a position to build or buy a new home, you have the opportunity to make an environment-friendly choice. There are a multitude of ways you can make your next home friendlier to the environment, thereby making a positive impact on your local and worldwide community. Here are some ideas you should try!
Insulation can reduce your dependence on your thermostat to heat or cool your home. This helps keep utility expenditures low. Electricity comes from coal fired plants, so the less electricity you use, the greener your home will be. Additionally, insulation benefits the environment by keeping emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur oxide, and nitrogen oxide lower. Consider upgrading your insulation to make your home friendlier to the environment and reduce your utility bill.
Custom Build It
Custom building your home is a great way to go green. Choosing to custom build your home gives you the opportunity to use sustainable building materials and energy efficient designs. There are many green benefits to building a home from scratch. Green homes consume less energy, have a reduced environmental impact, are healthier for the inhabitants, save the forests, and have a higher resale value. These are only a few of the many amazing benefits of building a home from scratch.
Install Solar Panels
Solar panels are the most effective way to get green energy for your home. The sun is a reliable source of power, especially in desert areas. Energy from the sun is clean, pure, and free. Solar panels on your roof are an investment that will pay off over time. These panels have low maintenance costs and will help decrease your utility spending and create a more earth friendly and renewable house climate. Installing solar panels is one great way to do your part to reduce the world’s reliance on fossil fuels.
Use Efficient Light Bulbs
Using energy efficient lightbulbs can cut your power bill substantially. All light bulbs need energy to burn; the more efficient your bulb is, the less energy it will burn. More efficient electricity use not only cuts down the demand on local coal fired plants, but it also allows for home installed renewable energy sources like solar panels to step in and produce enough energy to match your demand. Less efficient light fixtures in a home could easily create enough of an electrical burden that solar panels simply wouldn’t keep up with.
Replace an Old Appliance
Old appliances are some of the biggest energy guzzlers in existence. Appliances often use more power than they need to run, resulting in a waste of energy. Newer, more streamlined appliances are much more efficient in their power usage. Old appliances that use water could be using too much water, therefore wasting that precious resource.
Use Low-Flow Water Fixtures
Water is the Earth’s most precious resource. It is vital to all life, so it is important not to waste it. Older fixtures like toilets and dishwashers can waste a surprising amount of water. Investing in smart water technologies is a good way to ensure that water is not being pointlessly wasted. Consider installing low-flow toilets, faucets, shower-heads, and other appliances to save water. Toilets and other appliances and fixtures often come in gallons or liters/use classifications, so make sure you are investing in the best equipment possible.
Invest in New Windows
New windows can really make a difference in your utility bill. Glass heats up and cools down very quickly, and that heat/cold can get transferred inside your home. This temperature transfer can result in more thermostat usage and a higher utility bill. Many old windows are single paned, which means that air can escape (or come in) at an uncontrollable level.
By contrast, new windows will often have two panes of glass with a gas-filled space between. This gap allows for a buffer zone between the inside and the outside, so there is less heat transfer happening on the glass surface. New window systems will keep the air inside your house from escaping, therefore keeping your utility costs down. Additionally, most modern windows are made out of recyclable materials. Invest in new windows for improved air quality and a lower energy consumption.
Go Green in Landscaping Your Yard
Another way you can make your home more environment-friendly is by literally going green through planting trees. Trees are powerful tools in the fight against climate change. They remove carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen into the atmosphere. They also attract birds and wildlife, prevent soil erosion, clean our water, and add aesthetic beauty to homes and communities. Planting trees in strategic places throughout your yard can also reduce your AC bill.
On the other hand, yard landscaping can be a big waste of water and electricity. When you landscape your yard, consider installing in LED or solar power lights in order to save energy. Install efficient sprinkler systems to maximize water usage efficiency. Avoid watering your lawn every day if possible.
Start a Garden
Planting a garden is a fabulous way to help the environment. Like trees, many of the plants in a garden can fight climate change through their process of organic photosynthesis. When you plant your garden, try to choose species native to your local environment. These native species will thrive better and will not require the host of potentially harmful fertilizers and pesticides to survive.
Additionally, growing your own fruits and vegetables will allow you to start living a more sustainable lifestyle. The produce sold in most supermarkets has traveled thousands of miles to reach your local store, thereby using up a substantial amount of energy. Planting, growing, and eating your own produce will lower your carbon footprint. It will help you live a healthier lifestyle through the physical work of gardening, as well as the mental satisfaction of preparing and eating your own food.
These are only a few ways to make your home friendlier to the environment. As you make intentional, environmentally-friendly choices, you and your family will be healthier, happier, and safer.
Here’s another article you might like: How to Finally Complete the Renovation You’ve Always Wanted
You’re planning the home improvement project you’ve always dreamed of—congratulations! This will be an exciting time full of creativity and possibility. But before you get started, make sure to do your homework so that you can avoid common mistakes and make your home improvement dreams come true!
Find a Trustworthy Contractor
Not all contractors are created equal; make sure that you find a trustworthy, reliable contractor with experience doing the kind of project you want done. Interview several contractors and get quotes from each one before choosing one; don’t just hire the first contractor you see. While it may take you some extra time, putting in the necessary legwork before choosing a contractor will help you find someone who can do great work for a great price. Listing sites such as HomeAdvisor are used by 44 percent of homeowners.
Look for Financing Options
Financing is huge when it comes to making your home renovation dreams come true. After you know your budget and the projected cost of your renovation, spend some time researching financing options. Some common home renovation financing options include payment plans, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, and refinancing your home. Each of these options come with its pros and cons. As you research each option, you might be surprised to find that your renovating dreams are more possible than you thought.
Make a Plan
The planning stage is arguably the most important part of any renovation project. Don’t skimp on this part—while planning will take some extra time, it will be worth it. There are many items which you should include in your renovation plan: budget, aesthetic, décor, scope, design, and contractors are only a few of these items. Don’t be afraid to make a sizable wish list at this stage! This is the time to think about all the home improvements you’ve always wanted, get creative, and make them happen. While you may not be able to accomplish every single bullet point on your list, dreaming big will help you accomplish more than you think.
It’s true that renovating your home will be a lot of work. However, this work will turn out wonderfully well if you spend time choosing a trustworthy contractor, looking for financing options, and making a solid renovation plan. These three suggestions will empower you to become your own home improvement fairy godmother and finally complete the renovation you’ve always wanted.
Read this next for more great tips: Starting a Home Remodeling Project
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