Planning a home renovation is no small job. Add the desire to go green with your project… and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Here are some great energy efficient home improvement ideas that can help keep your project on track.
The time to start thinking of ways you can make your home more eco-friendly and energy efficient is before you start the project. Planning ahead can help alleviate headaches and costly mistakes along the way.
Consider working with a professional who specializes in eco-friendly, energy efficient remodeling projects. With the right professional, you can have access to a wealth of information, as well as alternative products and manufacturers that you might not have access to otherwise.
Don’t Forget The Light!
Often overlooked, light bulbs can make huge a difference. If your home still has standard bulbs, it’s time to consider CFL’s. Compact fluorescent light bulbs are more eco-friendly and last longer than standard bulbs. If your budget is on the smaller side, replace bulbs in one room at a time. These bulbs require less energy while in use and won’t need replacing as often, which is why they are an essential part of overall home improvement.
Reuse And Repurpose
Considering demolition or replacement? It’s important to take a look around and think of ways to reuse the materials available before you start tearing down walls. Getting rid of a non-working brick fireplace?
You can reuse the brick to construct a new walkway in the garden! If you can’t find a new use for your existing materials, contact a local salvage yard or donation site that can repurpose or recycle these items.
Materials Make The Difference
No matter what type of project you are considering, the materials you use can make a difference. From appliances and cabinetry to countertops and windows, there is always a way to go green. Let’s take a look at flooring for example. Vinyl is one of the most harmful materials for the environment. Carpeting can even emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into your home! More environmentally friendly options include:
- reclaimed wood
Choosing Energy Star rated appliances and HVAC systems will decrease the amount of energy used and often times can help you save even more on initial costs with tax credits and rebates. If you need a water heater replacement, consider alternatives to conventional models like solar hot water heaters and on-demand tankless water heaters.
A non-insulated home isn’t very energy efficient or budget friendly. With proper insulation throughout your home, you are better protected from the elements. The better insulated your home is, the larger benefits you will see. Proper insulation will keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the hotter months and as a result, your energy costs are lower year round!
Little Things Can Have A Big Impact
Sometimes the smallest changes can certainly make a huge impact. Instead of continuously purchasing bottled water, make a one-time purchase of a water filter instead. This way, you can still enjoy filtered water, without the impact on the environment with the plastic bottles. Switching to a low-flow toilet, or using flow reducers on your faucets and shower heads can also help you to use less water in your home.
If your home improvement project includes tile installation, your professional can help you to choose products that are made of recycled materials as well. Other easy ways to improve energy efficiency in your home can include placement of your refrigerator. Make sure it is out of direct sunlight and away from stoves and ovens. This will increase the temperature around your fridge, making it work even harder, and thus, use more energy.