Whether you own your home or rent your apartment, there are global and financial benefits to living a greener lifestyle. Read on for simple tips for making your home more eco-friendly.
Add Extra Insulation
Save on heating by wrapping your water heater with insulation. During the winter, your hot water level will rise.
By wrapping your heat, you’ll insulate it more, preventing it from using too much energy.
You can purchase insulating jackets for water heaters at a hardware store. You can also add extra insulation to your windows and doors. By sealing the gaps around your windows and doors, you’ll reduce the amount of indoor heating you need. Also consider having fiberglass windows installed, which are made from recycled materials and are extra resistant to water. These windows also tend to be air-tight and durable so that you don’t have to worry about air leaks.
Shop around for recycled furniture and decorative items, like recycled carpets. You can find an eco-friendly or organic carpet in a variety of colors, styles and patterns. If you don’t want carpeting, consider having bamboo flooring installed. Bamboo is resistance to water, warping and mold, and it’s extremely durable and easy to clean. The finish also lasts a very long time, so it’ll be years before you have to think about replacing or refinishing it. You can also purchase recycled countertops made from glass or paper with resin.
Renovate Your Kitchen
Ready for brand new appliances? Shop around for Energy Star appliances to ensure you’re being environmentally-friendly. You’ll notice a change when you get your utility bill, too. You can also find Energy Star-certified heating and cooling systems when you’re ready for an upgrade.
Save Energy with Lighting Changes
Upgrade your indoor lighting by swapping out regular bulbs for LED bulbs. Can’t afford to change every bulb in your house at once? Swap out one at a time – small changes are better than no changes at all. Also consider how bright certain rooms need to be. You may want a lot of light in your office and kitchen, but you don’t need nearly as much in your bathroom or living room.
Consider changing the color of your roof, which can drastically lower the temperature of your home. White and other light-colored tiles are best for keeping the warmth out, which will reduce your cooling costs during the summer. Another change you can make to the exterior of your home is having motion lights installed. The lights will only come on if someone’s outside and near your home. This consumes much less energy than having a light that stays on all night long. If you’re ready to invest a bit extra in your going green efforts, consider having solar panels installed. The upfront cost is high, but the payoff is huge – you’ll see savings before you know it. Quality solar panels can work efficiently for up to two decades before needing to be replaced. Also, if you can only afford used solar panels, you’ll know that they have a long life span.
Upgrade Your Bathroom
Consider switching to a low-flow toilet. First, make sure to carefully remove your old toilet. Some toilets have a dual flush option, meaning that you can choose to use less or more water depending on what you’re flushing. In the meantime, check for leaks or drips, which can waste a lot of water over time. Also, consider upgrading your faucets to new, energy-efficient ones. In the shower, you can swap out your showerhead for a water-saving one (also try to reduce the amount of time you spend in the shower).
Going green means you’re reducing your carbon footprint, which is great for the environment. At the same time, you’ll also be saving money, which is great for your bank account!
Bob Gorman is a freelance writer and a passionate blogger. He likes writing articles that cover home improvement and home remodeling related topics. He has written numerous articles and contributed to several other blogs. When he is not writing, he spends his time with his four year old son and his wife Lana.