Summer is just around the corner and what better summer project than to start making your home more eco-friendly. Adding a few green initiatives into your home can ultimately help you save money and create a healthy, safe space for your family.
Going green doesn’t have to mean installing solar panel walls or cutting off the electricity—there are a ton of easy (and fun) ways to conserve energy.
Here are our top environmentally friendly home ideas:
1. Collect Rain Water
Install a rainwater harvesting system while building your green home to collect rainwater from roofs and then storing it in a tank. The collected water can then be used for other purposes such as toilets and sprinkler systems. Rain barrels are one of the most common methods of rainwater harvesting being used today.
2. Install a Tankless Water Heater
With tankless water heaters, you need not wait for the water to get heated. Tankless water heaters heat only that much water that is needed as it is passed through an electric coil. This gives you twin benefits. Firstly, it eliminates excess energy costs as it heats up only that much amount of water that is needed and secondly, you can get ample storage place by eliminating the hot water tank.
3. Grow Plants Indoors
Live plants in your home act as natural air filters and some plants are exceptionally effective absorbers of harmful pollutants released from carpets, furniture, and electronic equipment. So, clean the air of your living space by filling your home with plants such as palms and ferns.
With a greener home, you can save money and live healthier without compromising quality, aesthetics or budget. It will help you save in the long run, keep your family happy and healthy, not to mention help protect the environment!
4. Replace Your Windows With Energy Star Windows
Energy efficient windows labeled as ENERGY STAR windows are a new player in window market and are much more energy efficient than normal windows. The ratings for these windows determine how energy efficient they will be. The lower the rating, the more energy-efficient are your windows. The energy savings provided by these windows are enough to cover the added cost per window.
5. Clean Your Air Ducts
Sneezing a lot lately? Suffer from chronic sore throats?You could be breathing dirty air! Your vents and ducts can be a huge source of dust, dirt, and other unhealthy irritants.You can greatly improve your home’s air quality by cleaning it all out every month or two. But, don’t be fooled, a professional isn’t needed to do this. Your vacuum and its attachments are perfect for cleaning the ducts and making your air quality much better.
6. Check for Radon
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and it is prevalent in soil and can leak through the cracks of your home’s foundation. Check regularly for radon in your home, using a test kit. You can buy these test kits for an affordable price at any local hardware store. If radon happens to be in abundance in your home, call a contractor who can help you decide what the best course of action is to keep your family safe from the harmful chemical.
7. Add a Programmable Thermostat
We all know that almost 50% of our energy consumption goes towards heating and cooling of our home. The simplest way to cut down this cost and reduce electricity bill is to install a programmable thermostat. Your HVAC system will work when the thermostat reaches the designated temperature. Also, a slight 3-5 % of your energy bill can be saved if you can set your thermostat 1 degree down in the winter and up by 1 degree in the summer.
8. Only Buy Energy Efficient Appliances
ENERGY STAR label on a piece of equipment states that particular product has been deemed as energy efficient by the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA). ENERGY STAR is becoming a well-known label and consumers today choose energy star appliances for their homes. These appliances offer significant cost and energy savings without compromising performance.
9. Install Proper Insulation
Insulation is one of the most important tings that you need to consider while building a green home. Heating and cooling account for 50% of your home’s energy consumption. Air leaks such as around windows, door and duct work is responsible for building’s heat loss. Don’t let heating and cooling of your interior spaces air go waste through improper insulation. Proper insulation will not only reduce your energy consumption but will bring down your electricity bills substantially.