We all talk enthusiastically about going green, reducing our carbon footprint and saving the environment. But, when it comes down to taking the necessary and inconvenient measures, we lose that enthusiasm to a degree.
Certain home-improvement measures not only enhance the look of your home but also increase its value in the real estate market. But, they can be costly. There are, however, several easy ways in which you can make your home environmentally friendly.
Mentioned ahead are a few ways of doing so.
1. Install Solar Panels
One of the easiest ways to go green is by harnessing solar energy and using it to warm your home. Yes, solar panels are totally green and considered the next big thing in the world of eco-friendly homes. All you need to do is simply have them installed on your rooftop so they soak up the sun, and let them do the rest.
If buying new solar panels are turning out to be too expensive, you could consider getting used ones (albeit after thorough inspection) as they can produce a good amount to power for as long as twenty years and prove to be a good bargain.
2. Consider Re-roofing to Prevent Heat Gain in the Attic
According to the findings of a research conducted to examine the connection between the color and the material of your roof with maintaining the home temperature, it has been found that both these factors, did have an impact on the attic temperatures. Light-colored tile roofs are a better alternative to shingles when it comes to lowering temperature. If re-roofing is on your mind, go for white tiles, which will help reduce heat gain in your attic.
3. Get CFL Lights
You will do well to replace the standard light bulbs in your home with compact fluorescent ones as these bulbs use much less energy compared to the incandescent ones. What’s more? They also last longer. This means two things – you save money in the long-term, and you save electricity.
4. Take Steps to Preserve Water
Saving water and using it optimally is a big part of going green. Here’s how you can do your bit in preserve it –
- Stop leaks. Check all the faucets and pipes in your home for leaks and if you find any, get them repaired, replaced to stop the wastage of water.
- Wash clothes in cold water. Use your better judgement before washing them. Maybe that pair of jeans can be worn a couple of times more before being laundered. See if you can let the clothes dry naturally instead of in the dryer. Simply go through the offerings of OnlyHangers, pick up a few robust hangers and let your clothes dry in natural air and sunlight.
- How about turning the water supply off when you brush your teeth or lather up during a quick shower?
- Installing low flow showerheads can be beneficial as they bring down water usage and save energy costs.
5. Count on Compost
If you have a backyard, you may want to build a compost pile and go organic. It’s not difficult – simply mix together waste food items such as egg shells, spoiled vegetables, coffee grounds and other garbage with soil and use a shovel to turn the pile over every week to let it breathe.
6. Look for Energy Star Certifications
It is important to keep our homes warm or cool depending on the season. However, it is also important to keep certain environmental concerns in mind. You will do well to install HVAC systems that have an Energy Star certification. This will go a long way in reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. Apart from that, it will also trim your electricity bills and save you money in the long term. Look for products with a high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating as that would imply that they meet the criteria for energy efficiency.
7. Clean Your Air-Conditioners
When it comes to using air conditioners, either clean or replace the filters regularly. A dirty or clogged up filter hampers the airflow, which leads your air conditioner to consume more electricity, thereby raising your electric bills. When not home, alter the thermostat to adjust to the changing temperature outside.
8. Cut Electricity Usage
If you’re serious about making your home environmentally-friendly, reducing electricity consumption should be a priority. Here are a few ways in which you can do so –
- If you tend to use of computers a lot at home, use power strips. This can be helpful as the power continues to flow into your devices even when they are turned off. Power strips are affordable and can prevent this unnecessary flow.
- Have more fans at home to reduce the use of air conditioners. Exhaust fans can come in handy to keep heat and humidity out of your kitchen and bathrooms.
- Automated thermostats are expensive, but installing them can prove to be a boon in the long term. They help you save considerably on heating costs for every degree you lower your thermostat in the winters, and also for every degree you increase it in the summers.
- Regular water heaters found in most homes tend to be on most of the time. Adding insulation to hot water heaters will help you save more energy and lower your electricity costs.
- Involve your family and conduct regular energy assessments at home. Make a list of the things that you can include/change in your home to make it more eco-friendly, and act on it pronto.
9. Prevent Energy Loss
Energy loss is the bane of many a home. Mentioned below are a few measures you can take to prevent it –
- Conserve energy in your home by insulating the doors and the windows by using weather-stripping. Keep inspecting them from time-to-time for air leaks to curb energy loss.
- Sometimes, the areas around your electrical outlets and light switches can be the villains too. Identify such spots in your home and seal them off to restrict any further loss of energy.
- Reduce the effect of the sun’s brightness with the help of window tinting. Doing so will lessen heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer. It will also filter out ultraviolet rays from the sun to a great extent. Now that’s energy and cost saving galore!
Being environmentally-friendly isn’t as difficult and demanding as you think. All it takes is dedication to the cause and a little common sense. Reducing the usage of water and electricity should be a concern in your endeavor to do so. Apart from that, there are several other ways go green. The above tips should help you turn your home into an ecofriendly haven and enable you to reduce your carbon footprint.