Whether you are thinking of updating a few fixtures in your home or completely redoing a room, take advantage of the opportunity to make a few eco-friendly home improvements. From using recycled materials to making energy-efficient upgrades, green home renovations that will reduce your home’s carbon footprint are easier than you think.
Updating your home in an environmentally friendly manner is more than getting the latest Energy Star-rated appliances. At each step in the renovation process, look for ways to conserve energy, water and reduce your carbon footprint.
When you are demolishing a room in your home, consider reusing some of those materials as a decoration – we’ve all seen old doors turned into frames. Other materials that are worn out or damaged should be recycled through the appropriate facility.
Choose products made from recycled materials to cut down on waste whenever possible. There are also plenty of eco-friendly options, such as bamboo flooring, that can reduce the impact of your renovation on the environment.
Here are a few simple steps that you can take to reduce the carbon footprint of your home.
Change Furnace Filters
This is an easy fix, and you should be changing your furnace filters about every six months. If filters are full of dust and pet hair, it causes your furnace to work harder and use more electricity.
Make sure your home is properly insulated, especially the attic. The EPA estimates that by adding insulation into attic spaces homeowners can save 15 percent on heating and cooling costs.
Use a Rain Barrel
Rain barrels are a straightforward way to conserve water during the spring and summer months. Use the barrel to collect rainwater, and instead of turning on the hose to water your garden and plants, fill up the watering can from your collected rain.
Plant a Row of Trees
Planting trees or large shrubs alongside your home serves a dual purpose. They provide shade during the summer to keep the cost of running the AC down, while also protecting your home from wind damage.
Energy Star-Rated Appliances
Upgrade your kitchen and laundry room appliances to certified Energy Star models. From dishwashers to televisions, there are plenty of improvements that will lower your energy bill and reduce your home's carbon footprint.
Once programmed, thermostats automatically adjust the temperature inside your home while your are out of town or even while you are at work. Making the change to a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 a year on your energy bill.
Install Smart Meters
A smart meter tracks energy use, and will allow you to gauge just how much you consume heating and cooling your home, so you can make adjustments over time.
Reducing the carbon footprint of your home will make your residence a little greener, and save you green on your energy bills. What are your plans for making your home more sustainable?