Whether you want to save on your utility bills or reduce your carbon footprint, taking the steps to make your home eco-friendly may be easier than you think. Several elements of your home are probably operating inefficiently. All you need to do is identify the ones that are particularly problematic, and take steps to make them more efficient. Here are four ways to give your home an eco-friendly makeover.
There is confusion about the definition of insulation. Many assume that it refers to an indoor heated area, but that’s only partially true. Insulation employs less conductive materials to slow down the movement of heat in any direction. The nature of heat is to seek out colder places. Insulation is effective because it provides a buffer in different kinds of weather. During the winter, it prevents heat from escaping the home. During the summer, it is just as effective in preventing hot air from entering the home.
Obviously, you want to insulate your home for financial as well as environmental reasons. By keeping your home safeguarded against the elements, you’ll save a great deal on your monthly utility bill. It’s also an eco-friendly decision, because for every Btu expended in implementing insulation, the process saves a dozen more.
Purchase New Appliances
If you’re looking for an excuse to remodel your kitchen, the quest for a greener home provides the perfect justification. All older appliances are notoriously wasteful in energy consumption. More recent models place a focus upon efficiency, thereby saving a great deal of energy. For dishwashers and other devices that require water, you’ll always save on its consumption as well.
Again, the financial advantages match the environmental ones. You’ll earn back some of the money you spend on new appliances when the electric and water bills arrive each month. Plus, you’ll significantly reduce your carbon footprint in energy and water usage. While you’re remodeling, you should splurge some, because the right appliance purchases can also boost your home’s resale value should you decide to move.If you are wondering how to responsibly dispose of your old appliances, I recommend hiring an appliance removal company who will solve this for you.
Update Your Bedroom
This is an area that few people consider when trying to live greener. Surprisingly, a few simple adjustments to your current bedroom can make a difference. For example, a ceiling fan costs little to buy and install yet it adds a lot to your daily comfort. You understand the benefits of running your fan during the summer, but you should use it during the winter as well. Flip the rotation switch on your fan, and it will naturally circulate the warm air in the room. This prevents you from having to run your heat as much on colder days.
Another valuable tip is to install curtain panels. These inexpensive thermal drapes function as a second insulation for your windows. They capture solar heat during the winter to further raise the temperature of the bedroom. This process makes them a perfect companion for a ceiling fan, which will then circulate that heat. Conversely, they block heat in the summer to keep the room cool. You’ll again save money on utilities while reducing your carbon footprint and staying more comfortable on those days when you lounge in bed.
Install Solar Panels
Image via Flickr by Marufish
If you’re serious about living an eco-friendly life, adding solar panels to your home is an even better solution than the ideas listed above. By adding solar panels to your exterior, you may have more than enough energy to power your home.
In fact, you may even capture so much solar power that you can sell your surplus back to the grid. How satisfied would you feel if the utility company you’ve paid a small fortune to suddenly starts owing you money each month? All you have to do is calculate how much energy you require each month. Then, install enough panels to cover your needs. The installation process grows more cost-effective each year, and there are tax benefits as well. Simply stated, solar panels are the best way to become eco-friendly.
No matter which of the above alternatives you try, simply thinking about making your house greener means you’re on the right path. Pick and choose among those suggestions that best suit your needs. You’ll save money while feeling better about your lifestyle.