How to Create a Green Living Environment
Most every homeowner these days is aware of the options for making their house “greener.” This essentially means making changes about the home that contribute to clean energy practices and reduce harmful effects to the environment. Though it can seem overwhelming and sometimes costly to make these changes, most of them can actually save you money in the long run. They will also give you the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing the right thing for generations to come. Read on to discover some easy ways to incorporate green living principles into your home improvement projects.
One of the easiest things you can do to reduce energy consumption in your home is to insulate walls, lofts, attics, and between-floor spaces. Do not assume that these areas were already insulated when you purchased your home, particularly if your home is over twenty years old. Have these areas inspected for proper insulation coverage, as well as to identify the type of insulation used. Some older types of insulation used materials that have since been deemed harmful to home environments, to your health, and to the world at large. Consider having this type of insulation replaced throughout the house.
Take a look at your heating system and determine whether it should be replaced. Older units that are not functioning at full capacity can cost you a lot of money in reduced heat output, pulling a lot more energy to make them run. They are also harmful to the environment in various ways. Consider replacing older units with modern ones with an Energy Star rating. Ask about rebates from your utility provider for installing these newer appliances, as well as tax deductions that can lower your overall tax bill at the end of the year.
Though it can be a much larger job than many homeowners wish to take on, adding solar panels to your roof can make a huge difference in energy consumption. You would be getting your heat from the sun itself, adding up to a lot of savings over time. The cost of installing them can be high, but ask around about rebates, free installation offers, and government grants. Some solar panel companies will also allow you to pay over time, balancing out the cost of the panels with your reduced energy consumption.
Replace older windows with ones that have double or triple glazing, or styles that are tinted. The frames themselves may need replacing if the wood is deteriorating. If you want to keep the original wood, consider having it refitted with newer glass and caulked and sealed to prevent unwanted heat transfer.
Pay attention to how you use water around the home. Install a rainwater collection system and use the water retained for washing dishes, watering plants and many other things. Fit toilets with a short flush option which uses less water, or replace the entire toilet with a more energy-efficient version. Replace shower heads with models that distribute water better, creating the sense of a full shower without using extra water.
Use some of the ideas here to make your home greener, while making the world cleaner. We can all do out part to make this a better world, so start today with these easy and accessible home improvement projects.