Sustainability can be achieved even at home. This is important because protecting the environment is a shared responsibility and home sustainability is integral. Home improvement projects can make home life more comfortable, but they can also reduce home energy usage and improve home efficiency. Here are four home improvement tips to reduce a home’s carbon footprint.
- Green renovation
When renovating a home, look for materials that can be recycled or reused, such as repurposed wood and cork flooring [if applicable]. They play double-duty when used in home renovations because they are already made use of and don’t need to be charged for once again later on. There are lots of materials that can substitute for new ones.
For example, steel studs replace the typical wooden ones in home construction. They save energy due to their excellent thermal mass and strength. Plus, weathered steel contains less embodied energy than brand new metal and requires much less maintenance. Cork flooring is another excellent choice because it comes from sustainable resources, like trees that can grow back.
- Solar energy
Install home solar panels to reduce home energy needs and lower greenhouse gas emissions. According to the EPA, green home improvements provide homeowners with healthier living conditions while improving home value at resale time. For example, you could install a solar water heater system on the roof of your home or make use of photovoltaic panels from solar power companies.
Install these panels on the roof for electricity generation. This is a greener alternative to traditional energy sources because it doesn’t pollute our environment but continues to provide high-quality service for years after installation. It saves money over the long term due to its ability to produce electricity using free sunlight instead of fossil fuels that are replaced frequently because they are non-renewable.
- Home insulation
By improving home insulation, you can keep home air inside where it belongs. This helps prevent heat loss in the winter and outside air coming in during the summer months. Not only will home heating bills be reduced, but your home will also be more comfortable because temperature control will not rely so much on home heating or cooling systems.
Also, installing new windows with an energy-efficient glass package can increase comfort while reducing homeowners’ energy costs due to less reliance on home heating and cooling systems. An added benefit is that improved home insulation can increase a building’s structural integrity and noise reduction inside the home itself.
- High-efficiency appliances
Install home water-saving appliances. Not only will home water bills be reduced, but home utility costs overall because less energy is used to supply home tap water needs. Plus, many home appliances, such as dishwashers, washing machines, and clothes dryers, are available in high-efficiency models. Hence, it’s easy to improve water efficiency at home by installing them.
- Green home-building materials
When constructing or remodeling a home, use sustainable home-building materials. These include products made from renewable resources such as bamboo, cork, straw bales, and recycled materials. Green home-building materials are environmentally friendly and can help reduce energy consumption by providing superior insulation properties compared to traditional building methods and materials.
- Home gardening
Home gardening can provide energy for home heating and cooling needs. This creates home improvements that can reduce home energy consumption. Not only does home gardening help produce food, but it also provides benefits of cleaner air indoors as well as carbon dioxide offsetting by sequestration in soil. For example, at least one large tree is needed per household to offset the total greenhouse gas emissions produced every year by home heating and cooling systems alone.
- Alternative transportation
Use home-based transportation alternatives such as biking, walking, and carpooling whenever possible. These home improvements help reduce our reliance on foreign oil and automobile pollution. In addition, home-based transportation alternatives are great exercise options that can improve our overall health and well-being. For example, biking to the grocery store instead of driving saves gasoline while providing a good workout.
- Water conservation
Install home water-conserving devices and retrofits. Home water bills can be reduced by up to 30% by installing water-conserving devices such as flow restrictors for showers and faucets, low-flow toilets, and rainwater harvesting systems. Using less hot water will also reduce energy needs for home heating.
- Proper home maintenance
Perform regular home maintenance tasks such as changing furnace filters, checking caulking and weather-stripping around doors and windows, and cleaning gutters. By keeping home airtight, you’ll reduce the amount of energy needed to heat or cool your home. Home maintenance tasks don’t have to be time-consuming or expensive, and they can go a long way in reducing your home’s carbon footprint.
By following these simple home improvement tips, you can make your home more sustainable and reduce its carbon footprint. Not only will you be doing your part to protect our environment, but you’ll also be saving money on home energy costs in the process.