The weather is rapidly changing and every year it seems to be fickler than the last. People are beginning to prepare much sooner for every new season change and the majority of them are looking for more permanent solutions.
Surprisingly or not, the best ones are actually eco-friendly and green solutions which, while taking somewhat longer to put into motion, give the best results and usually have the added bonus of significantly reducing your utility bills. Below you can read a list of eco-friendly home improvement ideas that we know make a major positive change in how you live from that moment on.
Get an Audit
Surprisingly enough, knowing the amount of your utility bills is not enough to get a clear image on which parts of your home need to be improved and checked for a greener life standard. Getting a professional home energy audit can go a long way.
How Does an Audit Look Like?
A third-party expert visits your home and spends a few hours inspecting and assessing the energy expenditure. They are masters of spotting issues a layman’s eye misses, and when necessary, direct you towards a more economic life. Being a third party, they do not have the habit of making deals with other contractors, which helps avoid scams.
Energy Efficient Doors and Windows
Wall insulation is one thing, but the biggest culprits for the overuse of the heater, or the HVAC, depending on the season, are actually your doors and windows. If they are old, chances are that they have begun to wear down. Air flows freely through the cracks, and you are taken aback at the amount of electricity spending to battle the unpleasant temperature.
What you need to do is replace your doors either with steel or fiberglass ones, depending on the climate. Same goes for the windows. They might need a little more maintenance, but you will notice the less frequent use of the HVAC.
The ultimate green project has you battling the elements on the outside of your house. As the title says, yes, it is actual landscaping. You need to change your house’s surrounding terrain to fit the ever changing weather conditions.
Taking into account the direction from which the wind usually blows, you can plant tall and strong trees, and densely distribute taller bushes to soften the wind’s blow. Similarly, you can have strategically placed greenery to provide for more shade during the summer months. Paving your front yard with cobble or slabs with enough space between them will allow for rainfall to naturally irrigate your plants.
Bathroom Floor Heating
If you were planning on redoing your bathroom, one thing to absolutely consider is installing floor heating. There are two types to choose from: electric or hydronic, depending on whether it uses electricity or water to heat up the tubes under your tiles.
A Sound Investment
It takes between $600 and $1200 to install this kind of heating, but it will make you turn down the heating in the bathroom overall, and the money returns over time. So long as you have no issue in tearing up your floor and replacing it to introduce floor heating, you should see the benefits in a few months’ time.
Find a plant nursery, since they are usually cheaper and more reliable, and buy plants native for your region. Not only does a “local” garden purify the air, it also helps endemic plant species continue to thrive, while raising your home’s price value.
The future is very much here, as it is no longer science fiction to own one or more solar panels. So long as there is sun hitting your roof, you are bound to save money and immensely reduce your carbon footprint. Pricey as they may be at first, solar panels pay off in the long term, after a year or so.
Furthermore, in some places there are government tax breaks and incentives for going with a renewable energy source. If that didn’t convince you – did you know that after some time you can’t even spend the amount of energy you collect through solar panels?
Going Green is a Win-win Scenario
Going green with your home is far from cutting down on various luxuries and struggling to have a comfortable life. Many recent testimonials from families living an eco-friendly life have proven that it is possible, and in many ways an improvement. Yes, it demands some starting investment, but it undoubtedly raises the bar for your living standards and at the same time, reduces your carbon footprint.
There simply are no losses, and no risks on losing any capital or quality of life. With each passing year, home improvements like wild gardens, solar panels and home insulation are proving to be a standard. Maybe 2017 is your year to start introducing some of those changes in your own home.