Whether home is a sprawling Victorian or a cozy ranch, there’s room to boost its eco-friendliness and energy efficiency. From small touches to major renovations, you can start making changes to your home that are good for the environment and your pocketbook.
There are opportunities in each room and level of renovation for you to incorporate eco-friendly concepts.
Every homeowner knows that you’ll get the biggest “bang for your buck” when you remodel the kitchen. This is because kitchen remodels tend to increase the home’s value by a significant amount. If you add eco-friendly and energy efficient touches, you stand to keep more of your money in your own pocket (or pass the savings on to the new homeowner in the case of a sale).
Here are a few tips for keeping your kitchen remodel green:
- Install a water filter – This will eliminate the need to rely on disposable plastic water bottles, which will save you money and benefit the environment.
- Place windows where the most natural light shines through – When you can take advantage of natural light, you’ll rely less on electricity and can benefit from the natural warmth.
- Keep your refrigerator in a cool spot – Ideally, plan to place your refrigerator away from windows, the oven or any other heat source. This will help keep the energy bill down.
When remodeling your bathroom, you may have more eco-friendly choice than you realize. For example, you have great opportunity to cut down on water waste in the bathrooms of your home. If you’re planning a bathroom renovation, consider these green ideas:
- Replace toilets with low-flowing ones
- Add flow governors to the shower and sinks
- Use recycled tiles and other materials
Because you’re essentially starting from scratch, there are many opportunities to make a new addition environmentally friendly. Here are just a few ideas:
- Keep the square footage small – It’s tempting to add more than you may need, but keeping it small will help you use less energy.
- Install ceiling fans – Not only can they cool the air in the summer, but they can help push hot air downward in the winter.
- Pay attention to the sun – Take advantage of natural heating from the sun to help keep your energy usage down.
Even if you aren’t planning a full kitchen or bath remodel, you can still boost the eco-friendliness of your home with some smaller projects. Here are 8 ideas to make your home more eco-friendly:
- Install solar panels – Solar panels work by transferring the energy from the sun’s rays into usable solar energy that can provide heat, light, hot water, electricity and cooling for your home. If you’re worried about appearances, know that you’ll be in good company with a solar panel installation. You’ll find them on some of the world’s most famous buildings; even the White House has solar panels!