More and more home builders and homeowners are gravitating towards green home improvements. Nowadays, with clear evidence of climatic changes, global warming and depletion of Earth’s resources, implementing environmentally friendly upgrades and products into our homes has become a major consideration.
Words: Lillian Connors
Although this might seem too expensive at first thought, the reality shows that it’s actually more affordable than it used to be. It all starts with small steps and changes that lead to big differences. With a large variety of solutions available today for energy efficient upgrades, green home projects have never been easier. With some effort and investment, your upgraded home will consume energy, offer large savings through reduced utility bills and lower your overall carbon footprint. And such an energy-efficient household is your best contribution to the preservation of the environment, both for ourselves and for the future generations.
Eco-friendly home décor is simply impossible without a sustainable flooring. With so many options now available, you are no longer forced to give up on style in order to be environmentally friendly. Once you get out of the box of typical and traditional floors, you’ll discover a whole new world of floors that are both attractive and sustainable. For instance, bamboo is one of the best renewable materials as it’s actually a grass and not wood which needs only 3 to 5 years to grow. It’s very resilient, easy to install and available in different colours and shades.
Marmoleum flooring is a type of linoleum product made of natural raw materials, such as linseed oil, natural binding agents obtained from pine trees, wood chips, ground limestone and jute. It’s extremely durable, stain and water resistant and biodegradable.
Since your house roof is the largest surface of your home that is constantly exposed to all weather influences, it’s a great opportunity to upgrade it to be more energy efficient. One way to go is to create a cool roof. White or light-coloured roofs will reflect infrared rays better than darker stained ones covered with conventional roofing materials. Cool roof materials are usually metal, asphalt or tile and are practically impossible to differentiate from traditional materials.
Another option is to install roof-mounted solar panels. They will cut down on your electricity consumption, but you’ll also have the option of sending the excess electricity back to the utility company and in doing so, net homeowners a credit. While it might sound expensive to pull off, there are many rebates and financing options to help you, and you don’t even have to be a first-time home buyer. You should learn more about green home improvement financing that can help you cover all the costs involved.
One of the ways to achieve the best energy efficiency and comfort of your home is to find a method of controlling the indoor temperature in hot summer and cold winter months. By having a programmable thermostat installed, the heating/cooling system of your home will be automatically controlled, 3 to 4 times a day.
Its greatest benefit is the option to set it so that it turns on right before you wake up and turns off after you leave your home. This allows you to be more practical, environmentally responsible and energy-efficient while saving on your utility bill at the same time.
The advantages of double glazed windows aren’t only limited to improving your home’s energy efficiency, but they are also a great contributor to your home’s value, security and reliability. Dual-pane windows have double glass panels instead of just one and form both a sound and thermal barrier between the outdoors and indoors. This creates an effective additional layer of insulation and a steady temperature control.
Home energy improvements are not a just a fashionable trend but a continual process of raising the quality of living, lowering our carbon footprint and the demand we impose on natural resources. With all the practical tips listed here and affordable financing options, that goal is now easily attainable. Take the plunge and start saving because there’s no better time to begin than right now!