If you are thinking about remodeling your house, you probably have a few of the following questions on your mind: What should I do? How long will it take? How much money will it cost? But maybe you are also wondering what you can do to make your home more environmentally friendly. Great news: it has never been easier to implement some ecofriendly changes into your domestic life.
Consult with an expert
Yes, it is easy to make your home more ecofriendly, but every home is different, so it’s important to talk to someone who can take a look at your particular situation. See if you can find a local green homebuilders association or non-profit that specializes in environmental home building. A personal consultation is absolutely the best way to get started.
Make energy efficiency your goal
Many experts agree that energy efficiency should be the number one consideration when remodeling your home with Mother Nature in mind. This doesn’t have to be expensive – you can cut your energy bill by as much as 30% with just a few small changes. See if your homebuilders association can recommend an energy auditor to find air leaks in the house. Just by adding/updating insulation, sealing ducts, and caulking the windows you can make a huge dent in your energy consumption.
Don’t forget the basement
According to EarthCraft’s renovation guide, “In many homes, basements are major heat sinks due to poor insulation and air leaks. In addition, radon, mold, dust, and other contaminants can collect in the basement and enter the house.” So when insulating your house, don’t forget to include the basement and foundation in those plans.
Improve water management
If you can upgrade your water management system, you’ll find it’s both an effective way to go ecofriendly and very budget friendly. Install new low-flush toilets to use less water and energy and blanket your hot water heater. There are also significant changes you can make to the outside of your house to improve water efficiency as well. For example, try landscaping your front and/or backyard to direct water away from the foundation.
Repaint your walls with eco-friendly paint
Who knew that even paint could be environmentally friendly? The current market has a number of options when it comes to ecofriendly paints that perform well – long lasting, giving good coverage, vibrant hues, and durability. You can now repaint your living room without the toxic chemicals, smells, and added solvents that come with conventional paint.
Buy energy efficient appliances
There are a lot of appliances on the market that claim to use less energy than conventional equipment, but it can be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. Energy Star, for example, is a commonly use seal that is really more of a baseline than an aspiration. TopTen USA is a new certification, which ranks products based on energy efficiency. For washing machines and dishwashers it also rates the products for water efficiency.