Unquestionably, your home is the safest place for you and your family. You can build and improve it in any way you want. But do you ever stop and wonder how the things in your home are affecting the world outside? Is your home contributing to possible future energy unsustainability? Or is it negatively impacting the environment? Believe it or not, your choice of construction material and even the appliances you use can have long-term effects on the environment.
So, what can you do? The easiest way to embrace an eco-friendly lifestyle is to make your home sustainable. That’s right, with a few valuable improvements and upgrades like the following, you can easily make your house more sustainable and eco-friendly.
Reduce carbon footprint by going solar
The most obvious way of going green and contributing to reducing carbon footprint is to upgrade to solar energy. The PV or the photovoltaic panels are designed to turn the photons captured from the sun into energy to run your entire house. The carbon emission is minimal, and your investment will pay off big time if you live in a place where the sun is scorching most of the season. The upgrade can significantly reduce your electricity bill, proving to be a tremendous investment.
Moreover, homeowners often question how much do solar panels cost and why they should get them? Despite the false claims, they are pretty affordable and promise long-run benefits for the user and the environment. Plus, you can even get tax rebates, now this will surely convince you to install them in your place.
Go for advanced and energy-efficient appliances
Home appliances such as air conditioners, water heaters, refrigerators, etc., tend to consume most of your total electricity usage. If you want to make your home sustainable, think about investing in energy-efficient appliances. It will not only minimize the energy use but will also require less frequent replacement. For instance, make it a habit of checking the energy labels on common home appliances to select the most energy sustainable and environmentally friendly product.
Replace your old appliances and upgrade to Energy Star labeled products. They consume at least 20% less energy than the traditional ones. Another wise choice while upgrading your kitchen is to invest in a trash compactor. It can reduce waste by at least 80%, therefore, saving your garbage from going into landfills.
Install air sealing and insulation
Did you know that the largest portion of your utility bills goes into home cooling and heating? And you may be losing them through leaky ducts, uninsulated attics, uncovered windows, and holes in your exterior walls. Properly insulating your house can save you up to 30% energy annually, so start by insulating ducts which pass through unconditioned spaces. Ensure you have every corner covered with suitable insulating material such as fiberglass, blown-in attic insulation, or foam injection.
Likewise, insulate the floors above the garage. You can also invest in high-performance windows to avoid losing up to 50% of energy. Invest in window shutters, coverings, and triple-pane windows, which can decrease air leaks by up to 75%. After that, look for possible air leaks around the house, especially in the basement and attic, and fix them. You can go for a blower door test to identify where the air is coming or going from in your home.
Switch to LED bulbs
For a quick and inexpensive switch to sustainability, upgrade to LED bulbs today for a more energy-efficient living experience. CFL and LED lighting are the two obvious eco-friendly options that are cheap and can now last you up to 23 years. LED bulbs pay you back in the long run, even though they cost a tad bit more than incandescent bulbs.
For example, incandescent bulbs cost up to $200 to run for approximately 25,000 hours, while LED bulbs cost only $30 for that same amount of time. They offer life-long savings on energy consumption and contain fewer toxic metals.
Go for a water catchment system
Approximately 600 gallons of rainwater runs off an average 25ft by 40ft roof on a home in just an hour of moderate rainfall. That’s a lot of water wastage, considering how the world is concerned with water resources and increasing droughts. A simple solution to avoid wasting all that precious rainwater is to install a water catchment system. The system, which typically consists of a rain barrel and downspout, can cost you a mere $100 but can save you even more on utility bills and water wastage.
In an hour of steady rain, you can collect up to 300 gallons of rainwater in your barrel to use for irrigation and other purposes. All you need is a barrel with a spigot and a transport system to carry the rainwater from the downspout into the rain barrel.
Considering how much energy we lose in home appliances, inefficient insulation, and leaky pipes, it is viable to consider sustainable options. There are several efficient ways to impact the environment positively, and many of them start at home. With such affordable and accessible upgrades, you can quickly reduce your annual carbon footprint, utility bills, and energy consumption for a better and sustainable future.