Realty Executives International
Ideas to Make Your Home Eco-Friendly
Keeping a home in constant tip-top shape can be a challenge. When it comes time to fix, remodel, or install upgrades, many people are now considering the environmental impact. Eco-friendly upgrades can help you save money, live comfortably, and minimize your environmental footprint.
There are many choices when it comes to improving your home’s energy efficiency and eco-friendliness. Read on for some affordable ideas to make your home greener!
If you have an interest in electronics and appliances, you might know about standby power or energy vampires. It refers to the “juice” electronics consume when they’re switched on but not in use. Common culprits include televisions, computers, and cable/satellite boxes. According to the Department of Energy, these types of electronics and appliances account for 10% of the energy used in your home. In the US, that totals the amount of energy produced by 26 average-sized powerplants.
Make your home eco-friendly and reduce your energy consumption by plugging devices and appliances into a power strip. By doing this, you can power off all devices at once. It is an affordable way to ensure that the appliances in your home consume energy only when you use them.
Many homeowners purchase water weekly via delivery service or at the store, which isn’t an ideal practice. To reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in a landfill, consider a simple upgrade in your home: add a water filter.
A high-quality water filter reduces and removes many of the contaminants commonly found in tap water. Opt for an easy-to-install faucet attachment that costs under $50. Combined with a reusable bottle, you will be able to reduce the amount of plastic waste in your home while saving money.
Did you know that steel doors can help you save a significant amount on heating and cooling? While it’s not an inexpensive upgrade, it’s something to consider when you are ready to replace your doors with something eco-friendly.
As they are made of sturdy steel skin that has a polyurethane foam core for insulation, steel doors can fit in the doorframes more snugly and keep the air from exiting or entering the home. While steel doors may make you think of bank vaults and jail cells, they come in a variety of styles and colors to complement your home’s aesthetic.
You might consider shades, drapes, and blinds just a design statement to adorn windows. However, 30% of a home’s heating energy is lost through windows. To maintain an optimal temperature in the house, consider installing insulated cellular shades, Venetian blinds, window film, or curtains. Quality window treatments help moderate the temperature inside the house during heating and cooling seasons.
There are several options for eco-friendly window treatments for your consideration. For example, look for blinds made from bamboo, jute, and other natural fibers that can be sustainably harvested. There are also faux wood options that are made from recycled materials.
Roughly 17% of residential water use (indoor) can be attributed to showers. That means an average family uses about 40 gallons of water per day. To reduce your water usage, look for showerheads that are labeled as “WaterSense.” These showerheads can save you 2,700 gallons of water a year compared to a traditional showerhead.
Installing a low-flow showerhead not only reduces your total water consumption but also the amount of energy you need for a hot shower. Interestingly, the low-flow showerheads have the same cost as conventional ones. They come in different styles and colors.
Like low-flow showerheads, a faucet aerator is also a smart tool you can use to make your home eco-friendlier. An aerator is a round device that attaches to the tip of the faucet. It limits the water flow from the faucet by creating a mixture of water and air.
An additional benefit of an aerator is that it creates a splash-free and consistent stream of water, which is ideal for indoors. Choose the aerators that match the décor of your bathroom and kitchen.
Homeowners can often save a considerable amount of money by adjusting the thermostat when they are away from home. This is particularly true in areas with sweltering summers and cold winters. Smart thermostats such as the Google Nest or Honeywell Home T5 can make this easy.
The latest models of thermostats allow you to set the temperature via voice or app, which is convenient if your schedule varies and standard programming is less than ideal.
One small change to make your home eco-friendly involves swapping out old light bulbs. Lighting accounts for about 15% of a home’s electricity usage.
Consider installing LED lights in place of standard incandescent bulbs, track lights, and recessed lights. According to the Department of Energy, LED lighting lasts nearly 25 times longer than a regular bulb and uses up to 90% less energy.
There are many options to choose from when shopping for new light bulbs. Visit Energy Star or Energy Star Canada to search for products that have been certified as energy-efficient.
There are many ways to make your home eco-friendly without breaking the bank. Make small changes over time to reduce your energy bill, save water, and reduce the environmental impact of your home.