Home ownership can require a lot of work. For starters, there is the never ending laundry list of maintenance, upkeep, and repairs. But keeping your home in great shape goes well beyond the nuts and bolts of the structure itself.
If you’re like most people, you probably want to keep your home modern and fresh, and thus attractive. Perhaps you get concerned (especially if you are considering resale value) that your home doesn’t have quite enough “curb appeal.” You may also want a home that is healthier and more comfortable for members of your family who might be prone to allergies or asthma. On top of that, most homeowners these days want to cut down on their carbon footprint.
Fortunately, there are lots of ways that you can radically alter the appearance of your home and how it functions to make it healthier, environmentally friendly, and more energy efficient. Making green home improvements will not just save you on your energy bills, but they also increase your house’s market value and make it more appealing to potential buyers.
Here is an overview of 5 great home improvements that you could implement to make your place healthier and greener:
1. Using ENERGY STAR Appliances
ENERGY STAR, which is a government program that aims to cut down on Greenhouse gas emissions, is a well-recognized symbol for appliances that are energy-efficient. These appliances meet the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) efficiency criteria and contribute to considerable water and energy savings.
2. Installing Energy Efficient Windows
To completely replace your existing windows may not always be the best option, as it is usually pretty costly. However, if you are building a new residence, you may consider installing energy efficient windows at the construction stage. These have been proven to provide sufficient savings on your energy bill to justify their cost during installation.
If you’ve decide to go for the greener home window option, there are a couple of things you need to remember. Most importantly, it will require understanding solar heat gain and thermal transmission ratings. These are what get used in measuring the heat amount lost during the cold season and gained during the warmer months, respectively. The bottom line is, the lower the rating, the more energy efficient the window is going to be.
3. Using Tankless Water Heater
You’ve probably at some time have had to wait for the shower water to heat up on very cold morning. As you wait for your hot water, remember you are still going to pay for that cold water that runs the drain pipe! In addition, you’re also footing the bill for your water heater as it stores, heats up and reheats a fresh supply of water. Now imagine getting instant hot water instead of having to wait for it to heat up.
You can do this by installing a tankless water heater. These heat up only the amount of water needed as it passes through a specially installed electric coil. Effectively, this eliminates any unnecessary wasted energy and excess energy costs associated with using a tank, resulting in great financial savings.
The added bonus that comes with tankless heater is that it eliminates the need for a water tank, hence freeing up valuable space which you can use for storage purposes. Tankless water heaters however can be quite expensive and could have limited rates of hot-water flow. Nevertheless, the energy savings outweigh such a shortcoming.
4. Installing an Efficient HVAC System
If you want an easy, quick and inexpensive way of making your residence more energy efficient, install a Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning system that is also efficient. Much of your energy bill typically comes from your home conditioning system, and if it is old, outdated and inefficient, the bills could be unreasonably high. For starters, you could update what you currently have, preferably with one that has a filter whistle. This simple device acts as an alarm whenever your HVAC system gets clogged as it will start to whistle.
Clogged filters are not only inefficient but cause your system to use more energy and need to be replaced or cleaned. A clean and efficient filters pumps clean and debris free fresh air throughout your home. It’s not only healthier but also saves you money.
5. Eliminating Allergens through Smarter Flooring
Your youngest family members and the elderly could be exposed to severe respiratory problems usually triggered by too much dust flowing in the air. Anyone living in your home that is asthmatic or allergic to dust particles could become uncomfortable or experience breathing complications. Installing or using hard flooring like wood, tile, or vinyl becomes much easier to keep free from dust and keep clean.
The Final Verdict
Using the above handy tips could make a huge difference in the way your home runs. Using recyclable and sustainable materials or methods which are environmentally friendly reduces your energy consumption. You drastically improve the quality of air which makes your home more comfortable. Nothing beats living in a home with clean, healthy air while keeping those energy bills at the minimum. In addition, you reduce your carbon footprint.