When most people think of “green” homes, they imagine houses that are made entirely out of recycled materials and powered by solar energy. While these homes are certainly eco-friendly, they can be quite expensive to build and maintain.
There is another option: building a sustainable home that incorporates green materials and techniques but doesn’t require you to break the bank. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best ways to make your home more environmentally friendly without spending a fortune.
Use energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs.
Did you know that it can take up to 10 years for the energy savings from an energy-efficient appliance to pay for itself? Fortunately, there are still ways to save money on green appliances. For example, some washing machines use cold water instead of hot water during the rinse cycle. Others have special sensors that turn off the machine when your clothes are dry.
By using a few eco-friendly products in your home, you can save hundreds of dollars over the product’s lifetime. Plus, it’s better for the environment!
Install a programmable thermostat.
A programmable thermostat will automatically adjust the temperature at certain times, meaning your heating and cooling systems won’t have to work as hard. This can equate to big savings on energy bills each year!
Of course, you can also save money by using a green heating and cooling system like geothermal technology (found in some homes built near hot springs). These systems make use of the constant, steady temperatures in the earth to regulate a home’s temperature. They can be much more efficient than standard heating and cooling systems.
Replace your traditional furnace with a high-efficiency model.
While some people prefer to stick with their old furnace and make small changes like switching out the filter regularly, upgrading to a high-efficiency furnace will typically benefit your wallet more than your lungs.
A high-efficiency furnace uses less energy but provides the same level of comfort as its older counterpart. Depending on the furnace, purchasing a high-efficiency model could save you a lot of money on your energy bill each month!
Insulate your home properly to reduce heating and cooling costs.
Proper insulation is one of the easiest things you can do to save energy and money in your home. Adding foam insulation or cellulose insulation to your attic, walls, and floors can help keep warm air inside during the winter and cool air inside during the summer. This will reduce the work necessary from your heating and cooling systems, saving both time and money.
Maximize the use of natural light.
Windows are one of the best sources of natural light in your home. During the daytime, make sure to open blinds and shades to let in as much sun as possible. You can also install lantern roof lights to maximize the use of natural light in the home and reduce electricity costs.
At night, turn off lights that aren’t necessary (consider installing dimmers on your lamps). By maximizing both sunlight and electric light during the day, you can reduce your electricity bill!
Choose sustainable building materials.
New homes are typically made using synthetic, manufactured materials like plywood, chipboard, and MDF (medium-density fiberboard). These products can be great for insulation but aren’t the most eco-friendly.
If you’re planning to build or renovate your home, look into sustainable options like bamboo, cork, and other renewable resources. These products are specially designed for use in sustainable homes – they’re durable, insulative, and eco-friendly!
Install a high-efficiency clothes washer.
If you’re still washing your clothes with an old top loader, it might be time to switch to a new front loader. Old models use more water and energy than newer models, which typically include features like air-dry cycles, various water temperatures, and sensors that can detect the weight of the clothes and adjust water levels accordingly.
Choose a green contractor.
When building or renovating your home, make sure to hire a reputable green contractor who understands what it takes to create a sustainable home. By finding someone experienced in eco-friendly construction, you’ll have access to high-quality materials and professional advice from day one.
You can also find green building companies that specialize in sustainable homes. These companies typically have experience with the most efficient and eco-friendly building materials, as well as a history of utilizing those materials to create a healthy and comfortable home for their clients.
Install solar panels or wind turbines to generate renewable energy.
While your home’s solar panels or wind turbines won’t generate enough electricity to power the entire house, they can make a big difference when it comes to reducing energy costs.
Building a sustainable home is one of the best decisions you can make for both your wallet and the environment. By using green materials and building techniques, you’ll not only be creating an eco-friendly space to live in but also reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.