Want to do your part for the environment by creating an eco-friendly home? The good news is that eco-conscious renovation is now more accessible than ever. It’s also affordable and saves you money in the long run.
When it comes to sustainable renovation, you don’t have to do a lot to make a big difference. By starting with small changes, you can make a lasting impact. Here are a few eco-friendly renovation ideas for inspiration.
1. Buy Reclaimed Materials for an Eco-Friendly Home
If you want to add on to your home, whether it’s an attic conversion, garage conversion, or guest room extension, think about using reclaimed materials.
There’s no need to get caught up in renovating with only the newest and shiniest materials and accessories. Instead, you can make use of reclaimed wood which is not only environmentally-friendly but also beautiful after a good polish.
Reclaimed wood can be used for flooring, walls, countertops, cabinets, cupboards, and more. Using this type of reclaimed material saves you money, as well as time and energy on the creation of new products.
2. Upgrade Your Lighting or Go Solar
This is a great example of how a small change can make a big impact. Upgrading your lighting efficiency and swapping out incandescent light bulbs for LED bulbs can make a world of difference. However, swapping out one room won’t make an impact; you have to commit to upgrading your entire home.
In addition to reducing your home’s energy consumption, LED bulbs last 25 times longer than incandescent versions.
Another brilliant way of cutting your home’s energy costs is by making the move to solar power. Even if only half of your home’s energy is provided by solar panels, this still makes for a significant environmental improvement.
You could also be legible for tax breaks and government incentives. Check out this solar company for more on solar panel installation.
3. Reface Surfaces Instead of Replacing Them
Most homeowners will tell you that cabinet or cupboard door replacement is a great way to makeover a kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom. But full cabinet or cupboard replacement is costly and has a negative effect on the environment.
Instead of replacing these surfaces, you can cut down on costs and carbon impact by refacing them. Your cabinets as a whole may still be in condition, but replacing doors and drawers can breathe new life into the entire unit.
Refacing is as simple as sanding down the surfaces, repainting, and resealing them. If your cabinets or cupboards are covered in wood veneer, the top layer of veneer can be replaced or updated.
4. Improve Your Home’s Insulation
If your home is in need of major retrofitting, this can be fairly time-consuming, but inexpensive to do yourself and environmentally-friendly. Some of these tasks include an upgrade to your HVAC system, reinsulating your roof, or updating air sealant throughout your home.
A good place to start is in your attic (if you have one) or your roof. Take time to completely update the insulation of these areas of your home to cut down on heat loss, heat penetration, and overall energy consumption.
Many older homes do not have roof or attic insulation, or wall insulation either. If you plan on remodeling, this is a great time to add insulation to make your home more eco-friendly.
There’s also the task of air-sealing your home to reduce your carbon footprint. Some of these tasks include:
- Caulking: This task involves squeezing material into small gaps between windows and doors to reduce airflow in and out of your home.
- Weatherstripping: Weatherstripping is similar to caulking, except foam or rubber material is cut-to-fit small gaps between windows and doors throughout your home.
- Installing Airtight Drywall: This is the best task for major renovation projects which seals all joints, seams, and openings between walls, windows, and doors.
Of course, you don’t have to wait for a major home renovation project to complete any of these tasks. You can take it upon yourself to actively convert your home to a more environmentally-friendly one.
5. Update Your Plumbing Fixtures
This home update may not seem innovative, but plumbing is an area that is so commonly overlooked during home renovations.
Most homeowners may be aware of eco-friendly ways of reducing power consumption, but what about water consumption? A home renovation is a great opportunity to look at your plumbing fixtures and replace them with WaterSense-certified fixtures.
Making the switch does not affect your access to your water or water pressure either. But it does help to lower your monthly water bill, sewer bill, and the amount of wastewater your home produces.
6. Install Low-E Windows
Low-E windows are another great way to reduce your home’s energy consumption. Love, which stands for low-emissivity glass, allows only a minimum amount of UV and infrared rays through your windows.
As a result, this Low-E coating helps to keep the temperature inside your home very consistent. It also prevents too much energy from escaping. In short, the Low-E glass reflects energy from the outside and the inside.
In the summer, it reflects excessive heat from entering your home, and as well as cold air from your AC unit back inside the house.
7. Add Living Plants to Your Living Space
One of the simplest ways of turning your home into an eco-friendly haven is by bringing the outdoors in.
Living plants not only add color, texture, and beauty to your home. They also help to regulate internal humidity levels, clean the air by absorbing chemicals, and release oxygen.
In exchange for this, all you have to do is give them enough sunlight, water, and plant nutrients. If you don’t have the space for potted plants in your home, you can install a vertical garden on a trellis or use hanging plants that drape from your shelving.
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