There are many ways you can upgrade your home to make it eco-friendly, all while increasing its value and saving you money. Not only that, but homes with certain environmentally-conscious features result in reduced energy use, which also decreases energy costs and carbon footprint.
With so many amazing options out there, you don’t have to feel so overwhelmed mentally (or financially) in order to take your home to the next level. So, before you think about making any changes, consider starting with some of these details:
If you are into having hardwood floors (and even if you aren’t, but are considering a change), looking into sustainable wood options could get you the same look and feel of the real thing- without the high costs. Some attractive options include the following:
Another great and very popular option (especially among millennials!) is having stained concrete. Most of the time, this is ideal because it is already at the base of your home, so there is no need for any additional materials.
This is an idea worth exploring, since there are many retailers who specialize in selling pre-owned materials. If you have been eyeing a specific appliance or even a new chandelier, you could save thousands of dollars buying one that has been slightly used. Salvage yards, thrift shops, and even antique stores are great places to find things such as light fixtures, doorknobs, mantels, and other items you may want for your home. And, it will add a charm to your home that newer items on the market cannot compete with.
One thing that is definitely worth investing in, is a solar water heater. It can definitely be a pricier purchase, but in the long-run it will save you up to 80% on your hot water bills.
If your home tends to get extra warm, try investing in a roof that reflects heat instead of absorbing it. It allows you to keep your home cooler without using too much energy. When it comes to picking out what roofing option is best for you, we recommend looking into metal, as it can mimic the look of different materials such as wood, tile, and even stone.
If you’re looking to bring heat in during the colder months without having to spend more, a good method is to let in more sun via larger windows. South-facing exposure is best, but having larger windows throughout your home will not only contribute to natural light and heat, but you’ll also be burning less fossil fuels for energy.
Gas fireplaces are a great alternative to a traditional one because they provide heating with less overall pollution than wood-burning. They are also very easy to maintain, since you will eliminate ashes and soot from the process. Natural gas is inexpensive to run, costing about 17-19 cents an hour to run (or around $60 per year), whereas traditional fireplaces can cost you upwards of $200 annually.
Simply replacing older shower heads, toilets, and sinks can instantly save you water, and it’s an easy fix! By installing low-flow fixtures (which are now mandatory by federal standards), you will be able to use less water overall and save you between 25-60% on your next bill. Consider the following when making decisions:
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