With passing time, more and more homeowners are leaning towards incorporating environment-friendly features in their personal abodes. Here is a quick look at what you can do to help protect the environment while working on your home remodeling project.
1. Get an energy audit done
Most energy experts advise homeowners to get a thorough home-energy rating done before they start on any remodeling project. Of course, your primary objective might be to increase space or add a new bedroom, but as a responsible citizen, you might be interested in finding out if the remodeling can be designed in a green and energy-efficient way.
Though the evaluation might cost you a couple of hundred dollars in the beginning, a professional home-energy rater can tell you how to maximize the energy efficiency of your home, reduce the amount of carbon emissions from your home and in addition, save at least $60 per month on your energy bill.
Also, consider getting the book Do It Yourself Home Energy Audits that you can get in the Green Guru Guides section of the Green Living Guy website!
2. Use home energy monitoring systems
Modern home energy systems help you keep track of how much energy your home is using in real time. Obviously, you are more likely to cut down on your energy consumption when you come to know the actual figures.
3. Use sustainable and non-toxic materials
The manufacture of traditional building materials such as cement takes a heavy toll on the environment and often produces a lot of industrial waste that does not get recycled. Minimize the impact of your remodeling on the environment by choosing natural materials such as rock, bamboo and cordwood for your projects. Cork is also another popular environment-friendly option for flooring as it is harvested from the bark of the tree and does not require the tree to be cut down.
Choose paints and finishes with zero or low levels of VOCs to improve your home’s air quality and to save yourself from inhaling toxic fumes. This is also a safer option for people who have young children at home.
4. Make optimum use of lighting and color
Maximize natural lighting wherever possible and use reflective surfaces to amplify the light in a room. If possible, shift the window from its usual central location so that it lies adjacent to another perpendicular wall. This makes the second wall a natural reflective surface. Install skylights to make use of abundantly available sunlight.
Use lighter paint shades that reflect ambient light to brighten up a room without using artificial light.
5. Replace old appliances with new energy-efficient models
Replace your home’s decades-old appliances with new energy-efficient star-rated models to reap in huge benefits on your utility bills. Low flush toilets and low flow shower heads offer great savings on water.
Do you know what the most environment-friendly part of your remodeling is? Yes, your decision to renovate your existing home instead of building a new one. And while you are out shopping for accessories for your newly remodeled home, don’t forget to make sure that your lamp shades, carpets and other home décor stuff are made from natural, recycled or repurposed materials.
Kurt Jacobson is a surfing enthusiast with a background in real estate. Having moved 10 times in the past 7 years, he thrives on helping others learn from his experiences. When he’s not out shredding waves he writes about homes for househunter.co.