The year 2020 has led to a lot of us to spend far more time at home. I mean more than we’re used to. So id ou’ve been decluttering, cleaning, or upgrading and are ready to make upgrades let’s do. All because we will make your home more eco-friendly and sustainable. Please consider the upgrades below.
Work With the Sun
Monitor where the sun hits your house on the hottest days of the year. You know; particularly your windows. Of course, upgrading your windows can keep your home more comfortable. That’s no matter the temperature. However, planting deciduous shade trees of the best variety and at the best time for your region. Yes folks, that can make a huge difference.
If you can’t plant a tree, consider adding awnings to your home to cut down on sun exposure to your windows. Awnings with varied slats will provide shade in the summer when the sun is more direct. Then the light in the colder seasons when the sun is coming in at an angle.
Additionally, if you’re considering planting a garden for flowers, herbs, or vegetablesvegetables. Then try to get those beds sited in direct sunlight for at least six hours a day. Consider putting out plastic flags and checking them at various points in the day to make sure they’re still getting enough light.
For those interested in gardening, consider adding a collection system for rainwater. If local ordinances allow, add rain barrels to your home. Be aware that a rain barrel near your home that doesn’t get emptied regularly will develop an odor. Additionally, if your rain barrels overflow consistently, your foundation could be at risk as the soil gets more saturated.
Additionally, do your best to put in plants that won’t require a lot of water. If you want fruit or shade trees, don’t plant in the spring and summer if you suffer high temperatures in the summer. If the winters in your area are punishingly cold, put in shrubs and trees in the spring.
For those who love flowers, consider putting more delicate annuals in pots so you can target them with water instead of having to water the whole yard or a large flower bed. Plant grasses and other decorative plants that don’t take a lot of water, and consider putting in buffalo grass or another lawn that will thrive on little water.
Inside the house, add aerators to your sinks and add Thermostatic Shower Valves and a timer into the construction, particularly in the children’s bathroom, to remind everyone else to use resources wisely. Additionally, if you’re a fan of hot tubing. Then please consider installing a thermal tub with an easy to use cover to avoid contaminants getting in and mucking up the bottom.
Maintain Healthy Temperature
Simple additions to prevent cold or hot air from the outdoors coming into your home include lined, thermal drapes. If your windows are older and you’re not in a position to replace them at this time, work around the windows with a caulking gun to seal out the cold air.
In older homes, particularly those with plaster walls, insulating with shredded insulating material down the wall gap from above the ceiling can help. If nothing else, do your best to keep your attic fully insulated. Be aware that, even if your older home is a bit harder to keep temperate, older homes are generally smaller and thus inherently more sustainable.
Work through your crawlspace and consider adding
- insulation between the floor joists
- a heating source for the crawlspace
The defining factor in this choice will be water pipes. If you have water pipes running through the crawlspace, and many do, they may actually be prevented from freezing by the heat radiating through the floor. Yes, the floor is cold but the pipes are running freely.
A cold crawlspace should always be provided with some ventilation to reduce the risk of moisture build-up. If you are able to run a bit of heat or air conditioning into your space without allowing air from the crawlspace back into your home, do so.
For those planning to build a new home, it’s important to keep an eye on square footage. The smaller the house, the lower the environmental impact. Keep air moving all year long to keep warm water moving down and cool air moving around no matter the season.
This article was written by Sheryl Wright