How to Make Your Home Green
In a world where there is an ongoing fear of irreversible damage to our o-zone layer and environment, “green” or eco-friendly living is all the rage. Many “green” modernists suggest that we redesign our homes to be more energy efficient. While this is an exciting concept to most, many are apprehensive because of the high cost. Little do most know, some of these eco-friendly changes can be made affordable on a minor or major scale. Not only are they affordable, but they will result in smaller energy bills and maintenance costs for years to come!
Here are a few suggestions to implement into your new green modernist lifestyle:
Windows and Doors
Although most modifications are not yet main-stream, there are simple alterations you can implement in your home. Windows and doors are the biggest way people are losing energy from there house. Try using glass with a tinted film in it to block solar rays from entering the house. Weather-strip is also a very common way of preventing a draft. This can save you money on those heating and cooling bills all year-round. If your windows and doors are dated enough, it may be time to replace them, as new innovative models are designed to be more efficient and conserve energy.
Light bulbs are a big “energy-vampire”, which can be tamed by simply changing your bulbs from incandescent to compact florescent bulbs. This shouldn’t be hard, since incandescent bulbs have been taken off the market as of 2014. However, there are aftermarket products available to tempt those stuck in their old ways. Do not be allured by these dated bulbs, changing all of your bulbs to florescent bulbs can save you up to $300.00 or more in energy bills a year! Not to mention that florescent bulbs can last from 3-5 years guaranteed!
Treating wood surfaces on the interior and exterior of your home can extend the life and quality of that fixture or surface. As we know, these surfaces tend to rot, warp and become damaged over time. Take time to examine all the wooden nooks and crannies in and around your home for damage. Doorframes, windowsills, drip edges, floors, wood trim, siding and shutters can all be treated with special finishes that will penetrate and protect them from weather, and water damage.
Painting and Staining
Painting and staining various surfaces around the home is a smelly, messy job that can be very toxic and hazardous. However, painting and staining is a common update that must be executed recurrently. To make the most environmentally friendly paint or stain selection, there are a few things to look for in different labels and brands. Stains that are water-based, without biocides and added dryers are ideal. Choose a darker stain for you wood instead of a clear stain. Darker finishes offer more protection from the sun’s rays and are far less toxic than other options on the market. When selecting a paint, use a brand with low or no volatile organic compounds (VOC) to reduce keep your paint-job as “green” as possible. Another signal placed on labels may state “all-natural pigments” or may specify if paint is water-based versus being oil-based. It is ultra-important to read labels, and choose carefully, as the amount of toxins such as lead, fungicides, biocides, pesticides and other toxic compounds can be awfully harmful.
The Little Things
Simple changes can be made to save on energy bills while taking away from your carbon footprint as well. Programmable thermostats are a great way to save energy if you travel often or work long days. If you are updating the exterior of your home, try replacing old siding with recycled siding. When landscaping, use recycled lumber and sheet-rock for mulch instead of other toxic materials. In your kitchen and bathrooms, try low flow faucets and shower heads, even low flow toilets to cut back on water bills. Whatever home improvements you make, always remember to recycle during projects and in your everyday life.
Green products are now more accessible and user-friendly than ever, so it is easy to implement changes in small ways. Start with these great initiatives to transform your home into a “green” environment. After tackling a few things, move on to bigger projects like rooftop solar panels, rainwater collection systems, maybe a tank-less water heater. If you are ever in doubt if there is a more eco-friendly option available for your needs, inquire with your remodeling contractor, and you will find that there is almost always a “green” alternative. These changes will improve your life, this world, and the value of your home.
Need help going green, going modern? Call The Abeyta Group Remodel team at 972-767-7770 or check them out online: Abeyta Group Remodel.