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9 Eco-Friendly Home Improvement Ideas


No matter what your lifestyle or budget may look like, there are tons of eco-friendly solutions, or "green" ideas to consider, instead of going the traditional route. Home improvements can help you save money, decrease your waste quantity, boost healthy living for your family, preserve our planet's resources, and reduce your carbon footprint!


WHAT'S THE MEANING OF "ECO-FRIENDLY"?


Essentially, to be eco-friendly means not causing any damage or harm to the environment or people. As human beings, we unintentionally affect our environment daily. On the bright side, there are many steps we can take to protect it and minimize the harm we cause, like consuming more organic foods and less meat, modifying plastic usage, and so on. Lucky for us, it's even easier when it comes to green home modifications! With manageable upgrades and changes, you can help better the earth and environment.


There are many subtle and simple green solutions for your home such as changing out your lightbulbs. Additional projects may require a professional at a larger cost, but in the long run, are always worth it.


Here are nine eco-friendly adjustments you can make to help our planet and your home.


#1 CHANGE TO LED LIGHTBULBS


Switching to energy-efficient lighting is an easy and affordable first step. The next time a lightbulb goes out, simply substitute the average lightbulb with an LED bulb.

Even though LED bulbs are a bit more costly compared to standard incandescent bulbs, they're very effective in terms of durability, endurance, and energy conservation.



#2 INSTALL A TANKLESS WATER HEATER


When it comes to tank water heaters, water is consistently heated to keep the tank full. Tankless water heaters operate by heating water on demand, therefore, you're not wasting energy by continuously heating 40 to 50 gallons of water when it's not needed, making it a great eco-friendly alternative. They also come with the advantage of never running out of hot water, meaning no more cold showers! In addition to reducing energy use, they last longer, use less space in landfills, and are significantly smaller.



#3 UPGRADE WINDOWS


Cooling and heating your home utilizes so much energy throughout the year and worn-out windows can be a big contributor to your energy use. A productive way to reduce that waste is by changing to dual-paned windows.


There are various kinds of dual-paned windows you can choose from such as silver-coated, air-filled, and gas-filled, available in any material and style like wood, vinyl, or metal. Each style produces greater thermal performance which keeps heat out during the summer and in during the winter.



#4 SWITCH TO SOLAR ROOF PANELS


Solar power systems obtain energy from the sun. Installing them to your roof can lessen greenhouse gas emissions and the use of fossil fuels. As the expense of installing solar panels continues to reduce and the grade of panels advances, this home improvement is entirely worth it. Residential solar panels can make a great long-term investment because they pay themselves off within 10 years, thanks to your energy bill savings. Pricing is based on your annual consumption, on average they can cost anywhere from $12 to $18 per square foot.



#5 INSTALL ENERGY STAR CEILING FANS


You can begin cutting down how much energy you use by setting your AC off and utilizing fans throughout the house more often. Energy Star-rated ceiling fans will keep you cool while minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.


Energy Star is a government-sponsored program that pinpoints energy-efficient appliances and products. Energy Star-rated ceiling fans are far more productive and cost-efficient than customary fans and use less energy to operate.



#6 ENERGY-EFFICIENT APPLIANCES


If you're in the market for brand-new household devices such as ovens, dishwashers, and refrigerators, pay attention to those that are Energy Star-approved, meaning that the appliance meets the U.S. Department of Energy’s standards for energy efficiency. Tons of the bigger appliances, specifically upscale refrigerators, use loads of energy.


If you're not looking to upgrade your appliances just yet, you can still enhance energy efficiency by utilizing smaller devices instead of larger ones (like a toaster oven over a traditional oven) and choosing to run the washing machine and dishwasher only if they're full.



#7 INSTALL A PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT


Installing a programmable thermostat allows you to set it to create less air conditioning and/or heat while you're away or sleeping, using less energy. Not only does this save you money, but it also helps lower your dependence on fossil fuels. Programmable thermostats don't use mercury like other standard thermostats, which have to be discarded with caution.

Traditional thermostats can wear down your HVAC system by tiring out your heating and air conditioning units and require loads of energy to heat and/or cool a space.



#8 USE RECLAIMED WOOD


Salvaged lumber from older buildings or furniture that are going to be destroyed can be utilized as support beams, for roof construction, and building walls. Using recovered wood slows down deforestation and newly sourced lumber demands. Reclaimed lumber is a sustainable resource that lessens dump waste and decreases the environmental impact of producing new products. Multiple green companies specialize in acquiring building materials from homes that will be demolished.



#9 INSTALL ECO-FRIENDLY FLOORING


There are so many options to choose from when it comes to eco-friendly flooring. Here are two of the most popular green materials.


BAMBOO


Bamboo flooring has lots of the same advantages and disadvantages as hardwood flooring. Like wood, bamboo is an appealing natural material that typically adds worth to a home. But due to its woodlike properties, it can get scratched up or scraped and is prone to splitting or cracking. Bamboo is a resilient and sustainable resource that comes in an assortment of shades and colors and is self-generating, meaning it doesn't need to be destroyed to harvest.


RECLAIMED HARDWOOD


Reclaimed wooden flooring can enhance the interior of a home while being a viable resource if harvested sustainably. Deforestation is a significant regard for wood utilization, which can be counteracted by using material created from reclaimed wood. We discovered that choosing reclaimed wood with a non-toxic wooden finish is the best eco-friendly choice because hardwood flooring can be polished with mixtures that emit VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, and manufactured wood is susceptive to releasing formaldehyde.


Sustainable homes help the planet by utilizing renewable energy sources, energy-efficient materials, and smart building designs to lower energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Renovating your home, and making it more eco-friendly is a wonderful way to lower your carbon footprint and protect our environment. A sustainable home can also be extremely profitable and worthwhile in the long run, as energy-efficient attributes can minimize energy bills and maintenance fees. At Stay Forever Construction, we have more than enough experience to help you with this transition. Our group of experts and professional design team knows exactly how to help assemble a sustainable home that is beneficial, cozy, and environmentally friendly.




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