One of the great things about buying a home is having the opportunity to add and edit whatever you want and make it work for you, and there are plenty of things you can do to earn yourself some good green karma in the process. Improving the energy efficiency of your home is a great way to do your part for the environment, and add value to your property in the process.
Given the current state of our global environment, many prospective home buyers are consciously seeking out eco-friendly features. There are plenty of small changes which promise to net you long-term value, an important consideration for those wanting to refinance their home or secure a great home loan for a new property.
Eco-friendly windows and doors:
The potential environmental impact of your windows and doors might surprise you. Your options for improving insulation are either to opt for double- or triple-pane glass, which is incrementally more expensive than the base standard, or glazed windows. This involves injecting krypton or argon gas between the window panes for optimum energy efficiency.
When it comes to framing, sustainably sourced wood will keep you in Mother Nature’s good books, especially if you can track down locally harvested or even reclaimed wood. Just make sure the wood you choose has been properly sealed to keep the weather out.
What could be more eco-friendly than harnessing the boundless energy of the sun? This is especially true if you happen to live in a part of the world where sunlight is plentiful. Installing solar panels on your roof could allow you to significantly reduce your use of other energy sources, and save a bit of money in the process. According to Lendi, solar panels are a great long term investment as they are low maintenance and, if properly installed, can last you up to 30 years. Switching to solar power can help you cut your ties with coal-sourced energy, saving water and oil, and significantly reducing your carbon footprint.
Solar hot water heater
If you’re keen to take solar energy one step further, all you’ll need is a solar hot water system, which typically includes a solar energy collector, a storage tank, a pump, and a heat exchange system. These can seem like an expensive investment at the outset, but the long-term financial and environmental benefits are well-established. It’s estimated that after four to eight years you will be able to generate up to 40 percent of your electricity usage from solar, and enjoy hot showers without the guilt.
LED light bulbs
The benefits associated with making the switch to LED lighting could make a significant difference to your wallet, your household, and the surrounding environment. LED panel lights are up to ten times more efficient than their incandescent cousins, and with a lifespan of between 30,000 and 50,000 hours, they last much longer than standard bulbs. They also help to combat pollution in the form of light, heat, noise, and chemicals, and they won’t attract insects, meaning you can expect fewer unwelcome guests.
Geothermal heat pump
These devices work by channeling heat from the ground in and out of your home, reducing or eliminating the need for temperature control devices in summer and winter. With this simple addition, you can eliminate your consumption of natural resources like oil and gas, while also cutting back on electricity usage. In addition to the heat pump itself, the cost of installation includes the energy supply source and distribution system, which typically adds up to about the same expense as an air conditioning system.
Toxic interior paints can wreak havoc on the air quality in your home and the health of your family members. By choosing eco-friendly paint, you can avoid bringing any unseen chemicals or gases into your home environment. Alternatives to conventional paints include milk paint, made from milk protein, and mineral- or plant-based pigments, as well as many other alternative creations promising no dangerous volatile organic compounds.
Dual flush toilets
The dual flush button on your toilet is nothing new, but it is an important fixture when it comes to water-saving habits. If your toilet is more than a few decades old, you could be flushing up to 15
Home wind turbine
You may not have seen many home wind turbines around your city yet, and it’s likely a factor of expense – these energy generators can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars up to many thousands for the most effective version. The benefits on offer in exchange for that price depends on which model you go for. The cheapest option, a micro-turbine, can be used to charge batteries, while the larger pole-mounted varieties can typically generate enough electricity to power your home.
There are so many clever and financially-sensible options for building a more eco-friendly home that it doesn’t make sense not to take advantage of them. Keep in mind the long-term value of these worthy investments, and it should make any short-term costs seem more manageable – after all, when it comes to the environment, you can’t afford