In a perfect world, every homebuyer would get exactly the home they want, in the price range wanted, and it would even be eco-friendly. Sometimes, concessions have to be made. Luckily, being eco-friendly doesn’t have to be one of those concessions.
April will be New Homes Month, and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has shown how new homes increasingly offer the energy-efficient features homebuyers seek. Surveys indicate that efficiency is among the most-wanted features of homebuyers and that builders are responding to this demand.
There is an impact on the environment for every little small thing that we do in our daily life. If we shift towards eco-friendly products, we can contribute to saving our environment. Switching to environmentally safe, green products is simple for any individual who wishes to contribute to the sustainability of the environment.
By using more environmentally safe products, we reduce pollution and contamination of our natural resources, such as the air, water and soil. If done correctly, it can even lead to lower household bills for you, in the future. By making these changes, you aren’t sacrificing your home’s comfort or style.
Find an energy calculator to assess your current energy usage.
Many sites have calculators that will automatically tally up the energy efficiency of your home. It’s also helpful if the site can produce a graph or tally that can demonstrate what your home's potential could be after making some minor changes.
Install a programmable thermostat.
A programmable thermostat can monitor your home’s temperature, keeping it warmer or cooler when you’re not there. For example, if you’re away during the day at work, a programmable thermostat can keep the inside temperature warmer than you’d usually keep it, and trigger the air conditioning only when you get home. Using one correctly can save you up to $180 a year.
Replace old appliances.
Old appliances, such as water heaters, refrigerators and stoves, could be wasting a lot of energy. Replacing them with new Energy Star-qualified products will ensure your home uses less energy than with the older appliances you may currently have.
There are often tax credits for replacing old, energy-inefficient products with new eco-friendly ones. A list of these products can be found on the US Department of Energy website.
If you can’t afford to replace your water heater, buy a specially-designed insulating blanket instead. These blankets are made to be wrapped around the water heater and are available at most home improvement stores and take only a few minutes to install. The wraps help reduce wasted energy.
Replace your toilet.
Traditional toilets can use up to seven gallons of water per flush. These water-guzzlers create a lot of waste. Look for “low flow” toilets to be eco-friendly.
Also look for toilets with the WaterSense label. Those toilets use about 20 percent less water per flush than standard toilets.
Replace your old light bulbs.
Old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs waste up to 90 percent of their energy as heat. New types of light bulbs, such as compact fluorescent (CFL) and LED bulbs, can lower your home’s energy consumption for light.In most cases, you don’t have to do a thing to your existing light fixtures. Just buy different bulbs and swap them out!
An even better and cheaper alternative is to open curtains and windows during daylight hours to use natural light. It can cut power costs and save energy.
Wash your laundry in cold water.
80-90 percent of the energy used when you run the washing machine comes from heating up the water for hot water washes. Use the “cold water” or “eco” mode on your washing machine to save energy.
Several companies make eco-friendly cold-water detergents. If you have tough or frequent stains, these could be a good option to help your clothes get clean even in cold water.
Have some indoor plants.
What better way to be green, than to surround yourself with green? Live plants around your home act as natural air filters and some plants are particularly effective absorbers of harmful pollutants emitted from carpets, furniture, and electronic equipment. Clean your indoor air and "green" your living space by filling your home with spider plants, Boston ferns, rubber plants, and palm trees.
What were some aspects of eco-friendliness you want for your home? Share with us in the comments! Thinking about buying this spring? Start your search with us!