Going Eco-Friendly At Home: Three Ways You Can Get Started Today

Going Eco-Friendly At Home: Three Ways You Can Get Started Today

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) estimates that approximately 84 percent of residences will have sustainable features by 2018. When moving into a new home, one of the things that may spring to mind is the sustainability of your new home. A new place provides new opportunities to outfit your home with eco-friendly features whether they may be in the form of changes or included in the design plan. Building or designing an eco-friendly home is not only good in an environmental sense, but it is also a great financial move. It turns out that making the move towards sustainability could end up being one of the best things you could do for your new home and your bank account. Whether you are just moving into a home or renovating your home to update your style, check out these ways you can make your next home a little bit more efficient (and greener).

Invest in Insulation

One of the largest users of energy in your home is your heating appliances, particularly in larger or older homes. The Insulation Institute estimates that approximately 90 percent of homes in the U.S. are under insulated. During the winter months and cold spells, it is important that your heating system is capable of keeping your home warm. It is also one of the areas you can make the largest change in your energy usage and is a great tip when going green in your house. Making the investment into insulation in your new home when moving in can save you up to 80 percent in energy costs annually. Good insulation means your home will be able to hold the heat in longer, reducing the heating costs.

Begin by inspecting your home including your attic. Using the recommended guidelines from the Department of Energy, assess whether your home including its walls and roof are insulated to the correct levels and with the correct fibers. If in doubt ask your agent to arrange an inspection, and you can also ask the previous owners about the current insulation. Finally, don’t forget to insulate pipes and any fixtures. The use of an insulation blanket can reduce your heating loss by 25-40 percent each year.

Recycle & Reuse A Normality

One of the best habits to adopt when going green at home is to recycle and reuse. This habit can extend to many instances in your home. It may not be a practice previous owners followed, but it is a simple one to get started. If your new place comes with a garden, consider installing a greywater system which utilizes used water from your shower and other parts of your home and funnels it to water your plants afterward. For your fruits and vegetable, contemplate having or building a home compost. Using kitchen scraps or those vegetables that have gone bad to build a compost rich in nutrients you can then use in your garden.

Invest in Upgrades

Choosing to invest in energy efficient appliances when moving into your new home can save you up to 40 percent on your electric usage. Many appliances in the home that are used daily including washing machines and dishwashers are significant determinants of your water and electricity usage. However, due to the recent rise in support for sustainability, there is now a magnitude of energy star appliances available. It is important to take note of any installed appliances when preparing to move in and swapping them for a more energy efficient model before moving in. While some of the more efficient models may be more costly than the standard model, the savings they provide over their lifetime easily outstrips the extra cost paid. If you are after cheaper and simpler upgrades, then consider switching your shower heads to a low flow head. Within four months, they would have repaid their cost and reduces both your water and electricity usage.

More importantly, the secret to making your home eco-friendly lies in understanding your home and your lifestyle. Simply put, it is about becoming smarter in your usage in resources. You can choose to do a large overhaul and invest into it, or you can take smaller, simpler steps towards sustainability at home. Whatever your approach, it makes a difference so why not get started today?

Jenny Holt jennyholtwriter@gmail.com

Photo by Volha Flaxeco on Unsplash

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment