Far from being just another passing fad, the current trend of Eco-friendly homes is a direct consequence of people assuming responsibility for climate change and taking steps to address it in their day-to-day lives. But while plenty of new homes are built with green amenities right from the get-go, older ones are invariably a product of their times. Fortunately, in many instances it’s quite easy to take an older home and retrofit it in an environmentally savvy way. Aside from lowering its carbon footprint, such improvements can also boost the value of your home, should you ever want to sell it at a future date. There are some changes you can make in your home that will also significantly improve the quality of your life.
One of the best methods of reducing your home’s carbon footprint lies in replacing your biggest energy consumers with more efficient, environmentally-friendly options. This category includes items like your home’s lights, where LED bulbs are by far the best choice due to their reduced energy consumption and long lifespan, and bathroom essentials such as faucets and showerheads, which can be replaced with low-flow fixtures. But common household appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines and microwaves should also be switched with more energy-efficient models whenever possible.
Old windows, especially of the single-pane variety, barely insulate your home from outside weather, making them excellent points of entry for everything from cold winds to harmful UV rays. That’s why it’s paramount to replace them with modern double or even triple-pane models that do a much better job of keeping everything out. In some cases, you may also want to replace the window frames as well if you want to gain the full benefit of modern eco-efficiency, which invariably leads to lower energy bills and a higher home value.
Speaking of insulation, any truly modern home has to have a layer of insulating coat. It can either be placed on the outside or on the inside of the house, with homeowners usually preferring the former because it doesn’t affect living space and can be quickly installed. A well insulated home stays warmer in the wintertime and cooler in the summertime, thus immeasurably improving the quality of life for all those who live inside it. There are a number of materials to choose from, depending on the building materials that your home is made of, so consult with a specialized contractor to see what would work best for your particular situation.
Solar energy has come a long way since the days when it seemed like a futuristic technology taken straight out of “The Jetsons”. Today, more and more enterprising homeowners are boosting the value of their property by installing safe and reliable skylights and solar panels, which can help keep energy bills down without requiring that much of an initial investment. What’s more, they can be used to help heat a home or even power up small items like fans or coolers.
The possibility of having a well-manicured lawn is a dream for many budding homeowners. However, the cost of maintaining a typical yard can be astronomical in terms of unnecessary water use. In order to significantly reduce your lawn’s environmental impact, consider incorporating more hardscaping features such as patio stones and planting native plants instead of more exotic ones. Of course, the occasional tree and shrub is still a welcome sight, especially when it’s placed strategically enough so as to provide your property with extra shade in the summertime. It’s worth stating that by growing a low-impact lawn you’ll still be able to enjoy the benefits of a beautiful yard, which can boost the value of your home considerably.