5 Efficient Upgrades to Make Your House More Eco-Friendly
Whether you’re about to put your house on the market among the homes for sale in Houston, TX or anywhere else, or you just want to limit your impact on the environment and perhaps save some money too, a more eco-friendly home is a must. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) reports that “green” homes create value as they’re increasingly more desirable, with over half of consumers ranking green and energy-efficiency as top requirements for their next home.
Upgrade the Insulation
One of the most painless ways to make your home greener is to add insulation to prevent heat from escaping from walls, windows, doors and ducts. It can improve your home’s energy draw by as much as 20 to 30%, according to RealSimple.com. If that’s not an option, using thermal shades to help block the sun in the summer and retain heat in the winter can also help. Sealing windows and adding draft guards on outside doors also reduces energy loss.
Energy Star, which is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, considers geothermal heating to be one of the most effective and efficient heating technologies today as it uses the natural heat from the Earth as a limited source. While installing this system isn’t cheap, it typically pays for itself within five to eight years, not to mention adding a significant amount to the resale value of a home. Utility bills are likely to be reduced dramatically too, with most homeowners saving 25 to 50 percent over conventional methods, as Enviro Tech reports.
Switching out outdated high-energy appliances for more efficient ones is also a great way to make your home more eco-friendly. Even if you can’t afford to buy all new appliances right now, you might want to consider replacing one at a time if they’re more than 10 years old. Buying an energy-efficient model with the “Energy Star” logo utilizes 10 to 50% less energy and water than standard models.
Switch Out Your Light Bulbs
One of the cheapest things you can do for a greener home is to switch out your light bulbs. Energy-efficient lighting makes a dramatic difference in energy use. Replacing every old bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb typically uses 66% less energy, and they’ll last up to ten times longer too. If you change out a 100-watt incandescent bulb with a 32-watt CFL, for example, you can save $30 in energy costs over the bulb’s life.
Add Gadgets That Will Help Conserve Water
Conserving water is essential no matter where you live, even in areas where there seems to be plenty. Your water bill will be lower, and you’ll be helping to save the Earth’s dwindling supply of freshwater. By adding certain gadgets to your home, it will help reduce water consumption and make it more eco-friendly. For example, by placing an aerator on all of the faucets in your home you can cut your yearly consumption by 50 percent. Installing a low-flow toilet can save at least two gallons of water every time you flush.