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Improve Your Home the Eco-Friendly Way

April 24, 2015

Upgrading your living space can be a great way to freshen its look and feel. It can also be a path toward a more harmonious co-existence with Mother Nature. Eco-friendly home improvements can add to your home while saving you money and reducing environmental impact. Potential projects can range from quick-and-easy to longer-term undertakings, depending on just how ambitious you are feeling.

The Easy Stuff

Improving your home doesn’t have to be hard work—there are plenty of simple ways to start living more eco-friendly today.

  • Swap out old-style light bulbs with energy-efficient models and enjoy immediate savings on your utility bill.
  • Screw on a new low-flow showerhead to save water—this can be particularly helpful in drought-stricken areas.
  • Update or add weather stripping to drafty doors or windows to save on heating and cooling costs.
  • Remember your air filters, which usually require replacement about every three months. An old filter reduces efficiency and results in dirtier air in your home.
  • Switch to power strips for computers and other tech devices. These do a better job of regulating power use while electronics are not operating.

The Big Stuff

Are you ready to make a real impact? Depending on your time, budget, and inclination, there are numerous projects recommended to make your home more eco-friendly.

  • Solar panels require an investment upfront, but can afford you big savings in the long run. Discounts and tax breaks are sometimes available as well.
  • Beef up insulation in your walls to prevent heat loss in the winter, or heat absorption in the summer.
  • If it’s about time to re-roof your home, consider materials such as metal or white tiles which better deflect heat from the sun.
  • Install a new ceiling fan or two before warmer months. Reducing reliance on air conditioning is better for the environment, and better for your wallet.
  • Treat windows which receive more sunlight during the day. Tinting can not only cut the amount of heat absorption, but also protect your floors and furniture from the damaging effects of prolonged sun exposure.

The End Result

Any home improvement is usually a good idea—even more so if the project results in benefits to the planet. It may be wise to start small and graduate to more involved tasks as you gain confidence. In any case, many of these types of improvements will quickly begin to pay for themselves through savings on energy and heat bills. When combined with the environmental benefits, you may find yourself wondering why you didn’t start sooner.

Filed in: Lighting, Living Room

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