If you are concerned about your own impact on the environment, something you can do is to alter your home. There are certain upgrades and remodeling projects you can take on that do lower your home’s negative impact. In fact, some of these upgrades can increase the value of your home as well.
One thing no one liked doing in the past was programming a traditional wall-mounted thermostat. The controls were usually clunky, and getting it to do anything more advanced than turning the temperature up and down required decoding a manual with complex instructions. However, if you upgrade to a smart thermostat, programming your HVAC system is as easy as navigating a simple-to-use app. You’ll be able to tell your system to not run the heat or air as much when your home is empty, and that will save a lot of energy over the year. Homebuyers also find smart home features attractive and will pay more for a home that has them.
Something that may be a big drag on your home’s carbon footprint is your windows. Old windows tend to develop gaps around them that leak air. What this means is that those leaky windows result in your home losing heat during the winter and cool air during the summer. This, in turn, will force both your furnace and air conditioner to work much harder each season. You’ll use more energy during the winter and summer, and your utility bills will grow in kind. However, newer more eco-friendly designs for windows that leak virtually no air are available. New windows will also increase your home’s value.
Environmentally Friendly Wall Paint
After a significant amount of time, walls become ugly. Paint can chip and become discolored. It’s even worse in the case of wallpaper. After a certain number of years, you should plan on giving your walls an upgrade to help preserve the value of your home. However, you should be aware that traditional wall paint includes toxic chemicals that are bad for the environment. The production processes for this paint are even more taxing on the environment. The same could be said for most kinds of wallpaper that use either paper from trees or toxic materials like plastic. However, there is a solution. You can instead choose to upgrade your walls with textured wall paint made from environmentally friendly ingredients like lime that do not have the same toxic qualities. Even better, this wall paint naturally resists mold and fungi growth, making your home healthier for you and your family.
Solar panels may seem like a cliche in regards to energy efficiency. However, what you should know is that newer designs for solar panels are much improved versus older models. You’ll be able to generate much more energy. The amount you draw from the local power grid will be greatly lessened as well as your yearly energy bills. They are especially a good idea if you live in an especially sunny area like the southwest. Having solar panels installed on your home will also make it extremely attractive to home buyers.
One home upgrade that will pay off in the long run and make your home more energy efficient is to install new insulation. How much insulation you need and what kind of insulation you should purchase is determined by where you live. This map provided by the US Department of Energy can help you make the right choice. Overall, newer more efficient insulation will help your home better trap heat so you don’t have to run your furnace as much during the winter.
New Garage Door
Much like your windows, your garage door could be leaking a lot of air. However, there are higher-end models you can upgrade to that include three layers of insulation. Your garage will no longer leak as much air. Even better yet, it will remain at a stable temperature so you can use it during the summer and winter without frying or freezing to death.
Home remodeling projects are an excellent time to decrease your home’s negative impact on the environment. They can also do the job of increasing the value of your home in tandem. Consider one of the options above for your next home improvement project.
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