Making a Green Home Improvement Making a Green Home Improvement
Making green home improvements is not only environmentally responsible, but it can also save you money. There are several inexpensive adjustments you can make to improve the efficiency of your home and help save our natural resources. Here are just a few ideas.
Install a Tube Skylight
A dim hallway or stairwell may benefit from tube skylights. This type of tube or ‘sun tunnel’ is a plastic diffuser that installs easily in the ceiling. It extends up through the attic and roof, captures the sunlight and tunnels it back down through the ceiling.
This type of lighting costs less to install a traditional skylight, and it also takes up less space. It will save on your energy consumption and bills by offering natural light in an area that lacks it.
Insulate Hot Water Pipes
A lot of heat and energy is lost through your hot water systems. The pipes disperse heat pretty quickly, so even if the water in the heater is warm, the water left in the pipes is not. This means you need to run the water for several minutes before hot water flows through the pipes. Not only does this waste water, but it causes the heater to heat more water when it’s probably not necessary.
It may cost less than $100 to insulate your pipes. The insulation is made of rubber or polyethylene foam and will help minimize the cool-down time on your hot water pipes. This means you save water by not having to let it run to get the fresh hot water, and it saves energy because your hot water heating isn’t working as hard.
If your appliances are overdue for replacement, consider updating them with new models that rely on alternative energy sources. Hot water heaters can be installed using solar power, saving energy. Home heating and air systems can be upgraded to heat pumps to reduce energy costs. Windows can be made with more passive solar options, helping to cut back on energy consumption.
You can even find refrigerators, stoves, washers and dryers that have very low Energy Star ratings. The more energy-efficient your appliances are, the more money you save on bills each month, and the closer we get to cutting dependence on non-renewable resources.
Green home improvements don’t have to cost a lot of money. Simple things like hanging a clothesline and creating a rain garden are things that cost next to nothing and can improve your homes energy efficiency. If you are doing any kind of remodeling, check into the greener options.