Green renovations to your home don’t have to be expensive. In many cases, you’ll be able to soften the environmental impact of your home while saving yourself money in the long run. Below, we’ll discuss how you can make each room in your home energy-efficient without breaking the bank.
The attic is an often-overlooked room of the home, but it actually plays a huge role in your home’s energy-efficiency. While roof insulation is a top concern among homeowners, proper insulation in the attic is the best way to moderate your heating and cooling bills. In fact, proper insulation can reduce your bill by up to 50%! This is a huge saving for a project that’ll cost you around $1.50 per foot.
The hallmark of an energy efficient bathroom is water-wise fixtures. Leaky toilets and faucets are costing both you and the environment. Leaking showerheads are also an easy fix.
Adding an aerator to each sink in the bathrooms and kitchen can save you about $50 per month per sink. You don’t even need to replace the faucet for this switch, as you can find an aerator to work with most existing faucets.
On the day to day, switches such as reducing your shower time, using sustainable personal care products, and flushing your toilet less frequently will reduce your daily environmental impact.
An energy efficient kitchen remodel doesn’t necessarily mean you have to rip out all of your appliances in favor of ENERGY STAR® rated models. In fact, many of your options are far less expensive. For example, adding a compost bin and recycling bin will cost you under $20. We all know we should turn the lights off when we leave a room, but also unplugging your appliances such as your toaster or blender when they’re not in use will save you cash. Also be sure you’re running your dishwasher only as it becomes full, as these appliances use a large amount of water in every cycle.
Finally, other small switches such as not using paper towels, switching to non-toxic cleaning products on your acrylic solid surfaces, and using glass containers rather than plastic for storage are easy and inexpensive fixes.
When it comes to the laundry room, switching the washer and dryer to ENERGY STAR rated units will decrease both your water and electricity bills. However, there are smaller switches you can make if replacing your units is too large of a financial burden. For example, washing using cold water, using concentrated laundry detergent, and hang or line drying your clothes are inexpensive and rather simple switches.
Replacing the lighting in your living room with ENERGY STAR rated light fixtures prove to be a great investment in your living room, where you likely spend a lot of time. LED bulbs will save 90% more energy than standard bulbs and will also last 25x longer, making them a great investment. Switching out your blinds can also save you money and save energy, as opening the blinds during sunny days to let in heat or keeping them closed to keep indoors cool.
Since the living area likely has electronics including the TV, video games, or other devices, adding power strips you can turn off when not in use will also improve the energy efficiency of the room.
Your bedroom may have many of the same features and electronics (TV, gaming device, cell phone charger, etc.) as your living room. Adding a power strip you can turn off when not in use will help minimize vampire or standby power from draining electricity.
You can also keep your blinds closed on hot days to keep the room cool and open when you want to let in the light or warm up the space. This can save quite a bit on heating and air conditioning costs. Using a ceiling fan will help circulate air without needing to turn on the central heating or air.
Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.