How Can Remodeling Be Made Eco-Friendly?
Remodeling can be an exciting time for a homeowner. It’s a chance to upgrade your home with new features and improve your special place. But have you ever considered ways you can take remodeling and make it better for the environment?
When you choose to remodel, you’re already making an environmentally conscious choice. Using the same property and making green changes to it is already helping the planet surrounding you. When you remodel, consider these ways to make your home’s renovations as eco-friendly as possible.
One of the quickest ways to renovate your home in a green way is to switch out your current appliances for more energy-efficient options. Whether it’s TVs, washers and dryers, refrigerators, or ovens, you can upgrade any appliance to a newer model designed to use less energy.
A great way to tell if an appliance is eco-friendly is to look for the Energy Star label. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) runs Energy Star and sets the standard for appliances. If the machine you’re looking at has the label, then the EPA deems it energy-efficient. These specially marked appliances will save you money on your utility bill and will be better for the environment.
One typical remodeling project people do is painting their walls. This is a great opportunity to take a step towards an eco-friendly home. Many of the paints you see at the store contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
These chemicals have harmful effects on the environment and on humans. Paints with VOCs evaporate at room temperature and pollute the air inside your home. Consider buying paint containing no VOCs or a minimal amount of VOCs for your next painting project. Most building material stores have low VOC paint options available.
When you remodel, you’re bound to have waste and other items you won’t need anymore. Whether it’s old floor tile, shingles from your roof, or heavier pieces of debris, you need to have a plan to remove it when you’re finished. Having a plan to remove the waste and knowing how much it will cost will help you budget for your home’s remodeling project.
Hiring a junk removal service will be more environmentally friendly for reducing waste than throwing away trash that ends up in landfills. You can also look for building material reuse companies in your area.
Insulation and Sealing
One of the best ways to ensure your home’s energy efficiency is to seal your home. If there are cracks, then the air will easily slip in and out of your house. This problem will require your AC unit to work harder to keep the cool air inside during the summertime and the warm air inside during the wintertime. If you want to seal the cracks, try caulking. This method uses a sealant called caulk to fill those cracks and prevent air from escaping or entering.
Another way to control the temperature in your house and the cost of your utility bill is to focus on your home’s insulation. To insulate your home in an eco-friendly way, use recycled materials such as wool, since it resists moisture and won’t easily catch on fire.
Another way to insulate your home, and have an eco-friendly remodel, is to have a green roof. With this type of roof, dry soil increases insulation because it decreases the amount of heat entering your home. When you use this solution, your AC unit won’t have to work as hard since it’s not having to cool the air before it blows into the house.
With a green roof, you’re making an environmentally conscious choice that will also save you money in the long run. By making your roof green, you’re extending the life of your roof since you’ll be hiding it from the sun’s UV rays and damaging winds from storms. This change to your home will be a three-fold upgrade: you’ll save money on your electric bill, extend your roof’s life span, and help the environment.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Remodeling
If you want to be more environmentally friendly with your home, remodeling is a great option. You can simultaneously upgrade your home and become a better friend to the world around you by doing small renovations like sealing cracks or larger projects like making your roof green.
In addition to the ecological benefits, you’ll also see a lower energy bill. While the cost of renovations can be high, you’ll save money in the long run with lower energy bills and less money spent on maintenance in the future.
Author bio: Jane Marsh works as an environmental and energy writer. She is also the editor-in-chief of Environment.co. To read more posts from Jane, sign up for BioFriendly Planet’s newsletter!