Green Renovation Checklist

EarthIn honor of Earth Day this week, we thought we’d take a practical look at how homeowners can make some green changes in their homes.

Stop Air Leaks

One of the biggest energy zappers in your home is leaky windows and doors. As you’re spring cleaning this year, check around doors and windows and any other wall penetrations to make sure the seal is secure. Plugging leaks with weather stripping and caulk is a simple way to make sure your home’s temperature stays what you desire, thereby cutting your energy bill.

Install Energy Star Appliances

You’ve heard it before, but many homeowners are still not installing Energy Star-rated appliances in their homes because the initial out-of-pocket investment can be a bit steep. But, when you consider you can save $50 a year or more per appliance, you quickly realize you will make your investment back and then some over the life of the appliance.

Go Solar

Solar is not just for big companies. The technology, which uses solar cells to convert the sun’s light into energy, is increasingly available for residential use. Solar power can be used to create electricity in your home and heat water. Like Energy Star appliances, your initial investment may be pricey, but solar power can help you slash your energy bills or even bring them all the way down to zero. You can’t really put a price on that.

Reduce Your Home’s Water Use

For a few dollars, you can pick up aerators at your local hardware store and install them in all of your sink faucets. Also, consider switching to low-flow showerheads and toilets. Outside your home, consider planting native plants in your yard that require less watering.

Reach for Low-VOC Products

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are harmful and should be minimized in your home, so switch to paints and cleaning products that are low VOC. Doing so will greatly improve the air quality in your home and protect your family’s health.

Select Bamboo Flooring When Remodeling Your Home

It makes no sense taking numerous steps to green up your home, only to select building materials that are anything but environmentally-friendly. If you’re in the market for new floors, consider choosing over traditional hardwoods. Though traditional hardwoods are very attractive, harvesting hardwoods has done major damage to the world’s forests. Since bamboo is technically a grass and not a hardwood and can regenerate in as little as 3-5 years (compare that to hardwood trees that can take up to 50 years to regenerate), it’s an obvious green choice that will look beautiful in your home and won’t break the bank.

“Going green” doesn’t have to be an overwhelming project for you and your family. By committing to making better choices little by little, you will help the environment and your own health as well. Happy Earth Day!

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