How to Achieve a Green Home

Today, we have never been more clued up about how our actions affect the world around us and because of this, more of us than ever before are looking at all the ways they can help the planet – such as by creating a green home.

But just how can a home improvement project benefit the environment?

There have really never been more options available to you if you want to go green and one of the best ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint is through building an ecological home. Programmes like Channel 4’s Grand Designs often feature people who do not only want to create their dream home, but who also want to build a structure that is sustainable and will benefit generations to come.

If you have the funds available and have always toyed with the idea of building your perfect house then this could be an option for you. By choosing to work with tradesmen who have been involved with similar projects then you can have the peace of mind of knowing that your vision is in safe hands – and they may even be able to offer you some tips you had not previously considered.

These can include advice on the most sustainable building materials to pick out. There are many options available for you here, including hempcrete, sandstone, packed earth, wool, rapid-growing wood like bamboo, recycled metal and reclaimed timber or bricks.

Your finished home will stand as a testament to your efforts and the possibilities of green living – and is likely to provide a shelter for many generations to come.

However, not all of us are in a position to construct our own house, but there are still plenty of ways to make an existing property more energy efficient and to reduce its carbon footprint.

On the market today there are several technologies that have been purposefully designed to reduce the amount of fossil fuel households are reliant on, thereby saving them money.

Among these are solar panels, which are able to collect the free and natural energy of the sun and convert it into usable electricity to heat water for the home. This allows you to reduce the amount of fossil fuels you consume, helping you to lower your energy bills as a result.

Similar fixtures include biomass boilers – which are powered by wood chips or pellets – wind turbines and air or ground source heat pumps, which are able to use warmth that is stored underground or in the atmosphere and use it for your house. All of these items can help you to lower the amount of carbon emissions you are responsible for and reduce your gas and electricity bills. Best of all, under the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive you could even make some extra cash.

Technology such as this can require planning permission before you go ahead with having it fitted and it can also be expensive – although it will soon start paying for itself through lower energy bills.

However, if you do not have the necessary funds available now, there is still plenty you can do on a tighter budget.

Chief among these options is to revamp your central heating system if it is powered by gas. A boiler is responsible for as much as 60 per cent of the carbon emissions produced by a gas-powered property, so it is worthwhile investing in a unit that is as energy efficient as possible.

A condensing gas boiler is one of the best alternatives available today as it is able to convert more of its fuel into usable heat for your home than its older counterparts. This can help you to save money and lower your carbon emissions – remember to hire a fully qualified tradesman who is on the Gas Safe Register to carry out the work for you though.

Another way to make your home greener is to improve its existing insulation. New loft, floor, solid or cavity wall insulation can make a real difference in reducing the amount of heat that is lost from a building’s exterior, as can double glazed windows.

Even taking the time to fill in any cracks in floors and walls, lay down a draught excluder, turn the thermostat down by one degree C, switch your appliances off at the wall or fix a leaking tap can see you helping the environment in some small way – and every little counts.

So if you are looking for a theme for your next home improvement project, why not make it a green one?

How to Go Green With Eco Friendly Home Improvements

Remodeling your home is a great opportunity to obtain a fresh and eco friendly home design. Even if you are not completely reinventing your house, you can still go green by making a few adjustments that will increase energy efficiency and make you save money in return.

Green Home Improvement Ideas

The first area that can be made more energy efficient is the bathroom. In the United States, 40% of domestic water consumption is used just in the bathroom, and older bathrooms use an average of 13,000 gallons of fresh water each year. By installing a dual flush toilet, you can save energy by controlling the amount of water that is used each time you flush. You can also improve the efficiency your shower system by setting up a low pressure shower head which consumes much less water, but still gets you as clean as before.

If you decide to paint the walls a different color, you can go green by making sure to use paint that does not contain any VOCs (volatile organic chemicals). This is important because VOCs lead to air pollution, and contamination of soil and groundwater.

Switching from carpet to hardwood floors is one of the biggest trends in home improvement, which is a good thing if you want to make your house more eco friendly because carpet is a source of dust, lint, mildew, pet dander, and other allergens. By removing the carpet, you can improve the overall air quality of your home. The other good news is that most homes have hardwood floors beneath the carpet, so you can go green by simply polishing and refinishing the floors that you already have instead of installing new ones.

Three Green Home Improvements You Can Make Today

Making your home more eco-friendly can be easier than you think. If you though that in order to have an eco-friendly home you’d need to re-build from the ground up, you’ll be happy to know that there are several simple changes that you can make in your home that will save you money, make your home more “green” and increase the resell value of your home. These days having an eco-friendly home can be a great selling point.

One of the first improvements you can make is with eco-friendly paint. Painting is one of the easiest home improvements you can do. Today, there is a wide choice of eco-friendly paints that have low VOC levels. These paints don’t have the harsh chemicals that can harm the environment. The three basic types of eco-friendly paints are milk based, clay based and recycled latex. These paints can be used on a variety of different surfaces.

Milk based paints are completely natural, but they need to be mixed with water in order to be used. It’s the most expensive option and it remains porous after drying. Clay based paints are very durable and are great for faux finishes. Of all three eco-friendly paints, recycled latex is the most prominent since it can be purchased at most major home improvement stores. It has the most colors available and doesn’t require natural wax to prevent stains like the other options do.

You can also go eco-friendly with your flooring. Natural flooring materials have a beautiful finish and they have low environmental impact. The most common types of eco-friendly flooring are cork and bamboo. Cork is durable and very comfortable to walk on. It is used with non-toxic adhesives and comes in many different colors. Bamboo flooring is also another eco-friendly option. It is very similar to traditional wood flooring in its look. What makes it eco-friendly is that bamboo grows much more quickly than traditional hardwood floors.

If you have the budget for a large eco-friendly home improvement project, you can replace your regular roofing with a more eco-friendly roof. Solar roof systems are the most well known of the eco-friendly options. These roof systems take the light from the sun and convert it into energy that can be used inside of the home. Although these roofs are not made from recyclable materials, the energy savings make them eco-friendly. A solar roofing system will last for approximately 30 years.

Another option is reflective roofing. This option involves covering your roof with a white colored fluid that is applied with a paint roller. This roofing reflects the suns rays and helps reduce energy bills inside the home, especially during the summer. It reduces ultraviolet deterioration of the roof. Roofs made from recycled metal are also a very energy efficient and eco-friendly option. Metal roofs can reflect up to 35% of the suns’ rays. As an added bonus, metal roofs are resistant to both fire and pests.

Any of these eco-friendly options will make a great addition to your home, whether you are planning on living there for decades or will be moving in a few years.

Green Home Improvement Tips

These days, everyone wants to do their part to help the environment and cut down on waste. There are many obvious ways to do this, such as recycling or buying a hybrid car. There are other less obvious ways that can make a big impact. One of the best ways to conserve energy and, as a result, save money in the long run, is by doing a green home renovation. While this may seem like a daunting undertaking, with the right planning, it can be a relatively stress-free project that results in both measurable and non-measurable benefits.

To begin with, it is important to have a plan. Green home improvement differs from basic home repair because you are working toward an ultimate goal of making your home more efficient and environmentally friendly. It is advisable to work with a green contractor who has experience with this specific kind of renovation. The contractor can help you decide if you may need a drastic overhaul to achieve optimal conservation, or if a few small changes will suffice. A simple step towards going green is switching to energy-efficient light bulbs and installing motion detectors and timers that keep lights off when they are not needed.

A more involved way of making a home eco-friendly is by installing a new HVAC system (heating, ventilation and air conditioning). Your contractor can help you install a system that optimizes the space you have, with the most efficient use of energy. When installing a new HVAC system, it is important to keep in mind the climate that you live and the needs of your home.

It is also advisable to think green when selecting the products that you will use in your renovation. Not all materials are created equal, as many contain products that are harmful to the environment. Try to stick to products that are long-lasting, and contain recycled material that is eco-friendly. Also, by selecting products that are durable, you avoid having to replace them, and as such, are able to cut down on waste. Many green products can be found in home improvement stores, so be sure to some research before committing to a brand.

Window replacement is another way to conserve energy and cut down on costs. By installing windows with better insulation, you are reducing the amount of heat or air-conditioning that is wasted and your home is better able to heat or cool itself using natural resources. This is a significant way to reduce energy bills, since your home is more efficient and requires less energy to maintain.

Lastly, it is important to remember that maintaining a green home is an ongoing commitment. Be conscious of using eco-friendly cleaning products and other materials. Make sure to keep water use to a minimum, and always turn off electronics and appliances when not in use. While it is difficult to change old habits, it is vital that we all do our best to conserve resources and help our environment.