You know what they say, home is where the heart is. So why not put your heart toward what really matters? The climate is warming and our consumer choices are in part to blame, so it’s important to change up our habits to reduce the amount of warming that occurs in the future.
Your house is one of the most important places to start. After all, it’s probably your largest investment, and aside from your car, it’s probably the biggest waster of energy you own. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to renovate your house for a greener tomorrow.
Start with your HVAC
Your HVAC uses a lot of resources. All the energy it must burn to produce heat in the winter, and all the electricity it takes to power an air conditioner in summer, can be serious drains on your energy budget. Plus, with many cities still relying on coal power plants and dirty natural gas, your energy usage isn’t bad only for your energy bill – it harms the planet.
Instead, opt for a more efficient system, which uses less power to produce heating and cooling. If you’re worried about the cost, don’t worry; there are options. HVAC financing for energy efficiency is available in a number of states, so be sure to check with local authorities to see if you qualify.
Remember those coal and gas power plants we mentioned before? Sadly, they’re powering your lightbulbs, computers, TV, microwave, refrigerator, and whatever other electronic devices you use at home. Depending on your usage rages, this can be a pretty huge drain on resources. But, given that you probably want to keep using your microwave, what can you do?
The answer is solar panels. These energy-efficient powering cells are an excellent choice for almost any residence. Instead of relying on the burning of fossil fuels to produce energy, they take it directly from the source: the sun. This is clean and efficient, as the sun is expected to burn for at least a few billion more years.
Worried about making the switch? The good news is that many states offer financing and tax advantages to those who choose solar. Call your local tax professional to find out whether you qualify for a tax incentive to switch to solar.
Swap out your lightbulbs
Incandescent lightbulbs – the ones with a little metal filament inside – burn hot and inefficient. They don’t last long, and are expensive to replace. Plus, on top of wasting energy due to their inefficiency, they’re a huge source of trash. Did you know that incandescent lightbulbs contain the dangerous and harmful chemical mercury? It’s true; and the overflow of lightbulbs in landfills is adding mercury to the water supply in some areas.
Opt for cleaner bulbs instead. Halogen bulbs or LED lights are a great option, as they provide ample light, burn much longer, and are not as dangerous to dispose of. Plus, with the technology constantly improving, these bulbs offer the same warm glow that incandescent bulbs do.
Choose low-flow faucets
Your water faucets probably waste a lot of water. Instead of using gushing faucets that waste water that simply goes down the drain, why not switch to a low-flow faucet option? Chances are, you won’t even notice the difference. What should you replace? Here are a few options:
· Your shower faucet
· Your bathroom sink faucet
· Your kitchen faucet
· Your gardening hose
· Garage sink faucets
Really, the more, the merrier – so get started swapping out old inefficient faucets for low-flow ones today!
Redesign your garden
If you live in the Southwest of the USA, you live in a drought-prone area. Water scarcity is a serious problem for this highly populated part of the country, and wasting water on luscious and water-intensive gardens is at least partly to blame.
Instead of having a water-inefficient garden, opt for a cool and clean desert garden. Succulents, cacti, and Mediterranean plants can be just as beautiful as other plants – maybe even more so! – but don’t require as much water. If you live in such a region as the Southwest, it’s smart to make the switch.
Renovating your house for a greener tomorrow may seem challenging, but with these tips, you’re well on your way.