5 Green Home Renovation Tips

5 Green Home Renovation Tips
  • Opening Intro -

    Many of today’s homeowners have something else in mind when they contemplate renovating their homes.

    And that is the home’s impact environmentally, particularly how they might incorporate certain “green friendly” initiatives to reduce energy usage or make use of recycled materials.

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You can make your home more energy efficient.

Defining Green Technology

To be sure, “green” terminology has been overused, so much so that some companies take advantage of consumer ignorance when marketing its wares. However, if a product offers a proven reduction in energy or incorporates recycled materials, then its benefit to you personally and to the environment generally, may be worth your consideration.

1. Windows, Doors & Skylights

One of the most common “green” home improvement projects is to replace your aged windows and doors with Energy Star compliant units. Skylights can be included too, as all three can meet federal government recommended energy tolerances designed to keep hot or cold weather out, maintaining a fair balance of temperatures throughout your home. [1] When shopping for new windows, doors and skylights, compare Energy Star ratings to find the most efficient units for your home.

2. Wood Sources

If you’re installing new stairs, a post or a railing, you have several choices for what type of wood you can use. Reclaimed wood is any wood you have used elsewhere that can be repurposed for new use. Salvaged wood is any wood that you “rescued” from a felled tree, old furniture, or from a forest. Recycled wood is a post industrial wood derived from sawdust and typically converted into wood flooring. Check around your home, including your attic, garage or other storage space. You may have a piece of reclaimable wood available.

3. Limit A/C Use

Central a/c is a godsend in some areas of the country, where high temperatures and humidity dominate for three, four or more months of the year. Even in hotter climates the judicious use of ceiling fans coupled with ample cross ventilation can help keep your home cooler, longer throughout the day. Keep your air-conditioner off longer, making use of alternative cooling sources for at least part of the day. You’ll reduce your energy costs and contribute fewer pollutants to the environment. Ample natural light can also keep your home warmer in the winter. [2]

4. Water Heater

When you need to replace your current water heater, choose one that heats water only when needed. So called on-demand water heaters provide hot water when you need it, without consuming precious energy by having a tankful of hot water available. These tankless units send cold water through a pipe into a heating element where it is quickly heated up. [3]

5. Local Supplies

Wood, metal, copper and other parts sourced from overseas can add to your costs. These items can also be more harmful to the environment particularly if rain forests were cut down. Never mind the amount of fuel consumed to ship these items from faraway lands. Help the local economy by purchasing locally sources items for your home.

Other ways to save include choosing kitchen countertops made of recycled materials, choosing a roof with materials that will last longer and not find its way into garbage heaps as often, and using porous concrete for driveways, patios and walkways to ease storm water run off. [4] Being green is a state of mind or as Kermit the Frog said, “It’s not easy being green.” Not easy, but a worthwhile endeavor for people who want to save energy.

References:
[1] Energy Star: Residential Windows, Doors and Skylights for Consumers
[2] Canadian House & Home: 10 Green Renovation Tips
[3] Energy Savers: Demand (Tankless or Instantaneous) Water Heaters
[4] Mother Nature Network: Green Renovations: Five Tips

Home Improvement reference:

grab this home remodeling guide

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Categories: Green Home

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".