The right projects won't just make your home eco-friendly, but will allow you to recoup your investments and save a ton of money. However, not all home renovation projects have the same value.
Now that you've saved up some cash, it may be hard to decide how to invest it. Here are a couple of sustainable ideas.
Cool and warm air won't escape so easily when you have a good home insulation system. It's one of the best ways to save money and prevent energy waste. There a few different techniques, so it's best to consult with the professionals on what's the best solution for your home.
During the cold months, an uninsulated roof causes your house to lose 25% to 35% of its warmth. Replacing the front door won't break the bank, but can significantly improve insulation and energy efficiency. If you plan to sell your home in the next five years, do know that you can recoup 90% of the cost of your new door.
Double-pane windows can reduce energy use by up to 18% in the summer and up to 24% in the winter. Moreover, double-pane windows can do an excellent job of tackling outdoor noise pollution.
While most sustainable projects cut energy bills, this one may help you get rid of electricity bills once and for all. However, it's important to carry out an energy audit before installing solar panels. A system too big may turn out to be a waste of money.
A smart solar battery system knows when to store electricity. It predicts how much electricity your solar panels will create. It can save electricity for later use. Chances are, your electricity plan charges more expensive prices when you use electricity during nighttime.
Solar panels can allow you to turn on the dishwasher whenever you want, blast the air conditioning, and have the pool pump running all the time, without stressing about the electricity bill.
You can't have sustainability without clean air. Making sure the lungs of your house work properly is paramount. Outdated duct design usually doesn't do a good job of distributing air throughout the household. As a result, the HVAC system is 75% less efficient than it could be.
Faulty ductwork can even damage your HVAC equipment. That won't be easy on your wallet. But, properly configured ductwork can save you lots of money down the road.
Some rooms may be hard to heat and cool because of poor and deficient duct design. Instead of setting the air conditioner at high all the time, upgrading your ductwork is a far cheaper solution.
Another concern with faulty ductwork is the fact that it poses a health hazard. Old ducts create fertile ground for pollen, dust, allergens, and mould. If you've been sneezing a lot, you now may know where the problem lies.
In some cases, the threats are even more serious. Poorly configured ductwork may backdraft carbon monoxide and discharge it inside your house.
Installing LED lights is simple, yet very sustainable. LED bulbs use much less electricity than regular bulbs and last much longer. You'll save hundreds of pounds before the time comes to replace your bulbs. They can last 10 to 20 years.
LED lights don't cost much, and they offer the quickest ROI. However, it's best to avoid downlights. They penetrate through the insulation and use a lot of energy.
A refrigerator that's over a decade old uses two times more energy compared to a new model. Considering that the kitchen is the room that wastes the most energy, outdated appliances can add up significant costs. Energy Star-rated appliances come with a certain guarantee as they must meet specific guidelines.
The more star an appliance has, the better! You can calculate exactly how much energy you can save with a new fridge by using the Energy Star calculator. As for your old appliances, make sure you recycle them.
As for sustainable changes you can make to your garden, one safe bet is to reduce the amount of grass you have in your yard. Grass requires a lot of maintenance and frequent watering.
Instead, consider planting patches of thyme interspaced with pebbles. You can choose from different types of stones that come in all shapes and colours, allowing you to create interesting designs that fit your own style. Rock gardens are also a great choice, as they often require very little watering.
Your house is certainly a cosy place. But, you can always make it more energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly, and better for your health. Big renovation projects may cost a lot initially, but the right ones will pay off sooner or later. Remember: a penny saved is a penny earned.