So, you’ve ditched the plastic and switched to reusable bags, recycling everything you can, and are even considering going solar for your home’s power. But what about your home’s actual structure? Is it as eco-friendly as your lifestyle choices? Or are you still using non-sustainable building materials and harmful chemicals, consuming excessive energy, wasting water, and producing too much waste? If the latter is true, it may be time to make eco-friendly home improvements.
Fortunately, many cities actively promote sustainable living, and Chicago is no exception. This fast-growing metropolis is home to various green initiatives, such as “Green Buildings and Homes,” which promotes environmentally responsible building practices. Chicago also ranks high in the list of “Greenest Cities in America.” Therefore, it’s the perfect place to implement eco-friendly home improvement ideas.
The Importance of Working with Experts
Eco-friendly home improvement is more than just a simple arts-and-crafts project. However, it’s easy to be enticed by the idea of saving money upfront and taking the DIY route. Sure, you might save a few bucks, but one wrong move can lead to costly and harmful consequences.
Therefore, working with professionals is your best bet. However, since “green” and “sustainable” are becoming trendy buzzwords, not everyone claiming to be an eco-friendly expert actually is. So, choose your home improvement contractors carefully.
If you’re a Chicago homeowner, hire a home remodeling company in Chicago to transform your home into a sustainable and energy-efficient living space.
Six Eco-Friendly Home Improvements to Consider
Are you ready to give your home that green makeover? Here are six popular ways to make your home more environmentally friendly:
1. Install Energy-Efficient Windows
Windows are usually the last item on a homeowner’s renovation list. But did you know that old, inefficient windows can contribute to up to 30% of your home’s energy loss? And if you have a drafty single-pane window, it can be even higher.
So, to improve your home’s eco-friendliness, consider investing in energy-efficient windows. These windows have a high insulation value and can significantly reduce your heating and cooling needs.
There are several types of energy-efficient windows that you can consider for your home improvement.
- Double-pane windows
- Triple-pane windows
- Low-E coating windows
2. Install Solar Panels
The sun is a free energy source. So, why are you still relying on fossil fuels to power your home when you can generate clean and renewable energy right from your roof?
Installing solar panels might seem like a big step, but it’s sure to pay off. You can slash those high energy bills and even sell excess solar energy back to the grid to make some extra cash. Besides, many states offer tax incentives and rebates for installing solar panels, making it a financially sound decision.
Ensure you select the optimal size and type of solar panels for your home and install them at the correct angle to maximize efficiency.
3. Use Energy-Efficient Appliances
Appliances are the home’s silent energy suckers. They consume a significant amount of energy, even when not in use, through standby power mode.
So, search for appliances bearing the Energy Star labels, signifying they adhere to the rigorous energy efficiency standards established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This includes refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, and more.
Additionally, consider upgrading to smart appliances that can be controlled remotely or programmed to adjust energy consumption based on your usage patterns.
4. Install a Rainwater Harvesting System
Why let the rain drench your driveway and flow away when you can collect and store the water for later use? That’s what a rainwater harvesting system does. It gathers and stores rainwater from your roof in a storage tank.
You can use this “rain stash” for various purposes like watering your plants, cleaning your car, or, with proper filtration, even for household use.
- Reduce your water bill.
- Conserve natural resources.
- Reduce pressure on municipal water supply systems.
- Prevent erosion and flooding in your yard.
- Reduce strain on septic systems.
5. Upgrade to LED Lighting
Have you ever wondered how a mere light bulb can contribute to eco-friendliness? The truth is, our conventional incandescent bulbs are energy wasters, with around 90% of their energy going towards heat generation rather than light.
LED lights consume up to 75% less energy than conventional bulbs and have a remarkably longer lifespan. So, light your home with LED lighting and watch your energy bills decrease.
Plus, imagine how cool it would be to adjust your lighting to match your mood or the time of day. With smart LED bulbs, you can do just that.
Besides, we’re all guilty of forgetting to switch off the lights occasionally. So why not consider motion-sensor lights? They’re perfect for those spots around the house where lights often get left on – think bathrooms and laundry rooms. Now that’s smart and convenient.
6. Repaint with Lead-Free Paint
If you’re living in a vintage home, it may feel like owning a piece of history, but there can be a downside to this charm: lead paint. This relic from the past isn’t just unfashionable. It’s hazardous, especially for children. Lead is a toxic substance that can cause serious health problems and degrade the environment.
So, protect your loved ones and the environment by giving your walls a lead-free makeover. Join a lead paint removal program for a safer, greener, and more valuable home.
Every little green step brings us closer to a healthier planet, and home improvement projects are a great way to start. So, when you’re mapping out your next home renovation, keep in mind the importance of incorporating eco-friendly options. From energy-efficient appliances and LED lighting to lead-free paint and sustainable materials, there are plenty of ways to make your home more environmentally friendly.
Whether you are adding solar panels or energy-efficient windows, you’re renovating with a purpose. You’re not just making your home more beautiful and functional but also reducing your carbon footprint and saving money in the long run. Plus, incorporating these green features can potentially increase the value of your home.