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10 Tips for Sustainable Homes
There are many reasons for going green in the home. For some, it may be a concern for the environment and a desire to reduce one's carbon footprint. For others, it might be simply to reduce the size of one's bills while becoming as little more independent. While all of these things can be achieved to some degree through changes in living and buying habits, some people will want to go farther. This article will discuss ten home improvements for becoming more sustainable and eco-friendly. Some of these home improvements you can implement on your own while others will require the help of a home renovation contractor.
1) Get a solar panel array
Solar panels are one of the most effective ways to slash your energy bill and reduce your household's impact on the environment. If you have the initial money to invest, a solar power can add to your energy independence and pay for itself within ten years.
2) Go solar with your water heater
A significant portion of your power bill goes towards heating water. You can completely eliminate this portion of your energy cost by harnessing the sun to do that for you. A solar water heater cost less money upfront than solar panels.
3) Get a wind-powered generator
A wind-powered generator for personal,household use is more feasible than you would think. The initial cost varies wildly, as does the power output and, consequently, the time that takes to pay for itself. The cheapest ones will replace about fifteen percent of your power, while the most expensive ones will replace up to ninety percent.
4) Harvest rainwater
A really simple and cost-effective way to lower your water bill is to install a rainwater collection system. They attach to your pre-existing gutter system, and can be used for things like bathing and flushing toilets.
5) Get a more efficient heating and airsystem
The largest portion of the typical household's power consumption goes heating and cooling said household. Replacing your regular model with one that has an Energy Star rating can slash that figure up to thirty percent.
6) Improve your insulation
Related to heating and air is a home's insulation. Inadequate insulation can account for up to ten percent of your power bill via lost efficiency. Whether you hire a contractor or do it yourself, this can offer a quick and significant return on investment.
7) Get better windows
Another twenty-five percent of your heating and air bill can be contributed to your windows. If your windows are single-paned or poorly sealed, you could be throwing money away unnecessarily. Installing double-paned windows can lead to a drastic improvement.
8) Invest in an energy monitor
A energy monitor is an electronic device that is clipped onto a home's power cable and gives a report on how energy is being used throughout the day. Simply being conscious of how much energy you're using and at what time can help you curb consumption
9) Buy appliances that are energy efficient
Simply replacing your appliances with those that have energy star ratings can significantly curb both your household's energy and water consumption. An Energy Star refrigerator, for example, uses about fifteen percent less power than a regular refrigerator.
10) Eliminate phantom electrical draw
It might surprise you to know that many appliances and gadgets continue to draw a small amount of power even when they're turned off. This is known as "phantom electrical draw" among other names, and buying a smart power strip will eliminate it.