Remodeling your home can be a fun and exciting time, but with many remodeling jobs, they can often be harmful to our environment. Before you get the hammer and start pounding the nails, you really have to ask yourself if this project is truly green. To help give you a better idea on what remodeling projects out there are great for the home, here are six projects that may want to put on your future renovation list.
#1 Seal your air leaks or get energy-efficient windows
If your windows are more than 15 to 20 years old, it could be time to replace them or at least seal the air leaks in the meantime. What youre going to find is that by simply reducing the air from coming in, this can help save up to 30 percent on your utility bills! As you know, utilities use electricity, which often means a higher bill and more damage to our great planet. A great way to tell if your windows need to be sealed is by placing a candle next to the window. By watching it, see if the flame moves at all from the outside air. If the flames move, its time to replace the windows.
#2 Install a programmable thermostat
If you work a 9-5 job or youre not home at certain times, do you really need to cool down or heat up your house? Probably not! Unless you want to throw money out the window, its a great idea to turn your air off and lower the heat while youre away from the home. This is where a programmable thermostat will come in. For instance, if you worked a 9 to 5 job, you probably leave the home an hour early. Program the thermostat to 60 from 8 to 4 in the winter. When 4 p.m. hits, set it back to 70. Once you walk in the door at around 5:30 p.m. or so, your home will be comfortable just like you left it in the morning. Installing a thermostat is very easy and should cost you less than $100!
#3 Upgrade your faucets
A drippy faucet or a leaky faucet can waste hundreds of gallons over a month. Even if your faucets arent leaking, it may be time to upgrade to some new ones. If you have a smaller bathroom, consider swapping out your smaller vanity. These vanities can often be purchased for as little as $100 and can make your bathroom look a lot better.
#4 Go low flow in the bathroom
Back in the day, showerheads and toilets used a lot of water. In fact, some toilets would use as much as five gallons per flush! If you think about that, its a lot of unnecessary water. In order to save on your water bill and help the environment, consider upgrading to a low-flow toilet or showerhead. These devices are extremely easy to install, they are affordable and best of all, and they can save you more than 80 percent in water usage.
#5 Consider energy star appliances
Like the showerhead and toilets back in the day, appliances did a lot of damage electricity wise as well. Thankfully today, there are thousands of Energy Star brand appliances that can help you save $100s every year. Recent studies have shown that those who switch to Energy Star appliances save an average of $600 per year. If youre in the market to purchase a new stove, dishwasher, refrigerator or microwave, be sure to look for that Energy Star logo.
#6 Make recycling easy
If youre thinking about remodeling or kitchen or rearranging things, try to make recycling a little easier. In one of your cabinets, try to include a pull out waste basket that you can place all of your recyclables in. Once the bin fills, simply take it out, and take it to your bin outside. When you make it easy, its easier to recycle and it will keep the pile of junk out of sight.
This post was written by Hannah M, who runs Howmuchisit.org, a website that has over 2,000 pricing guides on just about anything.