Green Home Improvements

Here are 10 easy tips to green home improvements.

Banish the bulbs

One of the simplest changes you can make to your home to reduce consumption is to switch to compact florescent light bulbs. Over the lifetime of one of these bulbs, consumers can save up to $30 in energy costs.

Harness the sun

Installing solar panels on your home is as easy as joining one of a growing number of neighbourhood solar power initiatives. These groups offer bulk buying discounts and provide everything you need so you can collect the sun’s energy to power your household appliances, heat your water and even your pool. You can even earn money by selling excess energy back into the power grid.

Refresh the floors

Skip vinyl flooring, which can emit toxic chemicals into your home and isn’t suitable for recycling. Instead do some investigating and see if the original wood might be suitable for refinishing with an ecoapproved stain and finish. If not, opt for flooring made out of materials such as bamboo or cork, which are sustainable, and non-toxic.

Go tank-free

One of the latest and greatest ways to reduce your energy consumption is to install a tankless water heating system in your home. Instead of heating water 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, these heaters only heat the water you use.An added bonus: the hot water never runs out.

Choose eco-friendly paints

When your walls need a fresh start, opt for no-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints, to cut down on indoor chemicals and toxic leftovers. These water-based paints are easy to clean up and leave behind little to no odor or off-gassing.

End wasteful water usage

In the bathroom, make the switch to low-flow shower heads, and retrofit your toilets with easy to install kits from your local hardware store. You’ll not only reduce water consumption, but save money on your next water bill.

Take it to the top

During the summer months, attic temperatures can get up to 140 degrees, causing your air conditioning unit to work harder to maintain a constant indoor temperature. To reduce cooling costs, consider installing a radiant barrier in your attic to reflect heat before it enters your home.

Fan out

Consider installing Energy Star ceiling fans to circulate air and keep you cool and comfortable during the summer and distribute heat more evenly during the winter.

High-tech heating and cooling

There’s no reason to heat and cool your home when you are away, so invest in a programmable thermostat to cut down on wasteful power usage during the day when you’re at work.

Plug the leaks

Take a good look at your windows, and see if there are any cracks where hot and cool air might be escaping. By investing in some simple weatherstripping, you can make even century-old windows airtight and more energy efficient.

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