Many people want an eco-friendly home, but feel they cannot afford it. However, there are many green home modifications that will actually pay for themselves over a short period of time. Here are some home designs that will save money, and shrink your carbon footprint at the same time.
Design Your Home to Maintain Its Temperature
There are several design elements that can contribute to lower heating and air conditioning bills. If you are building a home, deep eaves keep summer sunlight out, while letting winter sunlight pour in. If you are considering changes to an existing home, focus on improved insulation, sealing around doors and windows, and energy efficient windows. Heating and air conditioning is a major expense in many areas, so these changes are economically sensible as well as eco-friendly.
Invest in Your HVAC System
Purchasing an energy-efficient temperature control system is important, but it is just as important to keep your HVAC system in good repair. Have your system inspected annually to keep it at maximum efficiency. Energy efficient heating and air systems combined with the measures described in step one can lower your bill by 50%. If you are considering replacing your existing system with an Energy Star system, Nebraska Heating & Air says to look into tax credits. There are several credits that will partially pay for the improvements, leaving you to enjoy a lower electric bill and your heating and air whether you live in Grand Island NE or Hawaii.
Increase Natural Sunlight
Home design that includes windows and skylights in every room can save a great deal of money in the long run while also being eco-friendly. In addition, natural light is simply more pleasant and healthy than artificial light from a bulb. While there are many eco-friendly light bulbs and lighting fixtures on the market, these require manufacturing and transport that can add up. Natural light is free, green, and with the right home design, readily available.
Remodel with Recycled Materials
Most communities have many stores that offer recycled home materials, such as doors salvaged from other homes and used decorations. While the environmental impact of a door is negligible, these little savings add up. Recycled materials also tend to be more distinctive and cost less than brand new ones. Check out your local ReStore, a Habitat for Humanity shop offering recycled home supplies. You can save money, be a little more eco-friendly, and support a good cause at the same time.
Replace Your Lawn with a Garden
A vegetable garden requires time and money to maintain, but no more than a lawn. A vegetable garden will also provide one benefit that lawns do not: a harvest. With many vegetables imported from far-flung corners of the globe, you can significantly lower your carbon footprint while also saving money simply by replacing even a small amount of your lawn with a garden. Focus on crops that are easy to grow in your area, and your household enjoys eating.
Eco-friendly home design does not have to be complicated or expensive. Even a few small changes can add to your household’s sustainability while lowering your bills.