Making your home greener doesn’t mean that you have to spend tons of money on fancy systems and appliances. There is a lot we can do to make sure we live a more sustainable life.
With the environmental concerns nowadays, living green means conserving more natural resources however we can.
The truth is, that we spent a lot more money on energy and waste a lot more water than we need.
Renovating your home is a great solution to prevent this. Making these changes will also keep your family healthy and will save you money in the long run.
Perform an Energy Audit
Before starting to renovate anything, you need to perform an energy audit.
You need to know if the HVAC system is working properly or if you need to replace doors or windows. Knowing in which areas you need improvement is the first step to a successful home renovation.
It’s recommended to hire an electrician to do the audit for you. He’ll be able to examine the whole property professionally and to give you additional recommendations of what you can do to lower your energy consumption.
Some local libraries and councils have home energy self audit kits you can hire for free.
Tips on Lowering Your Energy Consumption
>Turn off the lights if you’re exiting a room
We often leave a light on in a room in which we plan to come back later.
If you forget to turn off the light when you’re exiting a room, you’re wasting a lot of energy. Try to create the habit in your family to stop doing so.
A great solution is to install light sensor bulbs. They will turn on and off automatically when they detect movements. They are easy to install, no complicated electrical systems required.
>Unplug your electronics
Did you know that some electronics consume as much energy on standby mode as if they’re working for a small amount of time?
Turn off computers, TVs, CD players when you’re not using them. Avoid overcharging your electronics and remove the charging cable from the outlet if you’re not using it.
>Use the appliances efficiently
Preheat your oven only when it's necessary. Wait for a full load before using the washing machine, dishwasher or dryer. Air-dry your clothes when possible. And clean the filters of your appliances regularly.
Don’t forget to take care of the range hood. If the filters are dirty, the appliance will consume more energy. Sweep your floors to reduce the use of your vacuum cleaner.
> Let the sun in your home
Open your blinds, curtains and drapes during the day to save from electricity.
The sun will also warm your home naturally, reducing the use of your HVAC system. You can install skylight windows to increase the natural light in the property during the day.
Reduce water use
Firstly, hire a professional plumber to inspect your property for leakages and pipe problems.
Once you’re done with that, you can install low-flow shower-heads. Don’t leave the water running while you’re soaping dishes, shaving or brushing your teeth.
Air-dry your clothes whenever possible and don’t run your dishwasher or washing machine when it’s fully loaded.
Here are some great tips on reducing your laundry load
Renovate the walls and floors using natural materials
Insulate your homes and floors using natural materials. This will not only keep your home chemical-free, but they’ll also improve the appeal of your home. Natural materials such as clay, bamboo, cork, lime are relatively cheap materials.
These materials are easy to clean and maintain. They can be great noise and heat insulators. The materials are easy to produce and the installation process is really simple.
Insulate the windows
Did you know that windows have a great impact on how much heat or cold is gained or lost from the house?
The size, the frame composition, the position all have an impact. The windows should seal perfectly when they’re closed. Double and triple-pane PVC glasses are great insulators.
Tick blinds and drapes can also improve the insulation of the property.
Clean with natural products
Using harsh chemicals to clean is harmful to the environment, not to mention to your health.
Luckily, there are a lot of eco-friendly cleaning products that you can use for your daily cleaning tasks.
There are also plenty of recipes for homemade cleaning products using only vinegar, baking soda, dish soap or lemons. Find some here to get started.
About the Author
My name is Eva Bowker and I’m home improvement coordinator at Fantastic Handyman Australia. My passion is to help people build the home of their dreams by sharing home renovation and interior design tips with them. I love to think out of the box in order to create lovely spaces.