Your home is a vital part of your life. It’s the place that keeps you comfortable and safe, and right now, with the pandemic still raging across the world, it’s probably where you spend almost all of your time. So keeping it running as smoothly as possible is important.
In a much larger sense, the Earth is also your home. So why wouldn’t you want to take care of it too? When fixing up your home, sustainable housing options can be a great way to improve your home and help the environment.
This year alone, 58% of all homeowners say they are planning on renovating or repairing their homes. It’s something that a lot of people are doing. And if you’re already doing it, it’s easier to work in sustainable housing options.
Sustainable housing has two benefits. For one, it helps the environment by using options that are more efficient and less damaging. But it also helps save you money, as many sustainable housing options can be much more energy efficient, and can have longer lifespans, so you have to repair it less.
Fixing up your home can be fun, and finding new options even more so. Of course, you also want to be careful, and it doesn’t hurt to know your local urgent care location in case of accidents! There are a lot of options when it comes to sustainable housing, but let’s look at a few that could be really good for you and your home.
Consulting a professional
Before you start working on any home renovations, it’s important to make sure that you do everything legally. Zoning laws can quickly become confusing, but not following them can leave you with hefty fines. So consider asking attorneys or other specialists to make sure you are doing everything within the law.
Your heating and air are perhaps the most essential part of your home. Without it, you wouldn’t have a method of temperature regulation or air distribution. So getting an HVAC company to look at your system can help you make sure everything is running smoothly.
And when it comes to HVAC, there are sustainable housing options as well. Working in conjunction with other factors like insulation and proper doorways, there are systems that can be much more energy efficient and last longer. So ask your company about other options that would be better for the environment and saving you money.
One of the best ways to improve your air system is to switch to spiral duct. Spiral ducts are a different design of air ducts that improve air flow, making it more energy efficient. This type of system is much better for your air flow, and will save you lots of money in the long run.
Checking the water
Much like HVAC, your home needs a good water system to run well. While doing updates to your house, it is vital to check the plumbing system and all other things water-related. Maintaining a healthy water system is itself energy efficient, and making sure your water is a good quality can be a good sustainable housing option.
This has to do with hard water. “Hardness” of water is basically a measurement of the levels of calcium and magnesium residue found in the water. Water that is harder can be bad for pipes, tough on clothes, and make washing dishes difficult, among other things. So getting a hard water test and making sure that your water isn’t too hard will help other areas of your home run smoothly.
Tankless water heaters
When it comes to water systems, perhaps the most prevalent of the sustainable housing options is a tankless water heater. Most homes have heating tanks that keep water at a certain temperature so that hot water is readily available. But this means the tank is consistently using energy to maintain that temperature. Obviously, this isn’t very energy efficient and can cost you a lot more money.
That is why they make tankless water heaters. These types of heaters heat water on-demand, meaning that it isn’t heated up until the faucet is turned on. This uses up much less energy, so can be very efficient.
However, it also has downsides. It means that you may have to wait a little bit longer for your hot water, and if you need hot water right away, it can be annoying. But if you want sustainable housing options, then that small cost is probably worth the benefit.
Something that you can do is to get a full-scale energy audit of your home. During this type of audit, a professional will come in and look for any places in your home that may be “leaking” energy. This means bad seals where heat escapes, poor insulation, places where cold may get in, etc. This affects temperature regulation, which in turn uses more energy.
Getting an energy audit done will tell you what areas of your home are specifically causing a problem. This gives you something to focus on and can help you figure out what sustainable housing options will work best for you. The less energy that escapes, the more efficient you will be.
When it comes to sustainability, most people don’t immediately think of carpet. But carpets can actually go a long way towards helping your home be energy efficient.
Carpets can help trap in heat, which keeps the temperature in your home regulated. Of course, it’s also important to get carpets made of non-toxic materials, for the safety of you and your family. Some common carpets can actually have materials that are harmful in the long run, so make sure you get something that is not made of those materials.
Energy efficient doors
When someone does an energy audit of your home, one of the biggest things they will look at is your doors. Doors that don’t seal properly or that let air through another way make it harder to regulate the temperature in your home. This means your HVAC system has to work more, which will cost you more energy and money.
When looking at doors, you want to make sure that they seal up tight and don’t let air through. And when it comes to specific door choices, birch wood doors are a great option. They are more resilient to damage and can last much longer than other types of wood, saving you money in the long run.
Just like doors, windows can let air in and out. This can be very bad for your energy systems. Again, make sure that the seals around windows are airtight, and if you choose to leave your windows open, consider turning off your heating and cooling so they don’t go into overdrive.
For sustainable housing options, you can also look at the glass your window is made of. Depending on the climate that you live in, there are different types of glass that can be more energy efficient. For example, for very warm climates, you can get glass that reflects more of the sun’s heat, meaning not as much of it gets into your home.
This helps you regulate the temperature of your house and save energy. Less heat coming in means less energy spent on cooling the area. And for colder climates, there are other options as well. No matter the climate, there are ways to make your windows more energy efficient.
This is another piece of temperature regulation. Clearly, temperature regulation is one of the most important considerations for sustainable housing options. That is because it is one of the most common ways that we waste energy, and therefore improving it means that we waste a lot less energy.
“Cool roofs” are roofs that are designed to reflect the sun’s heat, rather than absorb it. They are especially helpful in warmer climates. They prevent too much heat from getting into your home, so your cooling system doesn’t have to work as hard. Installing one may save you a lot of money and energy.
Much like the other doors of your home, garage doors can be big culprits in leaking energy. So finding a garage door that traps temperature well can be very beneficial.
These can sometimes be harder to find. Going to an eco-friendly garage door service may be your best bet for finding a garage door that works for you. These services will tell you what the best option is for your climate and your specific climate.
Whenever someone mentions sustainable housing options, you can be guaranteed that they will talk about solar panels. They are one of the most often referenced forms of energy efficiency and sustainable housing.
And this is for good reason. Solar panels provide energy from a source that is clean and renewable, meaning that the source will never run out and it doesn’t have negative effects on the environment like fossil fuels do.
So putting solar panels on your roof, or elsewhere around your home, might be the perfect option to help your home be more sustainable. Depending on the space you have and your energy usage, you might even be able to power your entire home this way.
When you install solar panels, you are making an investment that will save you a lot. Eventually, they will pay for themselves, because the amount of money that you won’t have to spend on energy will be more than what they cost. And, if they’re on your roof, they can also help with temperature regulation since they soak up the sun’s rays and use that energy.
Energy efficient appliances
This is a much smaller way to make your home more sustainable. When purchasing almost any appliances, from dishwashers and dryers to ovens and microwaves, you can probably find an energy efficient option. These appliances are designed to function as smoothly as possible while using the minimal amount of energy.
In the long run, this will also save you money. Think of it this way: every appliance has two costs, the purchase cost and the cost of operation. The purchase cost is how much it costs when you buy it. And the operation cost is how much you will pay for the energy that will power it throughout its lifetime. Energy efficient appliances tend to have much lower costs of operation.
Ask your energy provider
Sometimes, the easiest of the sustainable housing options is just switching your energy source. Many energy providers offer sources of energy that are clean and renewable, such as solar panels or wind turbines. So you can ask your provider if they have a more sustainable energy alternative that you can switch to.
And the best part about this is that, unlike with installing your own solar panels, you don’t have to do any of the actual work for installation or maintenance! All you have to do is switch your source, and your energy provider will take care of all the other work for you.
Recycling your waste
While you’re doing all of these updates and renovations, consider recycling your waste. It is an easy way to make the process more sustainable. This could mean that you take some of the materials that you remove from your home and repurpose them for other uses. Or, you could take all of your waste to a recycling center rather than a landfill.
Getting a tree service to make sure that there are no trees in the way of your home is also important. In general, it is a good thing to always keep in mind. However, it can also be more sustainable, because any trees that could damage your home, from the roof to cracks in the foundation, can cause energy leaks.
So make sure that no trees are damaging your home, and that they aren’t in a position to do so. And if you do have tree damage, get it fixed. This will not only help your home be more efficient, but prevent you from having to call an accident attorney if anything happened.
These are just some of the sustainable housing options out there. There are many ways that you can make your home more sustainable, helping the environment, and saving you money. So go out there and find what works best for you, and you will be happy that you did.