Every home needs renovating now and then. Refreshing our environment occasionally has benefits for our emotional health, and also presents a prime opportunity to make some long-term changes to your environmental efforts. Most of us only consider the environmental impact of our home renovations in passing. Few people factor these concerns into their plans from the very beginning.
However, striving for a greener and more energy-efficient home offers a number of benefits to homeowners, from lower energy bills to a healthier environment. Every renovation project is an opportunity to enhance the eco-credentials of your home.
The Benefits Of A Greener Home
We are all aware of how important it is to take our environmental obligations seriously given that the effects of global warming are no longer theoretical and are now becoming evident in our daily lives. However, the benefits of taking a more environmentally conscious attitude to your home renovations, as well as adopting a more ecologically friendly lifestyle in general, are numerous and speak for themselves.
Any home can become greener, and benefit from doing so. You don’t need to be building a home from scratch, making ecological concerns central to its fundamental design. Even the oldest home can be retrofitted to become a more environmentally friendly property if the right steps are taken.
Going green means using energy more efficiently. There are several techniques that can be used to achieve this, and we will discuss some of them below. One of the most common reasons that people adopt greener lifestyles is because they want to reduce the amount that they are spending on energy in financial terms. For most people, the fact that this also reduces their carbon footprint is a happy side effect rather than an intention.
As well as reducing the cost of your water bills and reducing the number of resources that you consume, adopting a greener lifestyle can also lead to a generally healthy home environment. Many people find that adopting a greener lifestyle and switching out their regular products for more environmentally-aware alternatives ultimately leads to better air quality in their homes and a lower chance of illness and disease.
Don’t Demolish (Unless You Have To)
When you are undertaking major renovation projects, it can often seem easier and quicker to simply tear down what’s already there and then rebuild with what you want. There are certainly some situations where demolishing existing structures is preferable to the alternative. However, demolishing structures and sending the materials to a landfill should always be an option of last resort.
In many cases, there is no need to be tearing things down or throwing things away. If what’s already there can be repurposed or incorporated into a new design, then this is almost always going to be a more environmentally friendly option.
Think About Your Flooring
You might not think that the flooring that you choose for your home could have much of an impact on your environmental footprint, but in fact, the exact opposite is true. There are many more options for flooring materials than most people realize, and the environmental footprint of each of these options varies wildly.
For example, any flooring material that is made out of recycled wood is obviously going to be a win in terms of the effect it has on your overall environmental footprint. Reclaimed wooden boards also have another significant advantage, they have already been seasoned and so are less likely to warp once they are installed. You won’t need to apply any additional treatments and, therefore, incur the environmental cost of those chemicals.
Another material with excellent ecological credentials is cork. Cork is not only a material that is easily recycled, but a single tree can also be used to harvest cork for more than two centuries. Cork also has similar acoustic and thermal properties of carpet, making it an excellent and functional material for many rooms in a home.
Rethink Your HVAC
Most homes in America have heating ventilation and air conditioning systems installed in order to maintain a comfortable climate throughout the year. When the time comes to undertake home renovations, the supplier that you choose for your heating and air conditioning needs can have a significant impact on the green credentials of the property. Choosing an HVAC business like Semper Solaris – https://www.sempersolaris.com/heating-air-conditioning/ – with a proven track record for taking environmental concerns seriously to perform your furnace repair and heating repair will lead to a much lower environmental footprint in the long term.
Use Mirrors To Amplify Natural Light
Another major source of carbon emissions for many of us is the artificial lighting that we rely on throughout the day in our homes. Anything that we can do to reduce our dependence upon these artificial lights can, therefore, be effective in reducing the amount of energy that we need to use in general. When it comes to lighting, things are tricky because other than using fire, there are not many ways of generating light without electricity, and therefore adding to our carbon footprint.
However, there are numerous architectural design techniques that can be used in order to amplify the natural light that is present. For example, by incorporating mirrors into your home design, you can reflect natural light and spread its effect throughout your home. This greatly reduces your dependence on artificial light to keep your home adequately lit.
When you do need artificial lights in your home, the types of light that you choose will have a significant impact on your carbon footprint. No artificial light source is perfect, but led lights are considerably more efficient than the incandescent alternatives. Standard incandescent bulbs operate with an efficiency of only around 10%. An LED is not perfect, but it is considerably better than this. This also means that an LED requires a comparatively low amount of energy to power, keeping your household bills low as well as your overall energy usage.
If you renovate your home in the right way, then you can easily use it as an opportunity to enhance your eco credentials and reduce your carbon footprint. Adopting a greener lifestyle has a number of benefits, to both your bank balance and your overall health. Next time you find yourself undertaking home renovations, it is worth considering how you can ensure that your approach is as environmentally conscious as possible.
If you make the right decisions with your home design, then the more environmental options can also bring you other benefits. For example, by designing your home to amplify natural light and reduce your dependence on artificial light, you also encourage the use and creation of open spaces in your home.
Undertaking more environmentally conscious home renovations is much easier than many people realize. Adopting greener practices does not have to be difficult. In fact, many of the most effective things you can do also the simplest. Next time you find yourself undertaking home renovations, try and consider your environmental impact when you are making important decisions. As environmental concerns become more important, greener home design is only going to become more important, too.