Remodelling towards sustainability is much easier than you may think, and apart from generating savings through reduced water and energy usage, reduces your home’s environmental footprint. However, going green with your home improvement projects requires more forward-thinking, since apart from sustainability, you want to maintain the durability and comfort of your home. Here are a few ideas.
Energy-efficient windows and doors
Even if you don’t see making structural changes to your home, assessing the existing windows and doors will show you how much energy you can save by installing double-glazed, low-E, or dynamic glass windows. Low-E windows have a coating that reflects the interior heat to the room, and the unwanted solar heat outside. The dynamic glass automatically adjusts the window tint throughout the day, using nothing but the energy input from the sun. As it gets hotter outside, the windows darken to reduce glare and protect the occupants from the UV light. When shopping for doors, look for those made from wood chips, reclaimed wood, as well as dynamic glass doors that adjust to the sun.
A backyard deck
Adding a deck to your outdoor area not only expands your living space but reduces your AC costs by allowing to spend more time outside, with every comfort of your living room. A deck is perfect or summer days when you want to encourage your kids to spend more time outdoors, as well as for entertaining the guests in the garden. To save space on the deck, skip the traditional umbrellas and consider durable commercial shade sails, handcrafted to highest design standards. With a 2-year warranty, these sails provide excellent sun protection while being extremely resistant to the sun and the elements. To make the construction eco-friendly, use lumber sourced from certified and managed forests.
Save water by installing low-flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets, upgrading to tankless water heaters and hot-water recirculation pumps. Toilets are accounted for about 30% of a home’s water use. if you replace the standard toilet which flushes 1.6 gallons with an EPA-certified WaterSense model which uses 1.28 gallons per flush, you’ll be able to save 13.000 gallons of water per year. Having a recirculating water pump is another highly-sustainable upgrade. A recent study of homes revealed that 23% of hot water is wasted every day by just waiting for it to arrive. A hot water recirculating pump reduces the amount to 4%, annual savings of about 3,300 gallons, not to mention the energy savings.
When redecorating indoor spaces, chose paints and finishes with the low- or zero-VOC label to minimize exposure to airborne toxins. Used as solvents to make the even spread, volatile organic compounds react with air, releasing harmful molecules that can cause a range of respiratory problems. VOC-free paints perhaps won’t have that long-lasting smell of a freshly decorated room, but won’t give you any headache, either. Going low- or zero-VOC is especially important since VOC molecules are gassed off into the environment long after the coat dries.
While buying new always feels better, but if you manage to remove this mental barrier, you’ll realize there is an abundance of used items on the market that is just as good as new stuff. Buying pre-owned is both sustainable and cost-effective. Not only are you salvaging other people’s unwanted items, but also saving resources needed to make new ones.