Thursday, March 7, 2013
Home Improvement Tips for an Environmentally Friendly Building
Do you want to make your building more eco-friendly? While renovating every now and then is a good idea for a fresh look, you will also be adding value to your home/building. See below for tips on renovating your home to make it more environmentally friendly.
The first thing we look at is roofing. The best way to make this environmentally friendly is to add solar panels. Basically solar panels are put on your roof in the sun and will collect power without adding any fuel or replacing work out parts. These panels are very popular, modern, green, and used almost everywhere. You might also want to change your roof colour, research indicates that roof colour and the type of material used can help to lower attic temperatures. If you decide to re-roof, consider lighter tiles such as white over the standard shingle roofs and this will reduce heat gain to your attic. Another great idea is to replace all light bulbs in your building with compact fluorescent ones. Energy-smart bulbs use 70-75% less energy than the incandescent kind and last up to ten times longer! This is just a simple tip but can save you $59 dollars on energy costs over the life of the bulb, which can be anywhere from five to seven years. Also, installing motion detectors outside your home rather than leaving outdoor lighting on all night which will only waste energy, money and disturb wildlife.
One of the most important tips here is do not waste water. Always check for leaky faucets and get them fixed if you notice a leak as soon as possible. When doing laundry, try to use cold water as much as you can. Also set a good example for your children by teaching them to turn off water while they brush their teeth. Installing low flow showerheads will cut down on water usage and save energy costs. When heating and cooling your home, invest in a high-efficiency HVAC system that is Energy Star certified and install it in your home. This will reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted and will shave your utility bill. Look for a product with a higher SEER rating (Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio). This means that the product meets strict government criteria necessary to be deemed “energy efficient.” The standard is 13 SEER, but many heating and air conditioning products have a rating as high as 18 SEER. Also, cleaning out your air conditioner filters and replacing them regularly will help to reduce costs. If you are not in your home, adjust the thermostat to accommodate the changing temperatures outside.
Finally, another good tip is to install more fans in your home. Ceiling fans can help reduce your family’s dependence on air condition during the hot summer months. In winter, they push heat down from the ceiling.