We all want to make a difference in the world. We want to take better care of our families, as well as leave the planet in a better place than it was when we got here. While we all recognize that greener construction can reap benefits in making our homes more efficient, as well as help to protect the planet, we wrongly assume that you must spend a lot of money to see any real difference. While there are some expensive options when building, there are also some thrifty options that can make a real difference. Also, sometimes these less expensive options can surprisingly make the biggest change. When approaching ways to make your home more environmentally friendly, don’t get overwhelmed with big ideas. The key to keep in mind is that you don’t have to change everything,…you just have to change something. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. It is just as important to protect your budget as it is to protect the environment. Now, let’s look at a few inexpensive ways to start making a difference.
Just a few small changes can make a big difference in energy efficiency. Simple things like replacing your oversized dishwasher or washing machine with a smaller Energy Star appliance can make huge strides in your budget and energy usage. Adding low flow faucets can make a difference as well. One of the best things you can do is to install more insulation and seal up drafts in your home. The higher the “R” value, the bigger impact you will see.
The easiest way to save energy is to look at your lighting choices. By simply changing from standard incandescent light bulbs to florescent light bulbs, you can have a big impact. Simply changing one light bulb to a florescent bulb, over a year’s time, can save the equivalent amount of energy of driving a car from coast to coast. They are more expensive up front, but over time they will save a lot of money. Adding natural light will not only open up a room and make it look brighter, but it will also save a lot of energy formerly devoted to lighting. Drapes and solar shades can also save on cooling costs.
Most paints are high in VOC (volatile organic compounds), which is why you get a headache when you are around fresh paint. These emissions can also cause nausea and respiratory irritation. By spending just a few more dollars at the paint store, you can now purchase low or no VOC paint. This can help protect the air quality in your home.
Now, take a look at your floor. Hardwoods have become the latest trend, but they also deplete natural resources and are expensive to install. Take a look at bamboo flooring. Bamboo looks like wood, but it is actually a grass that comes back without replanting. This makes it eco-friendly, but it is also easy on your wallet since grasses are durable, flexible, and cheaper to install. Natural linoleum is also entirely organic, and it comes in a variety of colors to match your décor.
A.C. T. Services would be honored to have the opportunity to show you the best choices for creating a greener footprint for your home. We can put our 31 years of experience to work in making your home into a more energy efficient and save you money. We will make the remodeling project match your personality, as well as your personal tastes. Most of all, you are the most important member of our remodeling team.