Going Green in Home Improvements
Going green when it comes to home improvements and remodeling is now being discussed on a greater level than ever before. More people are becoming conscious of the fact that the planet needs to be protected in order to be saved, and if everyone plays a part, great strides can be made in preserving the earth and its resources. As noted on MSNBC’s website, many contractors and homeowners alike are still not certain just what constitutes going green. But there are improvements that can be done to an existing home or building techniques that can be used when working on a new home to help the environment and drastically cut down on pollution and the misuse of the planet’s natural resources.
For an existing home, one of the main features that can be changed to help conserve power is the use of solar panels. They can come in the form of panels on the roof, walls or trellises. This type of system is being more widely used, and it is not unusual to see new homes going up with solar panels being used somewhere in the construction. Solar power can also be very useful for outdoor lighting. Solar lights for the outside of a property are charged by the sun’s rays during the daylight hours and automatically turn on at night without the use of electricity. The sun is the source of power for solar lights to do their job. Solar lights are available in a wide variety of styles and are a resourceful way of illuminating the exterior of a home.
There are a number of things that can be done in the interior of the house to help the planet as well. Energy-efficient appliances, such as refrigerators, washers and dryers, are a good way to conserve on electricity and water. Many appliances are now available with some type of energy-saving capability. Even toilets are now manufactured that cut down on the amount of water that is used. The new models of central air conditioning units are more energy-efficient as well. In fact, when looking for a new appliance for the home, it is hard to find one that does not have energy-saving ability built in. Manufacturers of large and smaller appliances are becoming more aware of conserving energy and passing that awareness on to the consumer. The Energy Star rating for energy-efficient appliances can be found on many products, with the number of products containing this rating increasing all the time.
Lighting the interior of the home with Energy Star light bulbs is another good way to conserve energy and cut down on electric bills. These bulbs last much longer than traditional bulbs and can be used in ceiling lights, table lamps, floor lamps, and other lighting fixtures throughout the house. At Energy Star, there is helpful information concerning Energy Star products that are available. This website also has advice for consumers regarding ways to make their homes more green and healthy for family members and the environment.
Another energy saver is to put lights on a timer when away from home. There is no need to have lights blazing needlessly, and when lights go on and off at a certain time, it will give the appearance of someone being home even when the house is empty. This is a deterrent to any thief who might be keeping a watch on the residence.
Yet another way to go green is to use natural cleaning products in the home. These products are safe for the planet as they are not composed of harmful fumes and chemicals. They can do a very good job of cleaning but are more gentle for individuals to use in the close confines of a house.
It is surprising how much cool air in the summer and warm air in the winter can be lost from a home’s interior through cracks around windows and doors. A home improvement that can cut down on lost air conditioning and heating is to fill in these openings, no matter how tiny, and make the home more energy-efficient. The air inside the house will stay inside the house, and air from outside will not come in unless it is meant to through an open window.
And windows bring up another home improvement topic. Old windows can be an eyesore. Properly fitting windows are not only an attractive addition to the home, but will also help to save on energy bills. And the new types of windows available now are more easy to clean, giving the homeowner more time to devote to other pursuits.
One of those other pursuits can be tending a vegetable garden, which will put the backyard to good use and supply healthy, home-grown vegetables for eating. This is a home improvement measure that can greatly benefit all family members by providing the type of food that will benefit the body and promote good health. Plus, home-grown vegetables are not subjected to pesticides that can be very harmful.
A home plagued with dry air can benefit from a humidifier, energy-efficient, of course. It will put much needed moisture back into the air and help to keep furniture from drying out. It will also make the air within the home more breathable and comfortable for the occupants. And if too much moisture and humidity in the air is a problem, an energy-saving dehumidifier will remove that extra moisture and keep harmful molds and mildew from building up within the walls of the home. This small appliance, either humidifier or dehumidifier, can do much to make the home more comfortable for all family members.
Going green is a welcome method to improve homes and the planet as well. Recycling is an important step, but there is growing awareness of the need to conserve the earth’s natural resources. People are searching for additional ways to improve the home that will benefit both the planet and its inhabitants. If everyone does their part, planet earth will prosper as a result.