Did you know that every year, each person in the U.S. uses a whopping 680 pounds of paper? Or that each one of us uses about seven trees a year to meet our needs for paper, wood, and related products?
That’s a lot of trees that we end up cutting to satisfy our demands. That’s why it’s time to take a step back — and give back — to nature.
You don’t have to go into the wild just to become a more eco-conscious individual. Simple changes to turn your abode into a greener house can already take you a step closer to this goal.
Ready to learn all about transforming your home into a green living environment? Then let’s dive right into it!
1. Swap Your HVAC System with a More Energy-Efficient Unit
About 40% of the yearly energy use of an average U.S. household goes towards heating and cooling alone. That’s right folks — and yours could be much more if you have a faulty HVAC system. The same goes true for older air conditioners and heaters, which are energy guzzlers too.
If your AC is about to turn 10 years old or your furnace will soon celebrate its 15th year of service, get them replaced. Modern HVAC units use far less energy than older models. Not only will you save money on heating and cooling — you and the fam will also be much more comfortable!
Also, new heating and cooling appliances have smart features, giving you control wherever. For instance, you can remote control them, so you can schedule when they power on or off. This is a nifty feature if you tend to forget “unplugging” appliances before leaving the house.
For newer space heaters and coolers, schedule them for a yearly routine tune-up. This will keep their parts and gears working on top condition, so they won’t eat up more energy than needed. Proper maintenance will also help lengthen the unit’s service life.
2. Upgrade Your Lighting Implements
Switching to LED and replacing your windows can make your home greener. Let’s take a closer look at both of these eco-conscious additions that you can give your home.
Switch to LED Lights
Switching to LED lights is already a step towards going green, as they also need far less energy. For instance, they use 80% less energy than the incandescent kind, and 40% less than fluorescent. They consume less power, but they still shine brighter than the two.
This reduced need for energy can then help make your energy bills go down. Plus, they’re also longer-lasting than most, if not all the other lighting options you have. Their price has also gone down to as much as 80% over the years, making them easier to afford.
Fix or Replace Damaged Windows
Your windows play a vital role in ventilation, which is critical to home comfort and air quality. The thing is, bare windows can be as much as 10 times less energy efficient than the walls of your home! They let much of your (expensive) cooled and heated air exit and go to waste.
That’s why one of the best and cheapest ways to go green is to install Energy Star-rated windows. These come with multiple panes, providing much better insulation than a single pane.
They also reflect infrared light, which helps prevent heat gains and losses. Moreover, their durable frame materials help reduce the risks of drafts and air leaks. They still let sunlight in, so you can still keep using natural light to forego electrical light at day.
3. Let the Sun Power Your Home Up
Speaking of taking advantage of the sun, green and healthy homes also power up using solar energy. Going solar does need a considerable investment since you have to buy solar panels. Note though that the cost of PV panels has gone down more than 70% from 2010 to 2018!
In a few years, you’ll recoup your upfront costs and it’s just savings from then on. So long as the sun keeps shining, you’ll have a source of renewable energy powering up your home.
4. Leak-Proof Your Home
A faucet that leaks 10 drips of water per minute wastes three liters per day or 347 gallons of water per year. Three faucets with the same drip rate waste more than a thousand gallons of water each year! That’s a complete waste of precious water, not to mention skyrocketing water bills.
That’s why you’d want to get your plumbing system checked for leaks ASAP. Getting all those leaks fixed is one of the easiest and also affordable ways to go greener. Besides, a leak-proof home also provides these other benefits:
Reduced Risks of Water Damage
Even the smallest plumbing leaks add to the overall moisture inside your home. Moisture and organic construction materials (think wood) aren’t a good combination. Water backups and burst pipes can also flood your home, leading to extensive water damage.
You should also get your sump pump inspected, to prevent below-ground wetness. A faulty sump pump can lead to a flooded basement, resulting in very expensive water damages.
Improved Indoor Air Quality
Too much moisture inside your home is the gateway to mold and mildew development. While these microorganisms aren’t “deadly”, they can still cause breathing hazards. Their spores, however, can be a serious threat to those with allergies or asthma.
5. Get the Green Going Outside and Inside
You can literally make your home greener by bringing the green inside your home! Plants are exceptional air filters, with some even absorbing toxins from the air. Plus, many of them, such as jade and spider plants, Boston ferns, and palm, can thrive indoors.
Also, consider growing your own edible herbs and fruit-bearing plants. Start with basil, chives, coriander, mint, and oregano. Beans, root crops, and tomatoes are also easy to grow.
Growing your own edible flora is also a way to become more sustainable and eco-friendly. This also keeps your food expenses low, seeing as you can trim your grocery list down.
Live Healthier and Better in a Greener House
These are only some of the best ways to create a greener house, but they’re a great place to start. By minding your energy and water consumption, you can already conserve resources. Plus, these nature-conservation tips benefit the environment, your health, and wallet too.
Ready for even more sustainable and eco-friendly ways of living? Then be sure to check out our other blog posts about adopting a green lifestyle!