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4 Sustainable Renovations You Can Do Yourself At Home

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Make Your Home More Sustainable With These 4 Strategies

More people than ever before are interested in sustainable living. Whether they’re installing solar panels, reducing water consumption, or embracing smart home technology to regulate energy expenditures, homeowners are considering the environmental implications of their residences.

Of course, it would be great if homeowners could undertake all of these improvements on their own, but there will always be renovations that require a professional. You can make plenty of adjustments independently, though, if you know where to focus. These four simple, sustainable strategies can help your home stand out in a crowded marketplace for all the right reasons.

Swap Out Faucets And Fixtures

One of the simplest ways to make your home more sustainable is by swapping out your faucets, shower heads, and toilets for the low flow variety. You’ll hardly notice the difference, cut your water bills significantly, and if you live in an area that suffers from occasional droughts, you’ll contribute to the community’s overall well-being.

If you don’t want to replace your toilet or find that’s beyond your technical ability, another option is to add floaters to your toilet tank. Floaters are basically what they sound like – floating containers (you can make them from old water bottles) that reduce the amount of water the tank holds. When you add floaters to the tank, it causes the tank to believe it’s full sooner in the flush cycle. Consider this a way to upcycle instead of recycling.

Think Efficiency First

Many homeowners and building professionals think that using sustainable practices is more expensive, but when you consider long-term savings, it’s actually more affordable eco-friendly housing. One of the areas where this dichotomy is particularly notable is when it comes to energy saving appliances.

Older appliances are infamous for using far more energy than they should, but because they can be expensive to replace, many hang on to old refrigerators, clothes dryers, and the like when investing in a new, greener appliances would be far better. A standard Energy Star appliance can help you cut energy costs by 30%, and in many cases, you’ll also qualify for tax deductions based on owning these improved appliances.

Mind The Gap

Perhaps the biggest energy of home sustainability is heat loss. Though you can’t install new insulation on your own, you can fill in any gaps near the windows to reduce drafts. It will reduce your heating costs during the winter months and, paired with heavy curtains, can help cool things down in the summer.

To fill in gaps around your windows, you’ll need caulk and backing rods for larger holes. For small holes, you can just apply the caulk and smooth it out. With larger holes, press the backing rod into space, then add caulk over it. You’ll immediately notice fewer drafts; that means less heat exchange with the outside environment, important for comfort and reduced energy use.

Go High Tech

Finally, a valuable and uniquely modern approach to saving energy is to install new smart home technology that allows you to moderate the home environment better, even when you’re away. Among the most popular devices is the smart thermostat – home thermostats that are not just programmable but that learn your behaviors to adjust the environment better, turning off heating and cooling when you’re away, adjusting if you change your schedule and the like.

Other valuable smart home appliances like internet-connected lighting allow you to check in and make sure you haven’t left the lights on while away from home. It’s one of the most common, wasteful things we do; often we leave lights on because it will be dark when we return, for example. Connected smart lights can be turned on remotely as you come back home, rather than running all day.

Making sustainable changes to your home doesn’t always require professional assistance. In fact, you can make your home more eco-friendly with hardly any technical know-how at all. Now is the time to do your part to make your home more sustainable. It’s the right thing to do for the earth today and for generations to come.

Jeff is a contractor specializing in residential construction and construction management in Chicago, Illinois for over 20 years. He deals exclusively in new construction and remodeling for residential projects and can act as designer, builder, and general contractor as well as preliminary estimates, cost vs. benefit analysis.

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