Guide to Green Home Improvement

More and more homeowners are making the move towards improving their homes’ environmental friendliness. Although some of this movement is thanks to increased eco-consciousness and stewardship, many homeowners have joined the movement because it helps them to save money on energy costs and avoid putting toxins into their home. Whatever your reasons are for going green, there are several easy ways to improve your home while also improving its environmental friendliness.

Plantation Shutters

Adding shutters inside your home is a timeless and beautiful way to reduce your energy consumption and carbon footprint. Plantation shutters are custom fitted to your windows, so they are able to insulate your home better than other window coverings. This added layer of insulation helps to keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter without using any additional energy.

In addition to lowering your energy usage for climate control, plantation shutters are able to reduce your dependence on indoor lighting during the day. Simply open the shutters or their louvers to allow natural light to flood your home. By using natural lighting, you will be able to reduce the number of light bulbs you use, as well as reduce your energy consumption.

VOC Free Paint

Paint is one of the quickest and easiest ways to improve your home, but it can also come with a nasty host of chemicals. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are toxins that are emitted by traditional paints. These toxins release into the air and your cleaning solutions, polluting your home and the nearby environment. Instead of filling your home with toxins from traditional paint, ask your local home improvement store about VOC free paints. These paints contain none of the toxic VOCs associated with traditional paint, which means they’re better for you and for the environment.

Upgrade to LED

Although many homeowners have embraced longer-lasting CFL bulbs, these bulbs still present several problems for the environmentally conscious. They contain toxic mercury and require special disposal to avoid having that mercury pollute the environment. In contrast, LED bulbs are able to last twice or even three times as long, use less energy, and do not contain mercury. Upgrading your lighting to LED bulbs can be a large initial investment, but you will regain that investment over time through reduced energy costs and not having to replace bulbs as often.

These steps are some of the easiest ways to start to improve your home’s energy usage while also making it a more enjoyable place to live.

How to Go Green With Eco Friendly Home Improvements

Remodeling your home is a great opportunity to obtain a fresh and eco friendly home design. Even if you are not completely reinventing your house, you can still go green by making a few adjustments that will increase energy efficiency and make you save money in return.

Green Home Improvement Ideas

The first area that can be made more energy efficient is the bathroom. In the United States, 40% of domestic water consumption is used just in the bathroom, and older bathrooms use an average of 13,000 gallons of fresh water each year. By installing a dual flush toilet, you can save energy by controlling the amount of water that is used each time you flush. You can also improve the efficiency your shower system by setting up a low pressure shower head which consumes much less water, but still gets you as clean as before.

If you decide to paint the walls a different color, you can go green by making sure to use paint that does not contain any VOCs (volatile organic chemicals). This is important because VOCs lead to air pollution, and contamination of soil and groundwater.

Switching from carpet to hardwood floors is one of the biggest trends in home improvement, which is a good thing if you want to make your house more eco friendly because carpet is a source of dust, lint, mildew, pet dander, and other allergens. By removing the carpet, you can improve the overall air quality of your home. The other good news is that most homes have hardwood floors beneath the carpet, so you can go green by simply polishing and refinishing the floors that you already have instead of installing new ones.

Specialty Home Improvement Remodeling Projects

The purpose of a home improvement remodeling project is to make your home more attractive and functional. Some of the usual improvements involve redoing floor and wall coverings, adding cabinetry, and improving the lighting. Other choices are installing new fixtures, knocking out or building new walls, and even something as simple as painting. Yet, some of the most exciting projects involve adding something special to an existing home.

Home Entertainment

One home improvement remodeling task you might like to do is to install an entertainment system that works throughout your home. The setup is crucial. The wiring for the system has to be run behind the drywall. This means that you either add this as a part of a larger renovation project that includes removing the drywall, or you have to string the wiring behind the drywall some other way.

You will have outlets behind your whole home entertainment system to plug in the components to AC current. There should be jacks for the cable and Ethernet feeds. You connect the audio wiring in each room to a special outlet near the entertainment system, and then hook it up. When you have successfully installed the system you should be able to listen to different music all over the house, and watch movies with surround sound in your main entertainment room and from any TV in the house.

This installation process must be done carefully to achieve maximum functionality and maintain an attractive appearance. If you have any qualms about doing this home improvement remodeling work yourself, it is a good idea to use a professional remodeling company to make sure it is done right.

Home Security

Installing a home security system is another one of those home improvement remodeling projects that must be hard-wired into the house. The wiring runs to a central location, usually in a basement or utility room. At this spot, you put the master controls and alert relays. Then, throughout the house, you install sensors to catch break-ins, fires, and elevated levels of carbon monoxide.

To do the job, you will have to know the various kinds of sensors and how to install each one. There are magnet sensors, switch door sensors, glass-breaking sensors, carbon monoxide sensors, smoke sensors and heat sensors. The sensors must be placed carefully or the alarms might go off when they are not supposed to. Conversely, if you do not wire the sensors in appropriately, the alarms might not sound at all. This is a job that you must be sure you can do correctly; otherwise you will be putting your family’s security at risk.

Green Living

One type of specialty task that is becoming more and more commonplace is a green home improvement remodeling project. There is so much that you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your home that it is a shame not to do what you can.

A green remodeling job can include energy efficient appliances and fixtures. It can mean increasing the insulation in your house or getting more efficient windows or doors. It can also mean working towards net zero energy consumption by producing energy with solar panels. A skilled home improvement remodeling company can help you find all the best ways to go green.