Green Building/Remodeling

Published on August 6th, 2012 | by Guest Contributor


Tips for Green Remodeling

Taking an eco-friendly approach to remodeling not only helps to lessen your ecological footprint, but can also lessen the monetary strain on your wallet. Many of these remodeling ideas can be done by you, saving you even more money because you will not have to hire a contractor. Just take a look around your house and make note of the things that you would like to change. There is almost certainly a green way to make all the changes on your list.

leaky faucet

Leaky faucets are an easy green fix for remodeling.

Drafty Windows and Doors

Having drafty windows results in your home leaking energy, which can increase your energy bills by as much as 30 percent. To test and see if your windows and doors are drafty, push the curtains out-of-the-way, or take them down, and grab an incense stick. You will light this and place it up to each window and door frame. If you see the smoke being blown, you know that there is a draft present. You can grab some eco-friendly caulking to seal the windows and grab a draft snake or an old towel to seal the bottom of doors.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat sounds like a complex piece of electronic equipment, and in a way it is. This device will make sure your house stays at a constant temperature, reducing energy usage, as well as heating and cooling bills. These are relatively inexpensive and you can install them yourself with a trusty screwdriver. Just be sure to shut off the power before disconnecting and reconnecting the wires.

Check Your Faucets

A minor leak in a single pipe joint or faucet can result in three gallons of wasted water each day. This hurts the environment, as well as your pocketbook. Some leaks can be easily corrected with a pipe wrench and a few minutes of your time. If the leak is more complex, you may need to consult a plumber to make sure the job is done correctly and completely. If you want to further your water-saving efforts, there are special faucets and shower heads that are designed to conserve water. Many of these can be installed by using the instructions and a few simple tools.

These shower heads are known as low-flow. These are inexpensive and can save up to 70 percent of the water you used before installing it. Another major water hog is your toilet. These also come in low-flow versions that can save you several gallons of water per day.

Swap Out Appliances for Energy Star Brands

A house that is fully equipped with Energy Star appliances will run on about 30 percent less energy than a house using basic appliances. Not only will you save energy, but you will also save hundreds of dollars over the course of a year. Most appliances can be easily installed by you without needing to pay outside help. You can find any appliance in Energy Star form, from microwaves to washers and dryers, and everything in between.

{faucet image via …love Maegan}

About the Author: Jillian Watkinson writes and researches about interior design supplies—everything from shower head fixtures to soaking bath tubs! She’s a total green freak who firmly believes that one day she will be driving a completely solar-powered car.

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