5 Eco-friendly Home Improvements for the Conscious Homeowner

Photo by Designecologist

Making your house more energy efficient saves not only the environment but also your money. You can get eco-friendly upgrades for numerous reasons, either to enhance comfort or lower utility costs.

However, if you ever want to sell your home, these upgrades won’t let you down. A recent study reports that energy-efficient homes can increase your home’s resale value and sell for 2.7% more than the average selling price.

9 out of 10 potential homebuyers will prefer purchasing an energy-efficient home. This increase in value is especially beneficial if you live in a declining housing market.

For example, suppose you live in Tucson, where median home prices have decreased 1.9% since August. Your selling price could be higher if you had an energy-efficient home.

However, besides increasing value, you also have a responsibility to act more eco-friendly. Every individual in America consumes three and a half times more electricity than the global average and twice as much as people in Europe.

This excessive use of energy is one of the reasons why the U.S. is responsible for 14% of global emissions that contribute toward climate change. But you can make a difference by acting mindfully. Going green doesn’t mean compromising style or function.

From kitchen appliances to bathroom remodeling, discover how sustainable choices can make your home beautiful and environmentally friendly.

1. Eco-friendly bathroom conversions

Utility costs are rising, and no American is safe from it. Even places like Tucson, where utilities are 1% cheaper than the national average, are seeing a 5.5% increase in monthly bills. Water prices are increasing by $4.56, and the government expects it to rise more.

Though these costs may seem small now, who knows when they’ll escalate? We suggest looking up Tucson Bathroom Remodeling company near me to find reliable professionals to install efficient upgrades in your bathroom.

For example, replacing your toilet with a dual-flush toilet can help you save up to 1100,000 liters annually, reducing water consumption by 67%. Imagine how much money you’ll be able to save, especially now that utility prices are rising in Tucson.

You can also replace your showerheads and faucets with water-saving fixtures. For example, getting a low-flow shower head can help you save up to 60% more water. Other minor upgrades can include installing a tap aerator in your faucet to reduce the water that runs around 15 liters per minute to as low as little as 6 liters of water per minute.

Furthermore, you can also consider getting a tub-to-shower conversion to reduce your overall water consumption by showering.

However, it is crucial to hire trustworthy contractors who can ensure quality work. It would be best to carefully hire remodelers who are accredited and have good reviews to prevent a botched job.

2. Tankless water heater

Traditionally, you’d have to wait for your water heater to store hot water before enjoying a warm shower. However, a tankless water heater heats the water as it is used and saves 8% to 14% more energy.

However, you can increase your savings by decreasing your water use to 41 gallons of hot water daily, which can reduce your electricity consumption by 35%.

These heaters heat water directly without using a water storage tank and deliver a constant hot water supply. It only heats the amount of water you need and prevents the water from going cold while you’re in the middle of a shower.

Also, since they don’t have storage tanks, they don’t take up much space and are perfect for a home with limited room.

3. Smart lights

If your home still has incandescent bulbs, you must switch them out immediately because they’re wasting 98% of energy on heat and only using 2% for emitting light. Why should you needlessly increase your utility bills when you can install smart lights that use LEDs and save up to 90% more energy?

Not only do these lights have a longer lifespan, but they are also much more convenient. For example, you can adjust the brightness according to your needs and set a timer for smart lights to prevent excessive usage.

Some are voice-activated or use motion sensors to turn off when you leave the room and preserve valuable energy.

4. Energy-efficient appliances

Maybe it’s time to part with a few appliances that are sucking your electricity like vampires. Research suggests that you only use 65% of energy while 35% of it is wasted. But where? The most common energy drainers in most households were heating and cooling appliances, using 47% of the total energy. Besides those, there were computers, phones, dishwashers, and lights.

However, wasteful energy consumption increases even more when your appliances are old. For example, a 15-year-old refrigerator will probably use up to 90% more electricity compared to newer models.

Replacing such appliances can significantly reduce your electricity bills. Some energy-efficient appliances, like Energy Star, guarantee a quality appliance that saves money without performing poorly. These appliances can help your household save around $450 on energy bills annually.

5. Sealing air leaks

Your home can lose up to 40% of energy because of air leaks that increase your heating and cooling costs, especially if you have a poorly insulated attic that can cause 25% heat loss in the winter. If you want to prevent your utility costs from going through the roof, pun intended, consider air-sealing your home’s problem areas.

These spots include your home’s:

  • Porch roof
  • Chimney shaft
  • Attic access
  • Ducts
  • Windows and doors
  • Garage

To effectively seal these leaks to increase your home’s energy efficiency, you can hire an energy assessor to determine where the biggest leaks are and determine the air tightness of your home.

Then, you can caulk and weatherstrip those areas. However, remember to keep looking for signs of air leaks in between seasons to ensure your home is well-prepared.

Conclusion

Making your home more energy-efficient helps you in the long run by either lowering your utility bills, increasing the comfort of your home, or increasing its value.

The home improvements in this article are an investment worth considering because eco-friendly homes are the homes of the future. By fulfilling your role in conserving energy, you contribute to a brighter future for all.

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