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5 Tips For an Eco-Friendly Home

Making your home more eco-friendly can mean adding a modular addition, reducing water usage, using sustainable materials, buying Energy Star appliances, or finding ways to save energy with electronics. Below we give you some tips on eco-friendly tips and practices.

Go Modular With A New Home or Addition

Modular homes are built in factories and the materials stored in the warehouses, eliminate weather-related problems. Custom-built modular homes and additions have many designs and builders work with customers to find the best one. They have many home designs and plans to choose from. A modular home can be built in a third of the time it takes to construct other types of homes. Modular homes also reduce energy consumption by 67%, no matter what the climate is like. Modular homes have less heat loss due to tighter construction and sealants used.

When you buy a modular home, you will need to own property to put it on. You can choose eco-friendly materials to use in the design and construction. The styles of homes are Cape Cod, green home, contemporary, colonial, ranch, and tiny house. Modular home additions can be a good way to add on an addition to your home. It can be attached to the side of your home and create an additional living space, a new kitchen, or other rooms. A modular addition can be placed on top of a one-story house to make it two-story.

Before building a modular addition find out the zoning laws in your state. Modular additions can be apartments, rooms, sheds, garages, studios, or guest houses. Modular homes and addition are environmentally friendly, save on utilities, and the construction timeline is shorter.

Focus on Water Usage

Conserve water at home by fixing any leaky pipes or faucets because you can lose hundreds of gallons this way. Install low-flow toilets, faucets, and showerheads that reduce the amount of water used. Traditional toilets use about 28% of water in your home or condo. Other models that use less water are pressure-assisted or dual flush toilets. Run the dishwasher only when it is full, and consider washing some dishes by hand. Install instant hot water heaters in the kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room. These small devices supply hot water when needed, and reduce water usage from 27 to 50%. Water the lawn and garden with a hose or watering can. Consider using drip irrigation for larger yards or soaker hoses to reduce water use.

Look For Items Made Out of Eco-Friendly Materials

Powder coatings are environmentally friendly finishes used on surfaces inside and outside your home. They can be used on doors, windows, handles, doorknobs, appliances, walls, and wood. This type of coating is safer than some paints that emit harmful chemicals. It is a tough and durable coating and environmentally friendly. It can be recycled, and it complies with environmental standards. Powder coatings have low VOC emissions and are free of solvents.

When installing flooring use eco-friendly materials bamboo, cork, or reclaimed wood. Hire contractors that use recycled materials or salvaged items when building made of glass, stone, wood, steel, and metals. Salvaged wood planks can be used for flooring in the home, recycled tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms, and some consumers insulate with sheep’s wool soybean foam spay. Recycled materials reduce waste and make use of eco-friendly materials.

Opt For Replacing Appliances With Energy Star Rated Brands

Energy Star appliances are certified by the US Department of Energy and use 10 to 50% less energy. This means you will save on electricity and water use lowering your monthly bills. Refrigerators use the most electricity of all home appliances. Buying a new Energy Star refrigerator will help reduce the electric bill by about 20%. Many of these appliances have rebates and tax credits for purchasing them. Some utility companies offer savings for using these appliances. They make dishwashers, air conditioning, washer, dyers, and water heaters with this label.

Make Sure You Have Energy Saving Measures In Place

Electronics use tons of energy, computers, TV, cell phone, and home entertainment systems. Use power strips for TVs and computers and turn them off when not in use. Consider having a time limit for watching TV or using the computer. Unplug electronics as they still use power when plugged in. After charging your cell phone, unplug it and turn it off at times. Customize power options on your computer, most Windows computers have this option. Look for electronic equipment with the Energy Star label. In 2019, there were many data breaches that exposed over 4 billion records of private information. Investing in software that protects your computer and electronics is a reasonable investment. Most programs are safe and reasonably priced.

With these tips, your home will be much more eco-friendly. An eco-friendly home isn’t just good for the environment, but it can also save you money in the long run.

How to Increase Your Home’s Resale Value While Staying Eco-Friendly

When you want to improve the value of your home, making eco-friendly upgrades will increase the value and provide you with a healthier environment for family and friends. Below are some ideas to consider to help improve the resale value of your home.

Figure What Is In Your Budget

Figure out what is in your budget before you begin to remodel. Homeowners often spend between 5,000 to 10,000 dollars to make changes to their homes. This was the standard amount spent in 2018 by consumers. Even if you do not have thousands to spend you can make small improvements that will improve the sustainability of your home. Try to decide what you want to improve before tackling the project Do you want to install energy-efficient appliances, add a tank-less water heater, paint the inside walls with eco-friendly paint made from natural materials, landscaping, and energy-efficient exterior doors. For major upgrades, you should contact local contractors that specialize in eco-friendly remodeling and installation.

Install Energy-Efficient Exterior Doors

Replacing outdated exterior doors on the house will save you money on your energy bills. The doors that you enter or exit the house should be energy efficient. This can save you 10% on your heating and cooling bills. Energy-efficient outer doors made from fiberglass save the most energy. Fiberglass looks like real wood and is designed for cold climates and humidity. Steel doors are stronger and wear well in dry climates. Unless you are handy, it is better to hire a contractor to install them. Steel doors can be insulated to retain heat and stay cooler in the warm weather. Double glass panes are often installed to reduce heat flow and magnetic strips reduce leakage of air in the house.

Make Your Landscaping Eco-friendly

Investing in hiring a landscaper improves the value of your home. If you are an experienced gardener, you can do the work yourself. Native plants from a local garden center grow better and use less water. Invest in planting native flowers, herbs, and vegetables in a small rain garden. A rain garden collects runoff water from your yard. Rain gardens attract butterflies and reduce soil erosion. Planting native trees and shrubs can help with cooling your home in the summer. Installing a drip irrigation system to water plants in the yard and lawn will cut the water bill by 50 percent.

Permeable pavers instead of concrete driveways and walkways allow water to go into the ground. Reusing stones and bricks for borders and wall counts are considered eco-friendly landscaping too. You should reduce the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Test the soil it may just need organic compost that you can buy and the organic pesticide that uses natural substances and have a lower level of chemicals. Over 60% of potential home buyers say a well-landscaped property is one of the things they look for in a home.

Install A Tankless Water Heater

The benefit of installing a tankless water heater is it only will use water when you need it. It can save you 30 to 50 percent on fuel costs. This device works when you turn on the tap and sensors detect water coming into the heater that has to be heated. They range in price from about $200 to $2,000 depending on the size and are gas-fired or electric. They should be installed by a professional. The benefits are they produce instant hot water, some are Wi-Fi compatible, and in time save money on water and fuels. They are compact about the size of a suitcase and hang on the wall.

Upgrade to Green Appliances

Consider buying energy-efficient appliances when you replace older models. They are refrigerators, dishwashers, air conditioners, stoves, washers, and dryers. These Energy Star appliances will save you on water and electricity. They reduce pollution and create sustainability in the home. When you buy an energy-efficient dishwasher it uses less water and reduces your water bill by 25%. An Energy Star refrigerator will decrease your electric bill. Refrigerators are an appliance that uses more electricity than others appliances. Energy Star is a label that appliances get when they meet government regulations for energy efficiency and reducing the use of water and electricity. They can reduce utilities by about 30% in the home. A minor kitchen remodel will have an 82.7% return on your investment.

These are some ways to make the eco-friendly upgrade to your home for a healthier home environment.

Tips For Building an Eco-Friendly Home

Creating a residential place for your family does not necessarily aim so much at perfection but authenticity. With the current transformation and changes that have taken place in the global climate, individuals who wish to build a home should ensure the houses constructed do not make our environment worse. Moreover, embracing a natural lifestyle is very beneficial to the human body, spirit, and mind.

What is an Eco-Friendly Home?

Eco-friendly homes are those built using materials and technologies that do not harm the environment further. For instance, a home that relies on wind and solar energy falls into this category. The current trend is taking a positive turn, where we have seen many people going for environmentally-friendly houses. However, some lack the knowledge to create such buildings. This detailed article will inform you about the best ways to build an eco-friendly home, whether you are constructing from scratch or renovating an old one.

Choose Timeless Finishes

vYou don’t have to feel limited when it comes to the finish you apply to your home. You can use outstanding finishes without sacrificing the house’s aesthetics. Years back, people looked forward to warm and welcoming spaces. However, today, to achieve environmentally-friendly abodes, it is recommendable to yearn for safe spaces conscious of our lives on earth.

When it comes to the interior décor, choosing colors, styles, and designs that do not require regular changing is a wise idea. The finishes should have permanence for you. For instance, using a matte black tapware finish on your kitchen cabinets can help them last up to 50 years. Therefore, do not look at how classic the finish is as long as it is timeless to you and it will serve you for years to come.

Make Sure Everything is Built to Last

Choosing sustainable materials for your construction is not an option if you want to achieve an environmentally-responsible home. Besides the aesthetic appeal, cost and life cycle are the other considerations to make when choosing the materials. Additionally, consider how easy it is to reuse or recycle the material. If you cannot reuse it, then disposing of that material in the future should not negatively affect the environment.

Many factors dictate the durability of a particular material. If you plan on having an underground tank, for instance, you should know that its construction, installation, soil conditions, and maintenance affect its lifespan. However, it can typically last for 20 years or more. Besides sustainability and cost reduction, having suitable construction materials reduces your exposure to life-threatening organic compounds and pollutants significantly. Some wall coverings, paints, and carpeting release toxic compounds that tamper with the air quality inside a house.

Considering the many hours you will be spending at home, it is advisable to minimize toxins’ exposure by getting healthier material alternatives. Using construction materials sustainably means their present use will not interfere with future use by affecting the environment or running out. Very few materials meet this requirement, and they are the ones you should get if you want an eco-friendly home.

Focus on Smaller Projects to Be Green and On-Budget

Small houses are not only eco-friendly but also cost-effective. Besides occupying a small footprint, a smaller home can save you a lot on the materials required and the energy consumed to warm or cool it down. In 2018, a report showed that the average monthly housing cost was $1,566. That shows the more extensive the home, the more money you spend on it. Statistics show that the average number [of people in an American home has gone down from 3.8 to 2.6, yet the home sizes have ballooned over time.

People need to understand that these improper size-to-occupant ratios are bringing additional issues to our environment. If we desire to achieve green projects, we should be ready to adhere to a more solid square-footage-per-individual code. However, we also need to shift our focus from total house size to proper usage of resources and quality green projects.

5 Eco-Friendly Plumbing Tips For a Greener Home

When temperatures drop, your chief concern as a homeowner might be to make sure your pipes don’t freeze. While the plumbing industry made more than $107 billion in revenue during 2018, you’ll probably want to avoid paying top dollar for a plumbing emergency this winter. But aside from insulating your plumbing to prevent a burst pipe, there may be other ways to save money in this realm. And in many cases, the cost-saving choice is also the sustainable choice.

Despite the fact that nearly half of American homeowners live in the first home they ever purchased, there are a number of ways to upgrade your home’s plumbing system to prioritize environmental responsibility. If you’re looking to lead a greener lifestyle by reducing water waste and save some green in the process, here are just five ideas that will help you create a more eco-friendly plumbing system at home.

Install Low-Flow and High-Efficiency Appliances

It’s amazing what a few household upgrades can do when you want to reduce water waste. Low-flow toilets and showerheads can reduce how much water is used during daily activities without sacrificing performance. You might also consider installing a high-efficiency faucet, which reduces water flow while maintaining pressure, or high-efficiency dishwashers and washing machines. These options are better for the environment (and for your water bill!), though you’ll probably never notice a difference when you’re using them.

Consider a Tankless Water Heater

Your home’s water heater performs a vital function, but relying on an outdated model can be expensive and wasteful. If you want to prioritize energy efficiency and make sure you aren’t heating water you don’t actually need to heat, you may want to switch to a demand-style heater or a tankless water heater, which tend to be more efficient and can save a lot of space in your home. If you plan on selling your house down the line, these water heaters can add some value to your property, as well.

Opt For Energy-Efficient Pipes

If you own an older home, chances are that your home’s plumbing is on the older side, too. Switching to steel or PEX pipes will naturally retain heat and can allow you to reduce the amount you spend on heating your water. But if you’re sticking with plastic or copper pipes, you may want to insulate them for the sake of energy efficiency. This is a good idea in the winter anyway, but it can actually help you save money and reduce energy waste year-round.

Be Careful About What You Flush

While this doesn’t involve any equipment upgrades, adopting this habit can prevent you from ruining your plumbing system and spending money on expensive repairs or replacement while prioritizing the protection of your local water system. Even if you think certain household products — like sanitizing wipes or cotton balls — are technically flushable, that doesn’t mean they should go down the drain. These products often won’t break down and can actually clog your toilet. Worse yet, they can end up in the water supply. Make it a point to use biodegradable or compostable products whenever possible to avoid this scenario and reduce waste altogether.

Cut Down on Water Use

Hydration and access to clean water is a must, considering that 71% of Americans drink tap water (and no one wants you to get dehydrated!). However, you might want to take some steps to reduce the amount of water you’re unknowingly consuming. For example, taking a shorter shower or limiting the number of times you shower each week can help your family be more eco-friendly. You can also remember to shut off the faucet when you’re brushing your teeth or when you’re washing the dishes. You’re most likely wasting a ton of water without realizing it, which might also mean you’re paying to heat that water. By reducing the amount of water you unintentionally waste, you’ll inherently have a more eco-friendly home.

No matter the season, there’s always a reason to be conscious of our water usage. With these tips in mind, you can curb wasteful habits and save all kinds of resources.

3 Evidenced-Based, Natural Ways to Get Healthier Right Now

Improving your health can seem daunting when there are a lot of steps involved like meal prepping and working out. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways you can improve your health right now without having to jump through any hoops or having to wait. Here are three evidence-based, natural ways you can boost your body’s health and well-being ASAP.

Change Your HVAC Filters

According to a study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, indoor air quality can have a greater impact on your health than outdoor air. Indoor air pollutants such as cleaners, varnished, fungal spores, and smoke can create bigger problems for our health because we’re breathing them in more frequently in such a small space. With so many of us staying indoors more often due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important now than ever to monitor your indoor air quality.

One easy way to boost your indoor air quality is by changing out your HVAC filters at least twice a month, or three times if you have pets. Dirt, debris, and dander can build-up in your HVAC filters throughout the day. When the filters aren’t swapped out, your HVAC system can’t trap the grime and instead spits it out into the air you breathe. What’s more, HVAC systems typically last 12 years, but when they may fail sooner when they have to work harder to deliver warm or cool air.

Replace Your Toothbrush

Many people already know that the American Dental Association recommends brushing at least twice a day. But not many know that they’re meant to replace their toothbrush at least once every three months. In fact, not replacing your toothbrush frequently could actually be making you sick. According to researchers at England’s University of Manchester, toothbrushes can harbor over 100 million different bacteria including E. coli and staphylococci (“Staph”) bacteria. Consider buying a pack of toothbrushes to make changing them out easier than waiting for your next dentist appointment.

Stop Cold Drafts

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts around your doors and windows can increase your heating bills by up to 10%. But drafts aren’t only problematic for your energy bills. They’re also problematic to your health. Research shows that when cold air from a draft comes in contact with your throat, the temperature of your body’s pharyngeal mucosa lowers. This causes the mucosa to dry out, which increases your risk of infection. To protect yourself against the common cold and other pesky pathogens, make sure to cover any gaps between your door and the floor and stuff any window gaps with spray-adhesive insulation.

When it comes to improving your health, sometimes taking the smallest steps can make the biggest difference. Try out some of the tips above to boost your well-being and get your body feeling great.