Home building and renovationindustries have experienced a large shift towards more green and eco-friendlyoptions. With electricity prices rising at an alarming rate, people havestarted looking for other, more sustainable options. Green homes used to be consideredtoo expensive for the average consumer; however, we’re witnessing more and moreeco-friendly companies that offer affordable, energy-efficient appliances,lights, windows and power-generation systems. Here are five eco-friendly tipsthat every homeowner should go over before starting a renovation.
You’d be surprised by the number of appliances that draw energyeven when they’re completely powered off. One of the best examples of this is adisplay on a microwave oven that shows the exact time even if nobody is usingit. Not only that, but most older appliances weren’t designed to beenergy-efficient and although it may seem counter-intuitive at first, buyingnew, energy-saving appliances is actually a good, long-term investment. Australia hasmade it mandatory for appliances to come with an energy rating, so if you’reunsure of whether the appliance you want is energy-efficient or not, simplylook for the energy-rating label. The lower the number on the label, the moreenergy you save.
Incandescent light bulbs are extremely inefficient. They wastefour times more energy and produce four times more CO2 than compact fluorescentlights (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) combined. Furthermore, LEDs andCFLs last significantly longer than incandescent lights, which explains whyalmost every green-renovation job in the last couple of years has includedchanging the lights. Alternatively, you can tinker around with your windowsetup and try to use as much natural light as you can. Change the room layoutso that the living room and the kitchen always get as much natural light aspossible.
Just like with the appliances, old windows weren’t exactly builtto be energy-efficient, which is why it’s better to replace them with double ortriple pane windows. They insulate the house far better when compared to theirsingle-pane counterparts and as such, can drastically reduce the overall energybill. You should also consider getting glazedwindows. The glazing process adds a completelytransparent, low-emissivity coating that greatly reduces harmful UV rays.Although your new window-panes might be energy-efficient, the old window framesare probably not, which is why it may be better to completely replace the wholething instead of just retrofitting new glass panes.
A lot of old homes aren’t properly insulated, or the insulationsimply doesn’t match the current standards. This results in your home leakinghot air during winter and cold air during summer. You can call in aprofessional to perform a complete energy audit and tell you exactly where youneed to strengthen or completely replace the insulation. Your home’s insulationis probably the last thing you’d want to skimp out on, so make sure to investin high-quality insulation. If you happened to notice asbestos, avoid removingit by yourself at all costs and hire a professional to deal with it.
Although not technically a renovation, going solar is one of thebest ways to add something new and exciting to your home and drasticallydecrease your energy bill. Some people use solar panels to decrease theirenergy expenditure, while other rely on them as the main source of heating andelectricity. Again, finding the right solar option for your home can be atedious task and you might want to hire a professional company that specializesin solar panels, ventilation and Whirlybird installation in order to save energy efficiently.
These are just some of the currently available and affordable homerenovation options. You can also choose recycled and repurposed building andrenovation materials, such as recycled aluminum, glass, and plastic, orrepurposed wooden countertops and floor boards. Make sure to perform a fullenergy-expenditure audit and see exactly where the problems lie and work out away to incorporate the solutions into the renovation process.
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