Green Home Improvements: A Beginner's Guide

February 22, 2013 / by / In

So you’re new to the “Green” movement?

Well, if you’ve ever turned a off a light when you left a room, opted for reusable instead of paper plates, or driven slower on the highway to get a better mileage, then you’ve contributed to the sustainability of the Earth, and that makes you green.

But there’s so much more you can do to be even greener. That includes green home remodeling projects that are not only good for the Earth, but they could save you money in the long run.

Let’s start with some modern green techniques that homeowners just like you are using all across Southern California.

New Green Techniques

You’ll notice in this section that most of these techniques don’t take enormous effort, and they don’t radically change the way your home looks now. They’re simple, effective ways to become more energy efficient. For example:

  • Insulated windows and doors: Imagine your windows are like a car tire with a slow leak. You don’t notice day to day how much air you’re losing, but slowly and surely that air is escaping. When you run the air conditioning or heater, you’re using valuable energy to do so. If your windows aren’t sealed correctly, you are letting some of that precious energy (and cash) flow right out your window.
  • Low-flow faucets and toilets: We’re all culprits of excessive water use; perhaps it’s the fault of the faucets we use. Many push out streams of 3 gallons a minute. By introducing a low-flow faucet, you could cut that down to 2 gallons a minute. By reducing the amount of time you spend using the faucet, the lower the volume of water you waste. And that sure adds up when it comes to the monthly water bill.
  • Roofing installations: Your roof is a major source of energy, both incoming and outgoing.
    • On the outside, you can install a radiant barrier to reflect heat in the summer, reducing the amount you have to run the AC. Or, use that space for solar panels and harvest your own energy from the sun.
    • On the inside, use recycled cotton or wool insulation, or advanced fiberglass products. These help to keep temperatures level and comfortable and prevent unwanted energy loss.

What Happens to My Current Windows, Faucets and Other Junk?

When you upgrade to greener materials in your home, a major concern is what happens to the stuff you’re getting rid of. There are entire companies whose main purpose is to reduce these materials to their basic components: faucets are essentially steel or brass, windows are glass and plastic, etc.

These individual materials can be recycled and used in other ways by construction companies like Murray Lampert. When you decide to go green and update your home’s systems, you’re not only helping out your own monthly bills, but you’re potentially making products cheaper for other homeowners as well.

Now, just because you’re doing all this for the environment, it doesn’t mean you need to stop turning off lights or being more economical about recycling. But it does give you cause to brag to your friends.

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