Achieving a more environmentally friendly home is a top priority for many eco-conscious homeowners. However, many homeowners believe that they need to spend thousands of dollars in order to complete a green home renovation. In reality, decreasing your home’s carbon footprint can be a straightforward and budget-friendly process–if you know where to start. Here are some of our top tips to help you prioritize a green home renovation on a budget.
“Use these tips
to help you prioritize
your green home renovation
on a budget.”
Invest in solar panels
Taking the leap into renewable energy is perhaps one of the best ways to achieve a greener home. Although solar panels are the most commonly used renewable energy source for residential buildings, they are not the cheapest investment you’ll ever make. However, they will save you substantial amounts of money over time–the most recent calculations for 2017 estimate that homeowners can save between $7,000 and $30,000 over 20 years, depending on location–and provide your home with a more reliable and sustainable energy source. A long term commitment like this can be difficult for budget-conscious families, especially since initial installation has a relatively high price tag.
Fortunately, there are many local and national incentives, grants, subsidies, and tax credits available for homeowners considering solar power, as well as a variety of schemes throughout the country that allow homeowners and renters alike to benefit from solar without exorbitant upfront costs. If, after considering the price, you’re still unsure about switching to solar in your home, remember that solar technology is developing at an extraordinary rate and that installation costs are lower now than ever before. If you are serious about green renovations for your home, we think that this should be one of your top priorities.
Get smart with energy use
In addition to considering the benefits of renewables for your home, thinking carefully about the way you use the energy you currently have is an essential part of making your home more eco-friendly. Smart meters, thermostats, and other household appliances can all help you decrease your energy bills and increase the energy efficient status of your home. Brand name smart products such as the Nest Learning Thermostat come with a reasonable price tag ($249 for this particular model) and, once installed and programmed, can learn your energy consumption habits and help you to save money and keep your home running efficiently.
Other white goods and household appliances that are equipped with smart technology can work together to further increase your energy savings and help lower your home’s carbon footprint. If budget is a concern, many of these products can be linked together at any point so you can purchase these as and when your budget allows. Additionally, some smart meters can be acquired for free from grid based energy companies, so check with yours to see what they can offer you.
Upcycle instead of buying new
Thanks to increased waste reduction efforts across the country, most of us are now aware of and able to carry out regular recycling practices on home consumables like paper, plastics, and certain metals. What many homeowners often forget, however, is that recycling isn’t limited to consumables. The current sustainable trend of upcycling, or reusing old pieces of furniture and other household accessories, is an excellent way to create something new for your home without throwing anything away.
Perhaps an even more enticing incentive is the money you will save by avoiding expensive store bought furniture altogether. If you want to spend a little and support your local community, consider shopping for preloved goods at local thrift shops, yard sales, or flea markets and using your own DIY skill to repurpose pieces for use in your home. If you want to keep costs as low as possible, find items already in your home that you no longer use and get creative with your upcycling.
Increase your water conservation efforts
While most of us are educated about the environmental reasons behind recycling (or upcycling) and saving energy throughout the home, it is easy to overlook our use of one of our most precious natural resources. Because most of us in the United States have access to an almost unlimited supply of fresh and clean water, we have a tendency to overuse and take it for granted. Consuming less water at home is easier than it sounds and can form a budget-friendly part of your next green home renovation.
Rainwater collection systems–including tanks, gutters, and irrigation–can drastically reduce your mains water usage and decrease your monthly utility bills. Harvested rainwater can be used for gardening, outdoor cleaning, and even flushing your toilets. If you want to further decrease your household water consumption, making an inexpensive one off purchase of low flow taps, toilets, and showerheads can decrease the water used to complete basic household tasks by 25-60%. Add to these purchases a conscious effort to use less water on a regular basis and you will save money on your utility bills and help your home become greener at the same time.
About the Author
Kaitlin Krull is a writer and mom of two girls living the expat life in the UK. She enjoys writing for the solar panel leads experts at Home Improvement Leads with the goal of empowering homeowners with expert guidance and connecting contractors to homeowners.
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