According to Alliance To Save Energy, a bipartisan nonprofit, the collective sum of homes and buildings accounts for around 40 percent of the total energy usage within the United States. That’s rounding up to about half of the current consumption. Frankly put, that’s a lot of the pie—and viable solutions are not a piece of cake either.
Fortunately, there are eco-friendly, sustainably savvy ways to help reduce your own forkful. A wide array of green homes are being built, and a slew of home rehabs and remodels are turning green in order to do what’s right for families and the planet. If you’re curious, here’s some further scoop on today’s top eco-friendly home improvement projects.
Installing Alternative Heating
Solar heating, wood pellet stoves, hot water heat pumps—the options are plentiful. However, if you’ve previously been to some parts of Asia, you may have experienced an underfloor heating concept before. Franklin Lloyd Wright, the famous architect, is said to have been the first person to bring radiant floor heating stateside after observing it in Japan. However, underfloor heating originates traditionally as a home heating system from Korea.
An investment in underfloor heating has its advantages such as heat efficiency, economical use of fuel and facilities, and the overall promotion of one’s health. Radiant floor heating in the U.S. is most popular in bathrooms, keeping the cold tile cozy beneath one’s feet. Since heat rises, a room with this heating system will feel warmer than it is and provide ample opportunity to drop the temp of your thermostat at night.
Using Reclaimed or Salvaged Resources
Bigger and better is not always best. Instead, it’s best to not get too enthralled by the newest and shiniest things on the market. When you’re focusing on areas of your home that you desire to improve, consider what you can save and reuse instead of demolishing and throwing away. Salvage the materials you can use in the future.
Project-wise, one of the top eco-friendly home improvement projects is to use reclaimed wood for countertops, floors, wood support beams, walls, or roof construction. The use of reclaimed wood as a renewable resource curbs deforestation. Whatever your improvement project is, be sure to reduce, reuse, and recycle materials for your home.
Choosing High-Quality Insulation
Your home isn’t human—it can’t wear a coat in the winter or throw on a sweatshirt in the spring. The EPA states that homeowners can save on their heating and cooling costs by simply installing insulation in their homes—especially attics and walls. You need to choose the right insulation material for the job.
The most popular eco-friendly insulation option is energy-efficient spray foam. For installation, hiring a professional spray foam insulation service is worth the initial cost. Choosing to improve your home in such a sustainable manner is bound to put money right back into your trusty jean pocket.