Did you know that making eco-friendly choices at home is good for the environment and can save you money? Frugal families and individuals are making eco-friendly home renovations to help them create more space in their budgets. In fact, a few small changes can save you hundreds of dollars per year.
If you’re looking for ways to make your home more sustainable, try these eco-friendly home renovations.
How to make your home more sustainable
If you are interested in making sustainable home improvements to your house or eco-friendly home renovations, there is a lot to consider. The first step to creating an eco-friendly home is to understand how much energy you use.
Conduct an energy audit
While it may not be obvious, there’s a direct correlation between how much energy you use and the well-being of the environment. When you use less energy, you reduce the number of emissions released by power plants. Additionally, you help preserve the earth’s natural resources. Therefore, to minimize the amount of energy you’re using, conducting an energy audit helps you discover how much you’re currently using. By spending money on a professional energy assessment, you can prioritize eco-friendly home updates to make your house more energy efficient.
Making your home more energy efficient will save you money and benefit the environment. Some cities, states, and energy companies will conduct these audits for free, so search for options in your area. A 2022 federal law aimed at reducing emissions provides a $150 tax credit for a home energy audit. A certified home energy auditor will inspect windows and doors for excess condensation, check walls for insulation and framing type, take note of thermostat settings, inspect the fireplace, and much more.
Add insulation in your attic
Installing proper insulation in your attic is one of the best ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency.
Caulk the interior windows and doors
Once you address gaps and holes outside your windows and doors, you may need to use caulk in the interior of your home to seal them.
Spray foam exterior window frames
If you have old windows with large gaps around the trim, you may need to spray foam to prevent energy leakage. Even though the average home audit costs between $207 and $647, it could save you 5% to 30% on your energy bill if you make the recommended upgrades. If your energy company sends out an auditor, they may give you free energy-saving tools such as new lightbulbs or power strips or adding tinted windows to your home.
Install solar panels
Another great eco-friendly home idea to cut your utility costs is installing solar panels. If you have enough sunlight that hits your home, installing solar panels can be a great way to capture renewable energy. While initial costs may vary depending on the size of your home, the Department of Energy states that most homes with solar panels can receive up to 40% of their energy from their panels. This could mean huge energy savings, especially in an area with high energy costs.
Additionally, if you purchase a system, you may be able to receive federal, state, or local tax incentives or other financial incentives. The federal energy tax credit for homeowners equals 30% of the cost of the system placed in service. The U.S. Climate Bill passed in 2022 secures consumer tax credits for solar power through 2032. Learn how homeowners insurance covers solar panels.
Install fixtures and appliances that conserve water
While the earth is nearly 70% water, only 1% of the earth’s water is easily accessible. As much as 97% is saltwater, and the other 2% is trapped in glaciers. That said, it’s important to conserve this natural resource by reducing your water usage at home. There are countless ways to help the environment by reducing water use around the house. Here are a few ideas:
- Install water-saving showerheads or flow restrictors
- Replace or fix leaky pipes and faucets
- Plant drought-resistant trees
- Purchase water-efficient toilets, taps, washing machines, and dishwashers
- Install a water meter that lets you monitor the amount of water you’re using
By making these sustainable home improvements, you can save some cash and reduce the amount of water you use. Since cleaning uses water and heating hot water is energy-intensive, using less will help you save on energy.
Use sustainable building materials
If you’re building a home or renovating, use sustainable building materials. Your opportunity to save money in the long term is twofold. First, you’ll conserve energy using materials from manufacturers with low- to no-waste facilities resulting in fewer materials going to waste. Second, you’ll see a lasting effect as your home will be more energy efficient.
Some sustainable building materials you might want to consider are:
- Recycled steel beams instead of wooden beams
- Composite lumber instead of new wood for decking
- Low-E glass windows to help regulate the temperature of your home
Other considerations for an eco-friendly home
If you’re wondering how to save money on your home and help the environment, these eco-friendly house ideas are the perfect solution. You can make quick and structural changes to your home in the future to help you save money and contribute to a better world. Not only will being eco-friendly help your budget, but it will also help restore the earth one house at a time. Learn other ways to go green at home and how homeowners insurance works during renovations.