What to Consider When Renovating Your Home to Be Eco-Friendly

Making home improvements to increase your home’s energy efficiency will not only help your budget, it’s a step to healing the planet. Anything that cuts the amount of energy your home uses reduces your carbon footprint. Yet, like all important choices, the odds are that there’s more to think about than what the immediately obvious. Here are a few things that you should consider.

Home Window - What to Consider When Renovating Your Home to Be Eco-Friendly

Think About How Much Energy You Can Actually Save

“How much of a dent will the upgrade makes in my home’s energy consumption?” could be the most important question to ask. Once you’ve identified the areas in your home where you’re losing the most energy, research the cost of the repairing/replacing the material or fixture that contributes to your household’s high consumption. Each home is different, though, and so you may find it helpful to schedule an energy audit from a licensed auditor in order to identify what your home’s major energy issues are and where they’re located.

Look at the Long-Term Financial Impacts of Your Renovation Projects

Some efforts that you put forth in order to make your home more eco-friendly and energy efficient will last longer than others. New thermal windows, for example, will last for many decades and could make a substantial improvement in your home’s energy efficiency. Although they’re an investment, they do pay for themselves in lowering energy bills over time. In the end, it makes more financial sense to replace aging, leaking windows than spend money on “Band-Aids” like thermal drapes, window film, or shade screens. New home windows also increase the value of your home, unlike the Band-Aid treatments that add none.

Take into Account Your Material Choices and the Environment

Sometimes it matters how the materials are constructed and what they’re made from when you’re making energy efficiency and sustainability improvements. Adding insulation is a good way to cut energy losses in the long term, but as you consider the type to use, look at its manufacturing process.

Cellulose insulation is nearly 100 percent recycled, and coated with borates to retard moisture absorption, retard fire and insect invasions. However, those borates can be respiratory irritants to sensitive people. You may want to switch to a blown fiberglass product instead.

Conversely, fiberglass production is extremely energy-intensive upfront, so while it doesn’t carry the indoor air quality concerns that cellulose does, it does have a heavy environmental footprint. An effective and safe insulation choice might be recycled denim, which contains few hazardous compounds, uses a recycled material, and provides effect protection from heat transfer.

Making good choices about the upgrades you make for your home improvement project takes time and a thorough understanding of your goals. Whether you’re going to be just installing a new home window or going for the full renovation, though, it’s worth it.

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