“Green,” “eco-friendly” and “sustainable” are just a few of the buzzwords that we hear quite often in today’s world, including when it comes to construction. As we learn more about how much our lifestyles can impact the environment, we can become curious about how we can do our part to minimize the negative impact of our behaviors.
What you may not realize is that there are several ways we can reduce our environmental impact and carbon footprint, even in the home. If you are thinking about updating or remodeling your home, consider choosing these environmentally friendly products that will also help you reduce your monthly bills.
Water efficient toilets
Switching to an eco-friendly toilet not only saves up to 4,000 gallons of water per person per year, but it will save you up to $140 a year on your water and sewage bill. That’s a win-win in our book. High efficiency models reduce water use by 20 percent by using less water per flush.
High-efficiency wall insulation
Poorly installed or inadequate amounts of wall insulation typically result in heat loss, higher heating and cooling costs, in addition to comfort problems. By switching to high-efficiency wall insulation, homeowners create well-insulated conditioned spaces that require very little effort to heat and cool, reducing the power bill and personal energy consumption.
Direct vent fireplace
Traditional gas fireplaces are lovely but often inefficient because they allow conditioned air to escape the home through the open doors of the fireplace. Like traditional fireplaces, direct vent fireplaces burn natural gas or propane; however, they convert most of the fuel to usable heat, making them more efficient. Direct vent fireplaces are completely sealed off from the interior rooms by a glass door, which prevents significant heat loss.
Heat gain and loss through windows are responsible for 25 to 30 percent of residential heating and cooling energy use. Low-emissivity (Low-E) glass used in energy-efficient windows helps block up to 90 percent of the sun’s UV rays. That rate goes even higher if you choose triple-pane options. This means more heat stays inside during the colder months and outside during warmer parts of the year, saving you on heating and cooling costs all year.
If you’re considering a remodel or home renovation, be sure to ask your design/build team about incorporating eco-friendly and energy-efficient materials and products. Professionals like the ones at Tracy Tesmer Design/Remodeling can help identify key areas where these improvements can have a big impact. Contact us today to learn more.