A Few Ways to Make Your Old House the Greenest One in the Neighborhood

Redecorating your house is never easy, especially if you’re trying to do something special with it. Cosmetic changes are always appreciated, but what if you could make a bigger difference with a simple home makeover? Namely, what if you could help your environment become healthier and greener by using specific techniques and materials during your renovation process? In case you’re looking for ways to make your old house greener and save some energy and money in the process, here are a few tips that might come in handy.

A Few Ways to Make Your Old House the Greenest One in the Neighborhood

Insulation, Insulation, Insulation

The absolutely best way to ensure that your house is energy-efficient, eco-friendly and environmentally safe is by getting proper insulation. You don’t have to do much and spend a small fortune, but a well-thought-out plan can do wonders for your house’s sustainability and efficiency.

First, start with an energy audit – do it on your own or let a professional determine what needs to be done. Then, get in touch with a reliable contractor who will install insulation on your exterior walls and spice up your house with a new coat of paint. Finally, think about indoor insulation that will only improve all your hard work.

Doors and Windows

Once you’ve insulated your house, it’s time to pay attention to details. What many people don’t know is that the biggest portion of energy is lost through windows and doors, simply because they’re outdated and in need of replacement.

The easiest way to go is by weatherstripping using rubber, plastic, foam or silicone. Although this sounds complicated, it’s actually quite easy – it’s just a matter of locating and sealing loose parts of your doors and windows so that the air can’t pass through. That way, you’ll practically seal your home from the inside and prevent leaks, thus saving energy by having more control over your indoor temperature. Alternatively, you can install double glazed windows that may be expensive, but are highly effective and save you lots of money in the long run.

Doors and Windows

Solar Panels

Now, if you want to achieve an even better synergy of architecture and green approach to life, take solar panels into serious consideration. These will make your house more aesthetically appealing and instantaneously turn it into the talk of the neighborhood. Additionally, as a great alternative source of creating and preserving energy, they’ll do wonders for your bills. Of course, you don’t have to go all in and cover your entire roof with solar panels, but adding a few might do the trick.

When choosing how to install solar panels, it’s probably better to consult a professional instead of trying to deal with them on your own. If you want to get the best results, they have to be installed properly – not to mention that you simply must pick the best solar panels you can find. Additionally, by choosing only the best brands and service, you can make sure that you will enjoy your panels for a long time.

A Few Ways to Make Your Old House the Greenest One in the Neighborhood

Ceiling Fans

When it comes to interior decorating, there’s nothing more unique than a ceiling fan. After being very popular in the mid-20th century, these are making a huge comeback today. Their vintage look makes them perfect for people who want to introduce class into their homes and aren’t afraid to experiment. Further, these things will effectively and cheaply lower the temperature of any room during summer, especially if you have high ceilings. Once installed – you can probably handle this by yourself – these fans will work almost for free for years and years to come. Ultimately, these are also useful when it comes to heating your house in winter. By applying slight adjustments, they can rotate in a different manner and circulate hot air from the ceiling downwards.

Other Ideas

Some of the other ways to ensure that your house is the greenest in your street include equipping all your light fixtures with LED light bulbs, adjusting your water heater, insulating your attic and basement and updating your heating system. Finally, you could plant a tree or two in your front and backyard and enjoy the comfortable shade they’ll provide you with during summer.

Major Advantages of Using Outdoor Blinds and Awnings

It is an age-old style of covering the windows, patios or verandas with blinds or awnings, which serve the purpose of protecting the rooms from harsh external weather and also provide privacy to the house occupants. There are large varieties of outdoor blinds and awnings that can be used in residential homes, cafes, hotels and even in industrial buildings. Different kinds of fabrics are used in creating these blinds to suit the requirements and the budgets of the owners of the buildings. The users can be sure of getting multiple benefits by using these blinds or awnings.

Major Advantages of Using Outdoor Blinds and Awnings

Facilities Provided By the Use of Outdoor Blinds and Awnings

  • Energy Efficiency: The blinds or awnings fully insulate the rooms against the heat of the sunrays in summer or the chilling cold wind in winter. Thus, the temperatures of the rooms and the outdoor extensions are maintained at a much tolerable level, even without the use of any air-conditioner or room heater. Hence, these special furnishings also act in making the house more energy efficient and help in lowering the electric bills of the house owner.
  • Keep Rooms Comfortable: These external blinds can be rolled up or down as per the wishes of the house occupants, so that the required amounts of light and air can enter into the rooms, keeping the living areas comfortable enough for everyone. The entry of unwanted insects or pests can also be avoided by keeping the blinds down at the required times.
  • Increases the Grace of the House: The beauty of the rooms or the outdoor sitting areas can be enhanced a lot by putting these elegant blinds on the windows or the open spaces of the patios or pergolas. The colors and the fabrics of these external awnings can be chosen to match the exterior color scheme of the house to bring more grandeur and style to the total overview of the building. But mostly, light colored blinds are installed at the places where more natural light is preferred; whereas the windows of the bedrooms or study rooms may be covered with dark colored blinds to block maximum sunlight.
  • Protection of Window Glasses: The glass panes of the windows can be kept secured from any external harm and dust by putting up outdoor blinds and awnings over the windows. So the window glasses remain clean and intact from breakage for a longer time making their maintenance less hassle free for the homemakers.

Awnings

  • Ensure Privacy: As these outdoor blinds and awnings are totally opaque in nature, they provide absolute privacy to the people sitting inside the rooms or the extended sitting areas of the house that are enclosed by these thick blinds. So the neighbors or the people passing through the roads cannot peep inside the house as the inner views are obstructed by these blinds.
  • Protect Outdoor Amenities: The outdoor furniture and decorative pieces placed in the open patio or verandah are protected by the placement of these blinds over the open spaces to stop those articles from being hit by any hard object flying in from outside.
  • Easy Maintenance: These blinds or awnings are very easy to clean as they just need to be wiped off with a damp cloth or simply brush off the dust. Thus, the homemakers do not need to spend much time in the maintenance of these blinds.
  • Simple Using Procedures: Normally, the blinds are made of highly durable substances, such as contractible PVC or thick canvas. The mechanisms of rolling up or pulling down these outdoor blinds and awnings are very simple and vary according to the type of blinds used in a house. Usually, the roller blinds or shutter blinds are the most commonly available types; but some outdoor blinds and awnings can be simply dropped down and lifted up, while some may be retractable manually with a cord.

 

 

Tips For Creating A More Eco-Friendly Bathroom

Tips For Creating A More Eco-Friendly Bathroom

Want a more eco-friendly home? The bathroom is a great place to start. It may be the smallest room in the house, but per square foot it offers more opportunity for positive impact than any other area in your home.

Between fans, hair dryers and other electric devices, lighting and water heating, the bathroom is a hot spot for energy use. Plus, it’s where the lion’s share of household water consumption takes place.

Fortunately, it isn’t hard to create a more eco-friendly bathroom. Here are some ideas to get you started:

1.   Choose a Low-Flow Toilet

The average household flushes 27 percent of the water it uses down the toilet, making this fixture by far the largest water consumer in your home. Choosing a WaterSense labeled toilet can reduce the amount of water you flush by 20-60 percent.

2.   Install Water-Saving Fixtures

Replace standard bathroom faucets and aerators with high-efficiency ones. Today’s high-efficiency models work great, and they can save you up to 700 gallons per year. Consider also installing a WaterSense labeled showerhead. If your shower water consumption is anywhere near average, it can save you $70 per year in utility costs!

3.   Weatherize Your Bathroom

A drafty bathroom is uncomfortable and will cause you to turn up the heat and prolong your showers. Nip that cycle in the bud with some simple weatherization. If your bathroom has an exterior window, use caulk to seal around it. Also, seal any cracks in the woodwork, around your tub or shower, and around fans, vents and plumbing penetrations.

4.   Insulate Your Pipes

Insulating your hot water pipes is an easy one-hour home improvement project nearly anyone can do. It can raise your domestic hot water temperatures by up to 4 degrees. That means you can set your water heater temperature lower, which saves energy! You also will run less water because it will not take as long for hot water to reach your tap.

5.   Switch to LED Lighting

You need good lighting in the bathroom. It’s also a place where you’re likely to turn the lights on and off frequently. If you haven’t yet made the switch to LEDs, this is the place to start. LED bulbs offer high-quality light and are the most energy-efficient lighting option available. They are also the most durable type of bulb, which is good news if you hate messing with your bathroom light fixtures. And, unlike CFLs, LED bulbs are unaffected by frequent switching on and off.

6.   Choose Eco-Friendly Bathroom Materials

Next time you remodel or outfit your bathroom, pay attention to what goes into it. From bathroom cabinets to toilet paper to towels to cleaning supplies and body care items, today’s market offers many recycled, organic and other environmentally friendly options from which to choose. Not only will you be helping the planet, but selecting eco-friendly items is usually healthier for you and your family, too.

7.   Take Clean Air Action

High humidity in such a small space can lead to mold growth and other indoor air quality issues in the bathroom. Clear the air by installing a high-efficiency exhaust fan. Green Tips For Creating A More Eco-Friendly Bathroomplants can also help keep your bathroom air clean. And, next time you paint your bathroom, choose zero VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint to avoid off-gassing fumes.

Greening up your bathroom doesn’t have to be a major endeavor, and it needn’t be expensive. Nearly all of these ideas are easy for the average homeowner to do. Most are quite inexpensive. If you do them one at a time you will hardly notice the difference in your family budget — but you’ll definitely notice the utility savings and enjoy increased comfort in your bathroom!

Author bio: Erica Garland is Content Marketing Manager at Modern Bathroom and has 15 years of experience in the bathroom renovation industry. Modern Bathroom sells a variety of products you would need for any bathroom renovation project. With such a large selection of contemporary bathroom vanities, sinks, toilets and bathtubs for sale, Modern Bathroom is sure to have the perfect piece to give your bathroom an updated look.    

 

 

Top Ways to Make Your Home Eco-friendly and Save Money

When it comes to eco-friendly living, a lot of people think that it involves spending more money on fancy products or letting go of the comfort and convenience they are accustomed to. However, the reality could not be more far from true. In fact, some small changes to the way you live can help you go green and put some extra cash in your wallet too! For example, simple eco-friendly habits like remembering to completely unplug your appliances when they are not in use and waiting to use a dishwasher until you have a full load can bring you huge savings on your utility bills. To know more such easy ways to create an eco-friendly home, please check out the below infographic from the Roofing Outlet.
Ecofriendly home infographic

The Most Important Winterization Projects For Your Home

The Most Important Winterization Projects For Your Home

Winterizing your home is extremely important because it cuts energy use and costs and can help you and your family stay safe and warm during the long, cold months of winter. However, many homeowners don’t know where to start, or have trouble figuring out which projects to tackle first. The most important projects are those that will save you money while keeping your home safe from winter’s ravaging winds and temperatures, and many of them are easy to do.

Here are a few of the best ways to winterize your home and save money.

Ceiling fans

When the winter months come knocking, check your ceiling fans. Most of them come equipped with a switch that will allow you to change the airflow direction, meaning running it in reverse will pull warm air down from the ceiling. This can cut your heating costs by about ten percent, making it a quick, easy project that will show real results.

Clean those filters

Air filters can get dirty fast, especially in the furnace. Check and replace them often in winter months to keep airflow steady and to keep your furnace from kicking on needlessly and running at a high demand.

Replace windows and doors

If you can feel a cold breeze coming through the cracks around your windows and doors, it might be time to consider replacing them. Storm windows will help seal in warm air, keeping you from paying outrageous heating bills during winter months. Storm doors can also help save you money and will give you the extra benefit of allowing light and solar heat into your home.

Consider smart technology

Setting the thermostat at a lower temperature can help save you quite a bit of money during colder months, especially when you’re not home. It may be a little cooler when you return, but it will be worth it in the long run. Consider installing a “smart” thermostat that allows you to program the temperature from anywhere with a remote.

Clean the gutters

Making sure the gutters on your home are free of debris and leaves will ensure that water can flow freely rather than pool up and freeze, which can cause myriad problems in winter months.

Check your water heater

Before the coldest months hit, flush your water heater to remove any sediment that might hinder the heater’s ability to work up to its potential. Then, lower the temperature to make sure it won’t heat the water too much. 120 degrees is just about perfect, and will keep your heater from working overtime.

Don’t Forget the Pool

To get your pool ready for the winter, start by closing it and adjusting the pH to the appropriate level, adjusting water hardness to the proper level of calcium, adjusting alkalinity and chlorine, and then cleaning and storing equipment. Don’t forget to clean the pool filtration system.