Five Tips to Taking Old Homes and Making Them Eco-Friendly

Global warming, increased energy costs, and many other environmental concerns are the main reasons why homes should be made more eco-friendly. Most new homeowners nowadays are constructing eco-friendly homes, which helps cut their energy costs while being more gentle on the environment.

Below, we highlight a few tips on how to make old homes eco-friendly. Some investments are inexpensive. The main idea is to promote sustainable living. It is recommended that you use a holistic approach in order to make your old home more eco-friendly.  In addition, there are tax credits for homeowners who adopt energy-efficient home renovation techniques.

1. Lighting

Lighting can be changed in order to save on energy. Homeowners can start by installing compact fluorescent light bulbs. These use a quarter of the energy required by standard bulbs. Solar energy can also be used in the home. Through the use of solar panels, it becomes possible to save on energy costs. Installation of skylights is also a cheap and affordable way to renovate your home and make it energy efficient. Finally, installing motion sensing lights around your garage and walkways will reduce wasted electricity by only turning the lights on when people are around.

2. Heating and air conditioning

A good start on making your heating and air conditioning more eco-friendly is to have a programmable thermostat in your home. This can help save on air conditioning energy costs. It controls the temperatures in the house when you are away and makes them comfortable when you are back. Insulation will also help in reducing energy costs. The attic and basements should be insulated. It is recommended that old homes be renovated using green fiber cellulose insulation.

Windows should also be insulated. You may opt for new modern windows to replace inefficient windows. The thermal light blocking windows can help reduce energy waste by blocking sunlight. This will be very helpful during summer. Weather stripping around windows helps to stop air from seeping in or out. This helps in regulation of temperature in the house. Installing cool roofs, or painting the roofs in bright colors helps to reflect light. This ultimately reduces the energy used in air conditioning.

3. Replacing old appliances

This is one area where homeowners can take advantage of tax credits. Water heaters, refrigerators, and stoves that waste so much energy should be replaced with Energy Star products. The dishwasher is also more economical because it uses less water. This will ensure that your home uses less energy. In order to conserve water, consider replacing the toilets as well. Those toilets with water sense level will use less water per flush. In order to save even more water, swap the shower heads. Opt for low-flow or water-saving shower heads. This saves the amount of water used per shower by 17%. Fix any leaking toilets and faucets to reduce water wastage.

4. Reduce, reuse, recycle and repurpose when renovating

First, hire a builder or companies that advocate for eco-friendly building and renovating ideas. Second, recycled materials should be used. Avoid using oil-based paints. Remember, oil is not a renewable resource. Water-based paints are therefore highly recommended. Opt for second-hand furniture. This will help save on trees. Again, you save some money as well since they are cheaper.

Opt for modern flooring options. Bamboo is the best as it grows fast, and is therefore considered a renewable resource. Hard flooring from timber should be discouraged. It is more expensive and not eco-friendly. Invest in rugs that help to keep the house warm. This is especially so during winter. It will help save on heating. You will use less energy to keep your home warm.

5. Rainwater harvesting and tankless water heating

This will help to increase water supply and reduce energy used. The use of tankless water heating saves energy since only the water required is what is heated at that particular time. Rainwater collected from the roof can be used to flush toilets or watering plants. This is one of the major renovations old homeowners can make. It will help them reduce the energy bills.

There are other simple habits you can adopt to make your home more energy efficient. Adopt them, and you will realize huge savings in energy bills. For example, turn off lights and unplug appliances when not in use. As much as possible, use recyclable containers and bags in your home. These and other small, simple lifestyle changes will help you save on energy.