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10 eco-friendly home improvement ideas you should consider

In a world increasingly aware of environmental impact, making eco-friendly choices at home is not only responsible but also contributes to a sustainable and healthier living space. If you're considering home improvements, why not embrace eco-friendly alternatives? In this blog post, we present ten environmentally conscious home improvement ideas that allow you to make a positive impact on both your home and the planet.

by Kelsi Waible | April 11, 2023 | Services

1. Upgrade Your Windows

During the winter and summer months are the highest energy demanding times for your home. With cool air escaping during the summer and sneaking in during the winter, your windows might just be to blame. Upgrading your windows can be exciting, designing their new look and finding new curtains. But it can also be an eco-friendly improvement! According to the U.S. Department of Energy, about 25% of home energy is wasted through windows. Do your part and treat your home with an upgrade to dual-paned windows that are properly sealed. 

Let us help you with installing new windows! (360) 241-6050

2. Prioritize Energy-Efficient Appliances 

If you're looking to spruce up your kitchen, look for new appliances! Specifically Energy Star certified ones. They meet the U.S. Department of Energy's criteria for energy efficiency. Not ready to update your appliances? That's alright! You can still improve your energy efficiency by covering pans while cooking, using the toaster instead of the oven (when possible) and only running your dishwasher and washing machine when only full. 

3. New Paint (Low-VOC)

One of the best and least expensive ways to update a room is a new coat of paint! Traditional paint has volatile organic compounds (VOCS) that contribute to air pollution, and even causes respiratory problems. If you've ever painted a wall or ceiling, you've probably had someone tell you to wear a mask to cover your mouth from breathing in the fumes. That's because it is not safe for the nose, eyes and throat. It can cause damage to your central nervous system as well. Choosing low or zero VOC paint will preserve not only your health and the planet, but you will end up with a beautiful new room!

4. Green Flooring

Many of our go-to choices in materials we use for our flooring have dangerous effects on the environment. Massive deforestation in Central America and Africa is linked to irresponsible sources of wood, mostly due from the United States and China. Vinyl (a popular cheap flooring alternative) has a high carbon footprint and isn't recyclable. Here are just a few environmentally friendly flooring materials to consider:

  • Linoleum

  • Reclaimed wood

  • Recycled tile

  • Cork

  • Bamboo

  • Recycled rubber

  • Stained concrete

5. Programmable Thermostat

You probably were raised with your parents reminding you to not touch the thermostat, like many of us. Now that we're adults, and pay our own energy bills, we can do as we please! Though, turning down the thermostat when you're not home is not only good for your energy bill, but also good for the environment. Still, we’ve all had hectic mornings when we forget to turn the dial down before we run out the door. And sometimes, waiting for the temperature to get more comfortable when you return home isn’t always ideal. That's where programmable thermostats come in handy! Not only are they affordable, they're also easy to get! Check Amazon and Home Depot. You could hire an electrician to install it for you, but some of them are more install-friendly so you can do it yourself. Depending on the model, you can either program the temperature setting for certain times of the day or even control it in real time via an app on your smartphone.

6. Add Ceiling Fans

For your next energy-efficient home improvement project, use ceiling fans to get air flowing! New fans add a modern touch to any room and can help lower your energy usage by 40% during summer months, and 10% during winter. An easy tip is to run your ceiling fans counterclockwise in the summer for cooling and clockwise in the winter to circulate warm air from the ceiling. Choosing ENERGY STAR certified fans can help ensure you’re not wasting electricity.

7. A New Cool Roof

Replacing your roof will not only give your exterior a nice new look,  but also it's a great opportunity to install an energy-efficient home improvement. In warmer climates where annual cooling costs exceed heating costs, installing cool roofs can be done using light colored materials like metal or asphalt shingles, which will reflect heat instead of absorbing it. If you're not ready to replace your roof, you can still apply a coating to your current roof to help make it cooler!

Let us help you with your roof replacement! (360) 241-6050

8. Build A Sunroom 

Are you wanting to expand your home? Consider adding an indoor porch with floor to ceiling glass walls or windows! (Also known as a sunroom) People who have sunrooms tend to use less electricity because they use natural lighting from their sunroom. Plus, you can easier enjoy the nature and critters in your yard!

9. Enjoy A Thrift Shopping Trip

Who doesn't love a good shopping trip? Though, when it comes to buying furniture, we know it's easier to shop online and not have to deal with the hauling and transport. However, the thrift store down the road from your house doesn’t have the same environmental impact as the many brands that create their products overseas and ship them to customers worldwide. Whenever you need to replace your couch or kitchen table, see what others recently donated to upcycle your furniture.

10. Install A Skylight

Did you know that 40% of your home’s energy usage comes directly from artificial lighting? Bathrooms, utility rooms, or even hallways that aren't exposed to natural light through a window could benefit from a skylight, aesthetically and for energy efficiency! Who doesn't love natural illumination more than artificial lighting? Plus, you’ll use less energy fueling artificial light.

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