Sustainability isn’t just a trendy topic. It’s the way of the future. Creating an eco-friendly home can reduce the impact that you have on the Earth while simultaneously lowering your bills and increasing your home’s value.
The problem is figuring out what DIY home improvement projects to prioritize. Here are a few easily accessible home upgrades to try as well as a few larger project options to consider as well. All of them can help to take your home to all-new levels of sustainability.
Reduce Your Water Consumption
A home can use a lot of water. In fact, the average person uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water each day when indoors in their homes. This makes water-focused upgrades a must on the sustainable home improvements list.
One way that you can do this is by replacing shower-heads and faucets with low-flow alternatives. This can maintain good pressure and allow you to clean yourself and your possessions in the same manner that you always have, even though the amount of water that is allowed to flow through is dramatically reduced.
Additionally, a low-flush toilet can literally save multiple gallons of water per flush. Fortunately, a new toilet is both inexpensive and easy to install, even for those without experience.
Install Helpful Tech
Living in the 21st century has its perks. One of those is a smorgasbord of technology, much of which can help us live more sustainably. A few examples of tech that are worth installing in pursuit of a more eco-friendly home include:
A smart thermostat is a great way to increase your home’s energy efficiency and reduce your heating and cooling bills at the same time. A thermostat can raise and lower the temperature of your home depending on how it’s being used. More advanced models can even track your behavior and program their responses accordingly.
Smart LED lightbulbs can already reduce your energy consumption and save you a ton of money over time. However, if you get smart bulbs, you can also program them to turn off when you aren’t using certain parts of your home.
An energy monitor: Installing an energy monitor system enables you to intimately track your home’s energy usage. This can reveal countless inefficiencies and provide valuable information to help you address them.
With new tech being developed all the time, it’s always wise to keep an eye on the latest gadgets as you look for ways to upgrade your home on your own.
Another simple-yet-effective way to sustainably upgrade your home is to replace old, inefficient appliances with newer models. This includes things like:
- Water heaters
- Air purifiers
The list goes on and on. If you take your time as you replace each item, you can ensure that your new purchase saves energy wherever possible.
As a side note, some appliances may be a bit difficult to install DIY. Things like ranges, under-counter dishwashers, and HVAC systems are better left in the hands of professionals. This isn’t just for safety concerns, either. Often, a professional is the best bet to ensure that the appliance is as efficient as possible as it operates.
Seal Up Your Home
Finally, there are many ways that you can seal up your home to avoid drafts and air leaks. This includes:
- Addressing windows and doors: Install weather stripping and caulk around your doors and windows respectively to prevent air leaks.
- Adding insulation: Roll out insulation in the attic and blow it into the exterior walls of your home—both great ways to improve energy efficiency.
- Humidifying the air: In addition to keeping the air contained, make sure to properly humidify your home so that it holds its heat better.
Once again, some of these options, such as adding insulation, can be too complex for a homeowner. If possible, consider hiring a professional to ensure that the job is done well.
If the cost is too high, consider taking out a home equity loan. This is often possible even if you don’t have the best credit, as you are borrowing against your equity. If you can do this, your home can help cover the cost of its own upgrades.
Sustainably Upgrading Your Home on Your Own
While there are many things better left to contractors, there are still countless DIY projects that you can tackle around your living space. When you take the time to focus on sustainable upgrades, you can often help both the planet and your pocketbook at the same time.
So review the list above and consider areas of your home that require improvement. Are you wasting water? Do you have leaky windows and doors? Can you utilize tech in your living space? As you identify your home’s weak spots, take action in the name of creating a better, more efficient, and more sustainable living space.