Global warming, greenhouse emission gases, severe pollution, and illness are all tell-tale signs of a deteriorating world. That’s the reason everyone should do their part and make some changes in their lives that are green and environmentally-friendly. So, when you’re renovating or remodeling your home, why not take advantage of the moment and invest in a couple of eco-friendly additions?
Although traditional products like solar panels can also help, other products can make your home greener, including the following ‘green’ technologies.
Solar Hot Water Heater
Traditional water heaters use electricity or fossil fuel to heat the water in your home for everything, ranging from showers to kitchen faucets. Each time you use hot water, that’s more energy consumption and a higher electricity bill. You can save yourself from both by investing in a solar water heater as it uses the sun’s heat and energy gathered from solar panels to provide hot water. The heated water gets stored in an insulated tank.
When you’ve decided to buy a new water heater, you can have it installed by professionals offering plumbing services. If it needs any repairs, it should be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty—and a plumber should be able to do the job seamlessly. Although the installation may cost more than your conventional water heaters, it can save you anywhere from 50% to 80%.
The only drawback of solar water heaters is that it’s usually challenging to use the sun’s energy to heat enough water for a large home, making it ideal for smaller households. However, if you’re adamant about having one, even if you have a mid-to-large-sized home, you can always invest in a backup system as a supplement.
Depending on where your home is located, backyard wind turbines may be an excellent investment or not. They look similar to the ones you’d typically see on large wind farms, just a bit scaled-down, using the wind’s energy to generate some electricity you need to power your house. To see if your location is ideal for wind turbines, visit the U.S Department of Energy’s wind map for further details. Ideally, you’d need a speed of around 5 miles per hour to garner an adequate amount of wind power to energize your home.
Like solar power, wind power can’t provide all the electricity you need to power your home. However, it can supplement your power use, reduce your energy bills, and contribute better to your surroundings. But keep in mind that wind turbines aren’t always accepted, as some homeowners associations (HOAs) ban them entirely. That’s why check with your local HOA before installing one or two.
Rainwater Harvesting System
Rain harvesting systems are simple mechanical systems that connect to a gutter system and other rooftop water collection networks, storing rainwater in barrels or cisterns for later non-potable use, such as watering plants, flushing the toilet, and rinsing. A rain collector system is inexpensive, provided you buy and assemble them yourself.
Small and large household appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, and toasters can consume a large amount of energy from your home. That’s why replacing them with eco-friendly alternatives is one of the best investments you can make. You can ensure the household appliances are 100% eco-friendly by checking if they’re certified by the Energy Star program. It’s provided by both the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, giving different star ratings per product.
Although the standards for Energy Star ratings vary per product, generally, appliances need to be more efficient than their traditional counterparts. For instance, an Energy Star-certified fridge needs to use at least 20% more energy than conventional models. Adding these eco-friendly appliances to your home can reduce your electricity bills.
One of the most affordable and easy-to-manage additions you can add to your home to reduce energy consumption and make it greener is installing an energy monitor. Residential energy monitors allow homeowners to see a minute-by-minute presentation of their home’s energy use. They work by attaching them onto the power cables from your home, transmitting wireless signals to a screen showing the amount of power your home is consuming.
It helps you see where you can cut down some of your energy consumption, saving you around 10% to 15% every year.
You don’t need to go to extreme measures to make your house more environmentally-friendly, and each small step already provides a positive impact on your surroundings. That’s why investing in one or two of the green technologies mentioned is more than enough to start your journey to sustainable living.