By SUZETTE FOX
Whether we want to admit it or not, the Earth is currently facing some serious challenges. Fires and droughts are becoming more common and ice caps are melting. If climate change is going to be managed, it’s going to require participation from everyone in society. Below are a few ways you can live green and design your home to help the environment.
Use a Smart Thermostat
In the summer, homes consume a lot of energy for air conditioning. During the winter, heating is the biggest energy expense. If you want to make your home greener, you need to make your home’s heating and cooling system more efficient. One way to do that is to install a smart thermostat.
You’ll be able to program the thermostat to only run the heat and air when your family actually needs it. You’ll also be able to use the Wi-Fi connection to determine if the heat or air is running when you’re not home with a smart phone app. That way if you are away from home and you see that your air is still on you can turn it off instantly. By doing this you can really help save a lot of energy and save money.
Set a Goal of Energy Independence
Although lowering the amount of energy your home uses is one way to become greener, changing the source for your home’s energy can make an even bigger impact. Overall, your goal should be moving towards complete energy independence. There are a number of other good options out there that are currently on the market.
One of the best options is solar energy. With the use of solar panels on your roof, you can significantly slash the amount of electricity you use from your local power company. By using solar energy your home will become much more energy efficient and your monthly bills will go down as well.
It is also a good idea to consider installing a solar water heater. This can help eliminate your dependence on natural gas for heat during the fall and winter.
When it comes to making your home more environmentally friendly, conserving water is key. Lawn watering is among the most wasteful things homeowners can do, because the sprinkler controllers run baste on a clock, rain or shine. Iro, a Wi-Fi connected sprinkler controller, saves water by setting a schedule based on the weather and your geography. Program it via your phone, and then forget it.
You can also upgrade to water saving showerheads and toilets. Be sure to always turn the water off while you aren’t using it and be conscience of water usage. It may not seem like a lot, but you’d be surprised how much of a difference it can make.
Insulate Your Home
To reach peak energy efficiency, you also need to ensure that the cool air and hot air you produce through your HVAC system stays in your home. The best way to do this is to properly insulate it. Check that there are no leaks where air could be escaping to the outside or coming in. By doing this you can really help save a lot of money and energy because your home won’t have to be heated or cooled as often as it would have otherwise.
Return on Investment
Making energy-efficient home improvements increases your home’s value. Whether your opt for energy-saving showers and toilets or make larger investments such as solar panels or wind-powered instruments, creating an eco-friendly house increases your home’s value.
Overall, if you want to make a difference for the earth, you’re going to need to start making smart changes to live a green lifestyle in an energy efficient home. Considering these options for reducing your impact on the environment can definitely be a great way to start.
Feel free to contact Los Alamos Interior Designer Suzette Fox to help with your home. For more information, find her on facebook.com/SuzetteFoxInteriorDesign and on her website www.suzettefoxinteriors.com