7 Ways to Make Your Home More Sustainable in 2022
There are plenty of big and small ways to make your home more sustainable this year, from establishing a compost bin to adding solar panels. Sustainable home modifications can help you not only lower your carbon footprint but also enhance your health and well-being while saving money on energy. Sustainability is also a top priority for young homeowners, according to Zillow's top house trends for 2022.
1. Install Energy-Efficient Lighting
Lighting upgrades are one of the simplest sustainable home renovations you can make, and they can save you a lot of money. LED lights consume up to 90% less energy than standard bulbs (saving the typical customer $225 per year); other minor adjustments to your home's lighting can also save you money on your energy bill.
Pulling drapes over your windows during the summer months when you need to keep your home cool will help your air conditioner work more efficiently. When choosing curtains, keep in mind that light hues will reflect the most light and prevent it from entering your home.
2. Use Recycled Materials
We've all heard the expression "reduce, reuse, recycle," and home improvement should be no exception. New construction and renovations are notorious for producing a lot of waste. Most of the time, there's a gap between where your home's materials originate from and where they go when you're done with them. Many homeowners are unaware that furnishing (or, in some circumstances, even building) a home with repurposed or salvaged materials can help to reduce waste while also saving money.
Consider repurposing materials if you're renovating a room in your house, whether it's with new flooring, cabinets, or doors. Wood, beams, doors, flooring, copper, and other repurposed or reclaimed materials are still structurally solid and available in both new and repurposed forms.
3. Seal Your Windows and Doors
Energy-efficient windows may be a solution for you if your home has high electricity bills during the heat or cold months. These windows are designed to keep your home's heated or cooled air inside.
You don't want to go through the trouble of replacing your outdated windows or doors? Weatherstripping, caulk, glazing, door snakes, or window treatments can all help to improve the efficiency of your home.
4. Switch to Solar
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the cost of solar panels has plummeted by more than 70% in the last decade (SEIA). On the other hand, solar panels are still expensive and may not be suitable for every home. According to the DOE, water heating accounts for roughly 20% of household energy use. By heating, storing, and insulating your hot water for use at any time, solar water heaters can provide a cost-effective and ecological approach for decreasing home energy use.
5. Use Eco-Friendly Paint
VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are artificial substances that are utilized and created in the manufacturing of paints, medications, and refrigerants, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. These compounds are released into the atmosphere as gasses and contain toxic chemicals and carcinogens that can affect humans and the environment in the short and long term.
VOCs are typically prevalent in older or less expensive products these days. So if you're planning a home repair job that involves paint, make sure to use a product free of these compounds.
6. Start Composting
Did you know that over 30% of what we throw away is made up of food leftovers and yard waste? Given that the United States generates about 300 million tons of waste per year (around 5 pounds per person per day), finding a way to reduce, reuse, or recycle this waste can have significant environmental consequences.
Composting trash allows you to turn it into organic material that may be added to soil to aid plant growth. Composts will enable you to contribute to the fight against climate change one banana peel or old coffee grinds at a time, and they're easy to make.
7. Invest in Energy Efficient Appliances
This one shouldn't come as a shock. If you are replacing any of the following appliances soon, look for energy-efficient versions, such as those that are Energy Star certified. The reason we propose these appliances is that the savings on your energy cost should quickly cover the price difference:
- Washing machine
- Heating/cooling appliances
- Smart thermostat
- Water heater
- Ceiling fans
- PowerX Energy Sensors
The only solution that gives you a complete picture of your home's power, water, and water heater usage is PowerX. Get a full 360-degree view of your home's usage straight to your phone. Each sensor can be installed in less than half an hour. Our software provides opportunities that no other home on the market has ever offered. Learn more about how PowerX can help you save energy and money here.