Looking for ways to make your home greener and more energy efficient not only helps the environmental, but also reduces your monthly bills. From the basement to the roof, there are plenty of sustainable home improvements to reduce your footprint and catch the eye of green-minded buyers.
Appliances account for 15 per cent of a home’s energy consumption. Opting for power-saving appliances makes a big difference to your power bill. Consider replacing your older models with green appliances that have been independently certified to save energy, such as Energy Star. Also, new energy-efficient washers, dryers, dishwashers, stoves, and fridges act like shiny, buy-me beacons to environmentally conscious potential home buyers.
Too Cool for School
Replacing your home’s entire heating, air conditioning, and ventilation (HVAC) system will cost thousands of dollars, but it may be worth the price. Heating and cooling accounts for nearly 50 per cent of a home’s energy costs. Replacing your system with one that is more energy-efficient or a radiant floor heating system would significantly reduce your environmental impact and be a great selling feature. Systems that are older than 12 years will need a revamp anyhow, so seek out an environmentally friendly replacement.
Windows to the Soul
New double-pane or triple-pane windows will prevent heat loss – especially in Canada’s coldest climates. Replacing older, wind-worn windows with greener, insulated ones will cost a bit upfront, but it’s a feature that will pay off over time by reducing your monthly heating bill.
Insulation is the least visible green building feature. However, it might just be the most important when it comes to energy efficiency. Sealing the attic, windows, and doors of any air leaks reduces heat loss; saving energy and money. There are plenty of recycled and natural insulation materials on the market for those who are environmentally conscious.
From solar panels to outdoor sprinkler systems, solar-powered home products are gaining popularity and are becoming more affordable. Research different solar systems and see if there’s one or two that could be integrated into your own home. Not only will it reduce your energy bill, but it will reduce your home’s footprint – and attract eco-minded home buyers in the future.
Beat the Heat
Save energy by opting for a tankless water heater. This also saves space – no more bulky water tank in the basement or bathroom! These eco-friendly systems dispense hot water on demand, so no energy is wasted maintaining the temperature of stored water. It’s a cool, green, water-heating machine that is designed to use only the energy you need — reducing your heating bill.
Green with Ivy
A living wall is a green (and green-thumb!) feature with that is sure to impress everyone. Converting an interior wall into a vertical indoor garden has environmental payoffs too — it acts as an air purifier and humidifier, and you can grow your own food too! Plants are contained in integrated soil pots and water troughs, enhancing air circulation and inviting the outdoors in.