The popularity of eco-friendly homes has been on the rise for years. With Joe Biden as the new president, we can expect those trends to stay strong for the foreseeable future. People are increasingly concerned about the impact they’re having on the environment and are feeling more inclined to do something about it than ever before. That often means turning to the home and looking for ways to make different home features more environmentally friendly.
Sunrooms can be absolutely divine, especially during sunny days when you just want to bask in the sun, relax, and soak in the rays. They’re excellent for enjoying natural light, participating in various hobbies, relaxing, meditation, and housing plants. You may find that spending time in a sunroom offers health benefits too, from mental benefits like reducing the impact of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) to physical benefits such as Vitamin D boosts, a stronger immune system, and lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
That said, sunrooms usually feature a lot of glass, and traditional glass tends to bleed a lot of heat. That can be a problem, especially during colder months. Your heating system will have to work a lot harder to keep your sunroom at a comfortable temperature if you don’t do something about it. You can reduce your heat loss by opting for energy efficient glass that cuts back on heat loss. Install ceiling fans and insulate the ceiling well. Opt for stone, brick, or decorative concrete flooring that will absorb the sun’s warmth and radiate it back into the room.
Entertainment systems are an awesome home feature. Whether you’re playing games, watching a movie, playing music, or anything else, it can be a great opportunity for the household to gather together and bond with one another. Having one has almost certainly been a plus during the pandemic, since options for going out became severely limited. Given all of the electronic components typically included in an entertainment system, though, it can use up a fair amount of power.
Even when you have all the systems turned off, power is still flowing through them as long as they’re plugged in (though it’s much less, especially if your systems are newer). Try plugging everything into a smart power strip. These strips help you avoid vampire loads , also referred to as standby power. They allow you to cut the power altogether to the devices plugged into them so you don’t have to worry about them using power while you aren’t using them.
Fireplaces offer homes a warm, cozy ambience and can make a great feature to gather around during holidays and cold months in general. There are multiple types of fireplaces, each with unique features. The problem with fireplaces is that they aren’t always very eco-friendly, and don’t always heat the home efficiently. Understanding what makes a fireplace efficient can help you make sure the one in your house is eco-friendly. Wood fireplaces, for example, produce a lot of ash and soot, which can cause problems for air quality. To make matters worse, a lot of the heat they produce gets lost up the chimney. Electric fireplaces tend to be much more efficient, and if you combine that with other ways to make them efficient, they can be a much more eco-friendly alternative.
Society demands a certain level of personal hygiene if one intends to spend time around others. That means washing yourself, usually in a shower. Whether you have a walk-in shower, a shower-tub combo, or any other type of shower, you’re going to be using water, probably to the tune of 17.2 gallons on average . If you take longer showers, you’ll obviously be using more. That can be a lot of wasted water, but there are ways to cut back on your water usage. Changing your shower habits is one option. You could take shorter showers or turn off the water if you aren’t actively trying to get wet or rinse off. Another option is to install a low flow shower head. These shower heads are designed to reduce the amount of water you use while you’re showering. If you combine that with a change to your personal showering habits, you could end up easily saving gallons of water.
The inside of your home isn’t the only place where you can make your property more eco-friendly. Your backyard can help you in your efforts to be more environmentally friendly as well. There are a few different ways you can reduce your outdoor water usage. Start by making sure your sprinklers are in proper working order. They should be facing your lawn so you aren’t watering the sidewalk or your driveway. Use them early in the morning or later in the evening so that you aren’t losing water to evaporation when the sun is up. Don’t water when it’s raining. There are some nuances to watering your lawn , as what is optimal will depend on the type of grass, soil, and climate you have.
You can also improve the eco-friendliness of your backyard by opting to plant native plants. These plants have already adapted to the conditions common to where you live, so they won’t need much extra watering. They’ll also help protect the local ecosystem and help it stay balanced.
Your backyard also provides you with an opportunity to practice some recycling by way of composting. Humans tend to produce a decent amount of garbage and waste that just gets thrown away, but not all of it needs to be. A lot of it can be recycled, and many things can be composted . Making your own compost gives you a chance to return valuable nutrients to the soil. You’re essentially making your own eco-friendly fertilizer that you can use in your garden.
Making different features in your home more environmentally friendly can help reduce the impact you and your home have on the environment. Different areas of your property and specific features can have adjustments made to decrease your drain on resources. What works best for one person may not be what works best for another, but odds are that there’s something you can do to make your home more eco-friendly. Take a look around your home and see what changes you can make.
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H&H Home Builders have constructed Energy Star Compliant homes since we burst onto the building landscape in 1995 as ‘North Liberty’s Premier Builder’. Since then, Energy Star Guidelines have evolved into what we consider today as the pinnacle of efficiency and we, as builders of ‘green’ homes, have kept pace with those guidelines and have adapted them into each home that we build. H&H Home Builders will build you what is known today as a ‘green’ home, but what has always been lesser known as a ‘sustainable’ home. Sustainable homes are quality built so that they last not just decades, but are built to maintain value, encouraging pride of ownership for generations to come. An H&H ‘green’ Home uses raw materials in a responsible way, using fewer resources, resulting in the use of less energy.