7 Eco-Friendly Upgrades to Consider for Your Home Construction Project

7 Eco-Friendly Upgrades to Consider for Your Home Construction Project

From solar panels to advanced windows, green upgrades improve the environment and add value to your home. Many potential buyers are specifically looking for eco-friendly homes.

Energy-Efficient Lighting

Lighting accounts for 15% of the average home’s electricity use, so switching to energy-efficient light bulbs and fixtures is an easy way to reduce energy consumption. ENERGY STAR lighting uses up to 90% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, saving you $225 in energy costs each year. LED and CFL bulbs are typically made of plastic instead of glass, making them more durable than traditional incandescent bulbs. These light bulbs are also more efficient, using a quarter of the watts of an incandescent bulb to produce the same amount of lumens. Energy-efficient lighting is becoming more popular in the family home for sale in Katy Texas, because of its environmental benefits. Besides being more environmentally friendly, LEDs and CFL bulbs help you save on maintenance costs. Because they don’t have delicate filaments, these bulbs are much more resilient against accidental jostles or breaks.

Solar Panels

Solar panels can significantly increase a home’s resale value. When added during the initial construction process, they’re less costly than retrofitting an existing home, making the transition to a green energy source easier. 

As renewable energy technology continues to improve, it’s becoming more affordable for builders to include solar in their designs. When choosing a general contractor, seek one who prioritizes sustainability and can help you stay within your budget while meeting LEED certification guidelines. 

Energy-Efficient Appliances

When you use energy-efficient appliances, it will help reduce your electricity bills. It also helps save the environment by lowering your carbon footprint, greenhouse gas emissions, and other harmful gases contributing to climate change. In addition to reducing your monthly electricity bill, you can save money by avoiding costly appliance repairs and replacements. Energy-efficient appliances will last longer than traditional bulbs; some even come with a warranty that offers peace of mind for your investment. Energy-efficient appliances marked with the blue ENERGY STAR logo are tested to ensure they’re up to standard and will save you more money over their lifetimes than non-certified models. They also help conserve water, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and limit your dependence on fossil fuels and oils.

Water-Efficient Toilets

Today’s home buyers are looking for eco-friendly upgrades. These include toilets that consume less water. Toilets make up 30% of household water usage. Replacing old toilets with modern low-flow models reduces water consumption and saves homeowners money. These new models meet federal plumbing standards, which require toilets to use at most 1.6 gallons per flush. That means a family can save up to 13,000 gallons of water annually by replacing their toilets. You can also opt for a pressure-assist system that uses more force to remove waste with each flush. These systems work best in homes with good water pressure. They can still be problematic in houses with low pressure. This is because the waste tends to collect under the rim of the toilet, which can lead to odor problems.

Energy-Efficient Windows

Your windows play a key role in how much heat your home loses. Energy-efficient windows reduce the amount of air that escapes your home during the winter and summer months, allowing you to save on heating and cooling costs and increase your comfort level. Compared to conventional windows, energy-efficient windows provide a more effective barrier for heat transfer and help cut your energy bills by an estimated 12%. This is due to a combination of factors, including efficient window glass, insulated window frames, low-E glass tints, and argon or krypton gas filled between the window panes.

Energy-Efficient Doors

Energy-efficient doors are an eco-friendly upgrade that can help reduce your heating and cooling bills. These doors are insulated to keep warm air in the winter and cool air in the summer, saving you money on your monthly utility bills. The materials a door is made from playing a significant role in its energy efficiency. Fiberglass exterior doors with foam cores are extremely insulating, as they’re poor conductors of heat and have an R-value rating that prevents air loss. The door’s frame should also be insulated to seal the door well.

Builders using green building materials can also make other eco-friendly choices, like choosing windows with low emissivity (Low-E) glass to control the flow of sunlight into the home and prevent harmful UV rays from damaging interior finishes. Additionally, builders may use recycled or ethically sourced wood for accent walls and other surfaces.

Insulation

Insulation is one of the most important eco-friendly upgrades you can make to your home. It prevents heat from moving between areas significantly different in temperature, helping reduce energy consumption.

It also helps to keep your house at a comfortable temperature throughout the year without forcing the air conditioning or furnace to work too hard. This can lead to lower energy bills, and the insulation cost typically pays for itself through energy savings in less than a year. Various insulation options include fiberglass batts or rolls, cellulose loose-fill, and spray foam. Each type has advantages and disadvantages depending on your climate and where it will be installed. 

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