More consumers are gearing towards sustainable practices. From the way they shop for products to building their houses, they want to reduce their impact on the environment. The good news is, you don’t necessarily need to build your home from scratch to have a more sustainable home. There are many ways you can make your home improvements more sustainable.
But then, embracing sustainability can sometimes be tricky. Replacing old appliances with energy-efficient ones does not already make your home more eco-friendly. How you get rid of your old appliances and how you use the new ones also matter.
If you are serious about making your home more sustainable, you need to avoid these mistakes at all costs.
Choosing Products and Contractors that Are Not Eco-friendly
You should invest in sustainable and environment-friendly products and materials. Skipping this part when making any home improvement or maintenance project won’t help you optimize sustainability. The same goes with choosing your suppliers.
For instance, you plan on installing low-flow plumbing solutions to reduce your water usage and wastes. Instead of ordering from overseas suppliers, choose local suppliers instead. It also pays to hire a local plumbing company to do the installation and maintenance jobs for you.
If, for instance, you are after a flooring replacement, choose sustainable flooring solutions. The market is now abundant with flooring options made and sourced from sustainable sources. This can include cork, bamboo, wool carpet, and reclaimed hardwood.
Remember that you can make your home more sustainable even if you don’t invest in brand-new materials. In reality, there are lots of recycled and reclaimed options to choose from. These are actually a better choice since they are made from recycled materials.
Skipping Efficient Insulation
Many first-time homeowners often forget to improve their home’s insulation. They tend to focus on the more obvious ones, like their HVAC system, window treatments, and smart thermostats. It is crucial that you also prioritize insulation so you can maximize the uses of your other investments.
Even if you feel like your home is already well-insulated, there are still a few things you can do to boost its efficiency. For one, you can add insulation to your walls without removing the drywall. Using mineral wool as roof insulation is another idea worth investing in.
Don’t bother adding another layer of sustainable insulation if you don’t take time to install these the right way. You will only end up wasting precious resources if you do incorrect insulation, Be sure to factor in dampness, compression, and air leakage when tackling an insulation project.
Ignoring Free Sunlight
Many homeowners think that the only way they can utilize the sun’s potential is by installing solar panels. Sure, solar panels can lower your dependence on the grid. But note that not everyone can afford solar panel installations.
Stop ignoring the sun and use this to reduce your energy bills. Consider the areas where you can utilize sunlight. Stop using artificial lighting when opening your curtains and windows can be enough during the day.
You can also consider adding more windows or replacing old windows with bigger, wider windows to let more light in during the day. The lesser the amount of time you use your artificial lights, the better it will for your energy bills. Utilizing sunlight during the cold months also gives your heating system a break during the day.
Skimping Green Tax Incentives and Financing
Many homeowners go about their home upgrades without looking into tax incentives and rebates involving green investments. Know that the government offers incentives to homeowners who choose to make eco-friendly choices. You can enjoy reimbursements for certain investments, like the following.
- Energy Star appliances
- Efficient systems like water heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) systems
- Renewable energy (solar panels)
- Energy-efficient building envelopes
- High-efficiency interior lighting
Another thing worth knowing is that you can leverage energy-efficient financing. The government offers numerous financing options when remodeling, buying, refinancing, or selling the house. Quick research can help you determine if you qualify for this or not.
Forgetting to Research Before Landscaping
A beautiful landscape is always the envy of many homeowners. The right landscape will satisfy your visual needs and preferred maintenance level. But how you choose your landscape also matters.
For one, you are better off choosing native plants you can purchase locally. This way, you get to increase their chances of survival. The natural wildlife in your area will also appreciate your choice of plants.
It is also worth investing in a sustainable landscape design. Consider a permeable surface for hardscape projects to prevent erosion. Don’t forget about ribbon driveways that are not only visually pleasing but are also an eco-friendly way to redesign your driveway.
These are but common mistakes many homeowners are guilty of committing when trying to make their homes more sustainable. Remember that every decision you make can have an impact on the environment. Due diligence and weighing your options is the best way to reduce your home’s environmental impact.