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Eco-Friendly Tips for Green Home Living

April 5th, 2019

Earth Day falls on April 22, which serves as a reminder to cut down on plastic, protect endangered species, and do our part for a safer, healthier, and more sustainable planet.

As concern for the environment grows, people are looking for ways to help the planet. While many of us grew up with the idea of unlimited resources and expansive horizons, the world is changing fast and it’s getting harder and harder to ignore the crises facing our global citizenry.

Energy costs and depleted supplies force us to consider green alternatives to how we lived in the past. This transformation of thinking is most prevalent in our homes. Not only are the habits of our lifestyles under consideration, but the very structure of our homes as well. From materials to furnishings, houses are being transformed.

Remodel vs. New Construction

The amount of open land available for development is no longer seen as just so many more fields plowed under. It has become clear that not everyone can have their castle and surrounding acre, so creativity is being utilized to design more compact developments, concentrating homes into multi-family structures and creating more communities with shared spaces.

In fact, there are significant environmental benefits from packing populations into smaller areas. Larger buildings are more efficient than single-family detached units. If you need more square footage for a growing family, staying put by increasing the footprint or adding a second story is more eco-friendly than starting fresh on a new plot of ground.

In either case, careful consideration to the HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems can have a significant impact on the environment.

Eco-Friendly Tips for the Home

  • Switch to low-flow toilets and showerheads to save 25%–60% on your water bill.
  • If your HVAC system is over 10 years old, it’s past its midlife point. Consider replacing it with a high-efficiency model to save 20–40% on your heating and cooling energy costs.
  • Minimize air leaks around the home with new weatherstripping, caulk, and expandable foam spray.
  • Speak with a professional about home solar panels.
  • LEDs use around 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than traditional incandescent lights.

Changing Habits and Habitats

From accouterments to the design of the home, each decision to change an appliance or renovate has a different environmental impact. Every purchase you make supports the company who produced it and how it was made. Before you purchase a product, look it up online to determine its environmental impact. Choose “no VOC” or “low VOC” products to support a healthy planet and improve your indoor air quality.

Hot water heaters can be combined with the boiler to share energy. More energy-efficient glass can bring in more solar heat and light and hold it there longer. Bamboo flooring only takes five years to grow, but can last 60, allowing our supply of trees to replenish.

It’s Easy Being Green

Although we are often reluctant to change our comfortable ways, going green is creating a new energy of cooperation. To be able to slow the advance of climate change that many now admit seems inevitable, it will take a worldwide effort.

This will, perhaps, be the most beneficial to you and your bank account. Getting a home energy audit will allow you to see where exactly your home is losing energy so that you can make the necessary changes. Your technician will be comprehensive and thorough when assessing your home’s energy use, examining your house room-by-room as well as your past utility bills. By having a professional inspect your home for energy-efficiency improvements, you will undoubtedly begin to develop new habits when it comes to your household’s energy consumption.

Heating and Cooling

We’re not listing this one first simply because we are a heating and air conditioning company (although we are). The real reason is that almost 50% of your utility use goes toward heating and cooling your home. So if you are looking for ways to be greener, this is the best place to start.

Here are some tips for greener heating and air conditioning:

Plumbing

Another large area of energy waste for many homes is their plumbing system. This includes water heating, washing machines and dishwashers.

Here are our green water-use tips:

  • Upgrade to a tankless water heater – These water heaters are much more efficient than standard tank water heaters.
  • Run only full loads – Only run your dishwasher and washing machine when you have a full load.
  • Cut your shower time – Cutting your shower time by just one minute a day can save up to 150 gallons of water per month.
  • Stop buying bottled water – Bottled water’s environmental harm has been well-documented. Stop purchasing it and rely on your tap instead.

Electrical

Most of the rest of your utility use could be filed under this category, with home lighting being the biggest energy user here.

Reduce your electrical energy use and go green by:

  • Installing LED lights – Lighting accounts for 12% of your energy use. LED bulbs use a fraction of the energy incandescent lights do and can last up to 25 times longer (which also means less waste in our landfills.)
  • Unplugging energy vampires – Some electrical appliances like TV’s, DVD players and chargers pull energy even when they’re not being used. Pull their plugs to reduce your energy use.
  • Upgrading appliances – When it’s time, upgrade your appliances for more energy efficient models.

As a homeowner, saving energy is almost always at the forefront of your mind. The ways in which one can go about doing so are endless, and while we’re amazed at the technological advancements, we also believe the unending possibilities can be stressful to think about: programmable thermostats, solar power, energy-saving light bulbs, tankless water heaters, HVAC maintenance – the list goes on. And that’s a great thing!

We hope that as a homeowner and as a human being on this planet you understand the responsibility to better the earth and make it a safe place for everyone to live. Of course, our desire is that everyone’s home is energy efficient throughout; however, we also understand that sometimes life happens and that’s just not a priority.

As we learn to see green in every shade of our home and the lives we live there, the rainbows of benefits become ever more evident and easier to embrace. Don’t hesitate to Ask a Champion for more green living tips.

Contact Service Champions today for professional, on-time service in Northern California, including Sacramento, San Jose, East Bay, and South Bay.

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