Living your life as green as possible is obviously good for the planet, but there are so many ways that a green lifestyle improves your wellbeing. Choosing to make your home green has all sorts of benefits, and you don’t have to completely overhaul your whole life to do so.
The major benefits of living in a green home are: a healthier environment through improved air quality, positive environmental impact, return on investment through energy savings, return on investment through lower maintenance costs, and more comfortable home with fewer temperature variations.
Read on to learn how you can improve your home’s energy efficiency through lighting and window and door improvements. After all, new windows are much more energy efficient than older models and they improve your home’s curb appeal, too.
Let There Be Light
It feels like there’s always a new rule, new guideline, and a new way to make energy-smart choices when it comes to residential lighting. There’s LED, CFL, incandescent, fluorescent, different levels of warmth, coolness, and energy factors to consider. One thing that is certain is that the electricity that a single incandescent bulb uses up ends up costing at least 5-10 times the original purchase, so new bulbs like LED (light emitting diode) and CFL (compact fluorescent lights) have revolutionized residential lighting.
In addition to making the choice to fill your home with longer-lasting, more durable, cost-effective LED bulbs, a small renovation to improve your home’s lighting fixtures can reduce your home’s carbon footprint and lower your energy bill. Dimmer switches that give you control on the brightness of your bulbs allow you to reduce the flow of energy to your lights so you only use the amount you need.
How to Place Lights in a Room
You can create an energy-efficient home by strategically placing the lighting in your home in addition to opening up spaces with natural light from windows, sliding doors, or skylights. For getting the right lighting fixtures, consider that scones, recessed lights, and pendant lights are the most energy-efficient. You can work within your style and budget with these types of fixtures to create a stylish and inviting home with a comfortable amount of light.
When it comes to recessed lighting, there are three things you can do to be green about your lighting renovation:
- Use downlighting: keep fixtures about four feet apart for pot lights that are six inches in diameter.
- Workaround functionality: put a single vertical light fixture over a specific area that needs light. This works for dining tables, workspaces, or storage.
- Keep things airtight: there should be a complete seal between the ceiling and your recessed lighting fixture in order to minimize drafts between floors.
Finally, there’s always natural lighting that you can bring into your home through energy efficient windows and doors. Where you might have had a wooden door, you could install a glass sliding door that lets in light and opens up your space, too. One gorgeous and brightening renovation you can undertake is to install skylights in your home. They’re a great investment that improves the look of your home and makes a huge impact on your energy efficiency.
One last item to consider is updating your hot water tank to a tankless unit. Although the install will have upfront costs, you can find great deals on tankless water heaters. Depending on the size of your home and the amount of water you use, they can end up paying for themselves in a few years, plus you never run out of hot water!
There are lots of opportunities to improve your home’s energy efficiency. You will not only be helping to reduce your carbon footprint, but your monthly bills won’t be as heavy. Truly a win-win situation!