Below is a guest post on the subject of how to incorporate environmentally friendly features and materials into your home. One they left out that S Interior Design recommends is to switch all light bulbs to LED type.
Green Remodeling Trends for 2016
By Mary Sauer
Each year, the green building industry makes major advances, increasing the availability of green home products while decreasing the associated cost. And that’s why there’s no better time than now to switch to more environmentally responsible products for your home. This is especially true if you’re already planning to make small updates or do a major home remodel. Here are this year’s most popular green remodeling trends to help you plan for a home that’s as stylish as it is green.
Smart home products have been around for some time, but only recently have they become an accessible and affordable option for homeowners of all budgets and lifestyles. With the help of a smart thermostat, you can easily regulate your heating and cooling system from any internet enabled device, including your smartphone. Not only is it incredibly convenient to be able to control the temperature of your house from anywhere, it allows you to make changes that will reduce your use of your HVAC unit. Even the smallest changes, like bumping your temperature by a few degrees while you are away, can greatly reduce your overall consumption of electricity and cut your monthly utility costs.
Additionally, through the use of automated lighting you can control when your lights are on or off with the click of the button. Simply by scheduling the lights in your home, you can avoid the energy waste that so often occurs when we leave home in a rush and forget to power off the lighting throughout our homes.
For many, making the switch to solar power feels unattainable due to the overall cost of making the switch. Because of this, more homeowner are making smaller switches to solar, choosing solar appliances as a more realistic option for their budgets. One of the most popular solar appliances is the solar water heater, which has an average cost between $1,500 and $4,500. Some heaters can be purchased for as little as $500, especially if you plan to install one yourself. Homeowners who make this investment not only reduce the carbon footprint of their home, but also see an estimated 50 percent drop in their water heating costs. Other popular solar appliances include solar powered refrigerators and solar powered chargers for electronics like smartphones and laptop computers.
Environmentally Friendly Flooring
Reducing the energy consumption in your home is great first step, but it isn’t the only factor to consider when remodeling. Another element to consider is how the manufacturing of your home and building products impacts the wellbeing of the earth—something that we at Modernize are passionate about. Conventional carpet has been found to release volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, into the air, which reduces overall air quality and negatively impacts our health. And traditionally harvested hardwood flooring can have a devastating effect on our world’s forests. That’s why we encourage you to look into more environmentally friendly flooring options such as reclaimed wood, bamboo, or cork flooring, and low VOC carpeting as a healthier and greener option for your home.
If you are new to the world of environmentally responsible living, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the amount of change that’s needed to improve the future of our planet. But every improvement you make matters, and you can begin reducing your carbon footprint by making even the smallest of environmentally-friendly home improvements for a greener future.