Global climate change has already had observable effects on the environment, and eco-homes have gone a long way in the past decade. Eco-living is not just a lifestyle fad or a quick adjustment, but a necessity.
More and more people around the globe are starting to convert their traditional homes to be more eco-friendly. The world’s leading climate scientists have set a deadline, and to address climate change, change has to start from home. Converting a regular home into an eco-friendly one isn’t easy, but once you’ve committed to it, there are heaps of rewards waiting for you, your family, and the planet. Your home will be the biggest investment you will ever make, and you have to be certain that this is for the long run.
There is a surge of homeowners who want to make that switch due to significant financial savings and self-sustainability. Some say eco-homes are only for the rich, but that is a common misconception. The construction costs for eco-homes have steadily declined, and costs will continue to go down as more people become aware of its benefits.
Materials used for constructing a green home may cost more, but your investment will pay off in the long run when you consider the savings from electricity costs. Here are a few tips for converting your home.
1. Reduce your footprint
A smaller house is a more efficient house. Houses in the United States are among the biggest in the world. According to the real-estate firm Zillow, the median size of an American single-family is 1,650 square feet. The cost of maintenance goes up as the footprint expands. But with a small house, there’s less space to heat and less space to cool, therefore less energy consumption. If you’re aiming for self-sustainability, a smaller house is the way to go.
There are tons of reasons why smaller homes are better. Small houses have lower maintenance costs, and they are also energy-efficient. And they are always cheaper to buy or build, not to mention the lower taxes. Hyperconsumerism has contributed to the global warming crisis, and it is our responsibility to be more conscious about how we make use of our spaces.
2. Utilize natural power
Nature is the ultimate source of clean and low-cost energy. If self-sustainability is your goal, this is the best way to reduce your power bills.
For instance, by installing solar roof panels, you can take advantage of a free energy source from the environment. And with your energy-efficient measures, excess solar energy that you can generate can be sold back to utility companies. Your home’s position and location can have an impact on the amount of energy you can generate. Consult an energy expert to maximize your solar power output.
3. Upgrade your roof
The materials we use on our roofs make a huge difference in the energy efficiency of our homes. Our homes are leaking tons of carbon into the atmosphere every minute, which could seriously affect our weather systems.
To improve your home’s energy efficiency, consider upgrading your roof. For instance, you can contact seamless gutter companies to buy a material that can reflect the sun’s heat, conduct less heat, and cool better at night. Terra cotta and slate may cost more than conventional metal roofing, but you will recoup these costs as you save more money on energy and easier maintenance.
Building a living roof is also a great option. It is a functional roof that is designed to hold soil and sustain vegetation. A living roof helps absorb rainwater, improve the home’s cooling capacity, and it also looks good.
4. Use local materials
You can reduce your carbon footprint just by being conscious about where you source your materials. The new trend in eco-construction is using reclaimed materials and sourcing them locally. Many reclaimed materials are used in eco-homes, such as reclaimed wood for walls and glass windows made from recycled glass. A true eco-home is one that’s designed and made of eco-friendly techniques and sustainably sourced materials.
From the windows down to the flooring, every part of your home must reduce your ecological footprint. Let’s say your home is made of reclaimed wood. If you sourced it from a distant supplier, it is not eco-friendly.
The bottom line
These things will help you make your home greener and more sustainable. But there are so many ways to build an eco-friendly home. Just focus on the things that add value to your home and minimize your home’s environmental impact.