The Speaker
Sunday, 19 May 2024 – 18:55

Helping the environment and saving money through home improvements

NOTE: This is an opinion article – any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Speaker or any members of its team.

The idea of adding value to your current home while protecting the environment might initially seem like walking on a tight rope but it should be considered as an excellent investment.

As with all things, you can have the most significant impact on your home improvements if you start at the planning stage. Early planning will not only save you time during a renovation but also save you money in the long run. Below are several home upgrades ideas that embrace green practices.

Buying pre-owned materials while renovating

This cost-effective idea should always be at the back of your mind during this process. New and shiny does not always mean best. Recently the use of reclaimed wood has gained popularity. It is a great choice not only in an environmentally savvy way but also adds a classy touch in any space. It is mainly used in flooring and kitchen counter-tops. In the long run, it saves on the energy that would have been used to create plastic counterparts, therefore, protecting the environment.


Much energy is used to maintain a specific temperature in a poorly insulated house. Its importance cannot be overemphasized as much heat is lost through leaks increasing heating and cooling costs. High-quality insulation reduces on how many times the thermostat should kick in to maintain preset temperatures reducing the amount of energy used therefore protecting the environment.

Solar Energy

Taking advantage of solar energy through panels goes a long way in cutting the operation costs of your home. Harnessing cosmic rays may even prove so efficient that in converts your house into a net-zero cost home. It means that all the energy consumed inside the house is created internally. It, in turn, reduces the demand for the forms of energy generation like diesel generators, therefore, protecting the environment.

Investing in Energy Star Appliances

Consider replacing your relatively old home appliances with many recent ones with the energy star logo. Products with this logo have undergone vigorous tests and have passed the strict set of rules of energy efficiency. They are designed to use the least amount of energy which in turn saves you money and protects the environment. However, this should be considered as a long term investment as the effects will be felt later on after the purchase.

Minor deconstructions and reconstruction

Before opting for a relatively new design for your house, you might want to consider installing energy-efficient panels. It includes components such as doors and windows. Energy is lost through these components when air creeps in or out along the edges. Well installed triple pane windows create a blanket of air between the windows acting as an insulator. Doors made of good material and that fit tighter to the door frame will substantially save your energy bills and then environment.


Home lighting can take up to 25% of your monthly energy bill. The bill is mainly attributed to inefficient bulbs that create much heat as a byproduct. Switching them out for efficient LED’s and Compact florescent bulbs not only gives your home a modern look but also saves you cash and the environment too. Skylights also keep energy bills down by allowing natural light to sip in instead of switching on the lights.

Other Home Improvements

Using modern shower-heads can help the environment. Heads that lower the flow of water helps reduce wastage and also the energy that is required to heat the water. Timers can also be introduced in a household that has children. These waterproof timers alert them when it’s time to get out of the shower.

Proper maintenance of the Heating, Ventilation and Air conditioning system; HVAC systems are quite expensive to acquire and replace when they break down. Proper maintaining yours will not only improve its efficiency and save you cash but also protects your health by adequately cleaning the breathable air.

Construct a compost pit if necessary. For relatively large families, tons of kitchen waste is disposed of improperly and could instead be recycled into proper use. Compost pits could help create fertilizer for your plants instead of using one the synthetically manufactured that could harm the environment.

In summary, with all the improvement complete and all systems running, not only will house prices have appreciated if you are thinking of a resale but you may also be treated to a lovely home experience. The home will virtually be taking care of you rather than you taking care of it.


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