Quick and Easy Green Home Improvements

Many homeowners are looking for quick and easy green home improvements. Whether you want to make these improvements for the sake of going green or you want to do some things before placing a home on the market that will make it more competitive with new homes, there are plenty of options.

Joining the green revolution will make your home more comfortable, less costly to heat and cool, and some changes will reduce your water and/or sewer bill. Many of these improvements will also make your home more comparable to newer homes on the market. This might or might not justify an increase in selling price. While these quick and easy green home improvements might appeal to home buyers who have a strong interest in a green home, it might not matter to other prospective buyers when they make an offer. If, however, you make available a record of your utility bills for the last year, showing a decrease in heating, cooling and water costs could be attractive to a buyer.

The top seven quick and easy green home improvements that are also economical are:

1. Switch to energy efficient light bulbs. Compact fluorescent bulbs cost a bit more when you buy them, but they will last years longer and use only a fraction of the energy. Start with the lights you tend to use for the longest period of time – like the kitchen light that is never turned off or the bathroom light the kids just can’t remember to turn off. If you are planning to put your home on the market, you might want to start with bulbs in permanent light fixtures.

2. Install insulating/reflective window coverings. Film window coverings are available in several levels of light and UV ray blockage and colors. You can choose different textures and colors depending on the amount of direct sunlight on various windows. The window film is available in most hardware and home improvement stores, and it is easy to install.

3. Install weather stripping on doors and window frames. Weather stripping is relatively inexpensive and it is easy to install on window frames and door frames. It will reduce the amount of heat exchange by sealing up cracks or openings. This will make your home more comfortable, more energy efficient, and more environmentally friendly.

4. Install low flow shower heads and faucets. Most homeowners can install new shower heads and faucets or affordably hire a handyman to do it. These faucets and shower heads use less water without blocking adequate water flow. They will save water and reduce your water and sewer bills.

5. Adjust the float in the toilet tank to use less water. This is a fairly simple adjustment that can be accomplished by most homeowners or a handyman. If you can’t adjust it, try putting something in the bottom of the tank that will displace some of the water. Just be sure that what you use won’t rust and won’t get in the way of the working of the flushing mechanism.

6. Insulate the hot water distribution pipes in your home. This is also a relatively inexpensive and easy job of wrapping the pipes that go from the hot water heater to the various plumbing fixtures (kitchen, bathrooms). Keeping the water warmer as it moves through the pipes will provide warmer water and it will reduce the amount of water you have to run from a faucet while you wait for the hot water to get there.

7. Install insulating or reflective window treatments. Install reflective blinds or shades at your windows. Then be sure to close them at times when the sun shines on them directly or during the warmest part of the day. This will reduce your heating/cooling bills.

Try these seven steps to make some quick and easy green home improvements. The money you will save on utility bills will probably pay for the improvements very quickly.

Copyright 2008 by ABCD Publishing

Specialty Home Improvement Remodeling Projects

The purpose of a home improvement remodeling project is to make your home more attractive and functional. Some of the usual improvements involve redoing floor and wall coverings, adding cabinetry, and improving the lighting. Other choices are installing new fixtures, knocking out or building new walls, and even something as simple as painting. Yet, some of the most exciting projects involve adding something special to an existing home.

Home Entertainment

One home improvement remodeling task you might like to do is to install an entertainment system that works throughout your home. The setup is crucial. The wiring for the system has to be run behind the drywall. This means that you either add this as a part of a larger renovation project that includes removing the drywall, or you have to string the wiring behind the drywall some other way.

You will have outlets behind your whole home entertainment system to plug in the components to AC current. There should be jacks for the cable and Ethernet feeds. You connect the audio wiring in each room to a special outlet near the entertainment system, and then hook it up. When you have successfully installed the system you should be able to listen to different music all over the house, and watch movies with surround sound in your main entertainment room and from any TV in the house.

This installation process must be done carefully to achieve maximum functionality and maintain an attractive appearance. If you have any qualms about doing this home improvement remodeling work yourself, it is a good idea to use a professional remodeling company to make sure it is done right.

Home Security

Installing a home security system is another one of those home improvement remodeling projects that must be hard-wired into the house. The wiring runs to a central location, usually in a basement or utility room. At this spot, you put the master controls and alert relays. Then, throughout the house, you install sensors to catch break-ins, fires, and elevated levels of carbon monoxide.

To do the job, you will have to know the various kinds of sensors and how to install each one. There are magnet sensors, switch door sensors, glass-breaking sensors, carbon monoxide sensors, smoke sensors and heat sensors. The sensors must be placed carefully or the alarms might go off when they are not supposed to. Conversely, if you do not wire the sensors in appropriately, the alarms might not sound at all. This is a job that you must be sure you can do correctly; otherwise you will be putting your family’s security at risk.

Green Living

One type of specialty task that is becoming more and more commonplace is a green home improvement remodeling project. There is so much that you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your home that it is a shame not to do what you can.

A green remodeling job can include energy efficient appliances and fixtures. It can mean increasing the insulation in your house or getting more efficient windows or doors. It can also mean working towards net zero energy consumption by producing energy with solar panels. A skilled home improvement remodeling company can help you find all the best ways to go green.

Some Tips for Green Home Improvement

Today, people are realizing how important it is to keep our environment healthy. They do not want to waste their hard-earned money by living in an inefficient home. This is the reason why most homeowners, nowadays, are keen to improve their house and make it greener. Going green does not necessarily mean making drastic changes in the house. Even simple alterations can significantly improve the energy efficiency of your house. Listed below are some useful green home improvement tips that can help you make your property environment friendly.

* Maintain a nice herb garden. The good part is that it would not take up much space. So, you do not need to be a skilled gardener for maintaining it. There are a lot of herbs that can be easily grown indoors, which means that, even if you do not have enough outdoor space, you can still enjoy the flavor of home-grown herbs. Herbs, like mint, rosemary, sage, thyme, chives and marjoram, can be planted in cute small pots and lined up with the kitchen windowsill. By doing so, you can always have the basic herbs within your reach, anytime you need. In addition, the aroma which it would bring to your kitchen would be an added advantage.

* Paper and plastic bags, that are used by the stores, cause a lot of environmental issues, right from overflowing landfills and oil consumption to soil pollution and more. Investing in reusable bags is the best possible way for avoiding these problems. You can use the reusable bags while going out to shop for groceries, clothes, equipment or any other stuff.

* Paying the bills online is also a step towards saving the planet. If you pay the bills online, then you not only save your time but also the environment, by lessening the amount of paper which is used for the monthly statements. So, always have all your bills sent at your email address and not at your letterbox at home.

* If you have those old traditional light bulbs at home, then replace them with CFLs. CFL bulbs are more durable and energy-efficient than the ordinary incandescent bulbs. Thus, if you switch to CFL light bulbs, then you would surely save a lot of money by cutting back the energy consumption.

* Buy green home products. Apart from being safe for the environment, eco-friendly products also benefit people by saving their money. Moreover, by using these products, you would not be exposed to toxic chemicals, which in turn would reduce health issues. In short, by switching to environment friendly products you get, not one or two, but a lot of benefits.

So, follow these green home improvement tips and play your role towards Mother Nature as a responsible citizen. None of the above listed tips would cost you much. Making slight changes in your lifestyle would do the trick. So, make the most of these ideas by implementing them and enjoy their financial and health benefits.