There are many different ways to transform your home into a “green home”. Whether you are renovating or building a new house, Nicola Interiors- a Mississauga based interior designer- has all the tips to help you design an eco-friendly home that is beneficial not only to you, but also to the environment.
Reducing Your Energy Consumption
Tankless Water Heaters- Investing in a tankless water heater will contribute to a significant amount of savings on your energy bill, while reducing your ecological footprint. Tankless water heaters heat water on demand and do not require a storage tank to store water. As a result, they have a lifespan up to twice as long as traditional systems since the risk of rust and corrosion is significantly reduced.
Gas Powered Systems: Since these systems are powered by propane or natural gas, they require a gas line to the water heater and must be vented to the outside. Tankless gas units output a larger GPM (gallons per minute), providing an endless amount of hot water on demand.
Electrical Powered Systems: Tankless electric water heaters use an electrical element to heat the water, therefore, they need to be hardwired to the circuit breaker or electrical panel. Although they output fewer GPM than the gas powered systems, they are more affordable and do not require venting.
Energy Efficient Appliances- Replacing your old appliances with new and improved, energy efficient appliances will make a big impact in reducing your energy consumption. Whether they are small changes or large ones, you will be saving money and the planet at the same time.
CFL/ LED lightbulbs: Compact fluorescent bulbs and light emitting diodes consume an average of 75% less electricity than the conventional incandescent light bulb. As a result, this reduces the cost of your energy bill as well as the greenhouse gas emissions from fossil-fueled power plants.
High Efficiency Toilets: High efficiency toilets provide significant water and cost savings since they only use 4.8L of water per flush, as opposed to the traditional 13L toilet. Many high efficiency toilets also have the dual flush option, one setting for light and another for heavy flushes. Also, look for toilets with a high Maximum Performance score (MaP).
Washers and Dryers: Front load washers save considerable amounts of water and energy compared to top-loading washers. When washing, ensure that you have a full load and use cooler water. Also, hang dry any articles of clothes that do not necessarily require a tumble dry.
Programmable Thermostat: Another simple way to minimize wasted energy and reduce heating costs is to get a programmable thermostat that will automatically regulate the temperature to preset levels at different times of the day.
Ceiling Fans: Opting for Energy Star ceiling fans will help you save money on utility bills and protect the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions; since they are 60% more efficient compared to other conventional fans.
Flooring: Bamboo flooring has been used as an alternative to true hardwoods because of its durability and resistance to moisture and insects. Since bamboo is a grass, it grows much faster than wood, making it an eco-friendly and highly renewable resource.
Similarly, Brazilian cherry is another good alternative to hardwood, because it is engineered and made using formaldehyde-free adhesives. Although it is relatively expensive, Brazilian cherry is environmentally friendly and much harder than oak.
Solar Panel Roofing: Aside from being an extremely reliable resource for energy, solar panel roofs create electricity without producing the harmful emissions of a power plant- that contribute to global warming. Moreover, solar panels will save you thousands of dollars on your energy bill in the long run.
Picking the right windows can also mean a significant savings in utility bills. Double paned windows have several key advantages over standard windows. Among these are noise reduction, ease of cleaning, and better insulative properties. Double paned windows are considered extremely energy efficient because its tighter seals prevent cold and hot air from escaping, helping maintain a more comfortable indoor climate without wasting energy.
Whether you choose to make small or large eco-friendly changes to your home, every step will have a big impact on the environment, as well as your bank. Remember that living in a beautiful home is equally important as living in a green and sustainable Earth.