Four Ways to Greenify Your Urban Home
Adding green features to your urban home is a great way to help you take advantage of lower energy costs while helping the environment. Although adding green features may have a higher up-front cost, they tend to save money in the long run. Here are four ways to help make your home greener.
- Install Programmable Thermostats
One of the simplest ways to save energy is through adding a programmable thermostat to your urban home. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, approximately half of your energy consumption comes from heating and cooling. Furthermore, most energy companies suggest setting your thermostat to 68 degrees during the cooler months and 78 degrees in warm weather. A programmable thermostat can help you stay at these temperatures automatically. If you are out of the home frequently, temperatures can be set around your schedule, allowing for additional energy savings.
- Add Green Roofing
This terminology has taken on a couple of different meanings in recent years but typically refers to roofs that help keep the heat at bay during summer months. In an urban setting, installing a roof that contains vegetation can not only help the environment and keep your interior temperatures down, but they are aesthetically pleasing. Additionally, green roofs protect the membrane surface while reducing urban heat island effect. There are a number of reasons for roofing and waterproofing systems, the most important being the minimization of leaks resulting from roof damage. Ensure that you select a company that has extensive knowledge in the waterproofing and drainage of vegetative roofs.
- Swap Out Old Appliances
Energy Star is a government program that was generated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Appliances that contain this symbol are known for their energy-efficiency and meet certain criteria set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These appliances provide significant energy and water savings ranging between 10 and 50 percent. Swapping out your old appliances for new ones don’t have to break the bank either. Energy Star appliances tend to be comparably priced to their less efficient counterparts.
- Replace Windows
If you constantly feel a draft or tend to notice that heat continually seeps in, it may be time to replace your windows. Choosing energy-efficient windows that have low thermal transmission and solar heat gain ratings can save approximately 7 to 15 percent on your energy bill. Similar to appliances, Energy Star is a leading provider in eco-friendly windows, which breaks windows down by climate zones in order to help you find the perfect window for your area. The price point should be similar to other standard windows.
Don’t let your urban home setting discourage you from making environmentally-friendly changes to your lifestyle. Enlist the help of companies like Sullivan Engineering that specialize in green design to help you implement the changes you want to make. Not only will Mother Earth thank you for your contribution, you’ll likely find a cut in your monthly expenses by consciously saving energy.
Meghan Belnap / Blogger, Researcher and Freelance Writer
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.