Spring is a time when many homeowners think about making upgrades, whether it’s inside the home, or outside. For environmentally-conscious upgrades, it’s worth making changes recommended by real estate agents that will not only improve your comfort at home but also have a positive environmental impact. You might be surprised about how a few small changes can make a big difference.
While it might not be the most exciting home improvement project, collecting rainwater is one easy way to go green. It might be as simple as having a barrel in your backyard and then using the water collected to water plants, wash your car, or pressure wash your house. While more involved systems can use that rainwater to irrigate your garden, making this one change can not only save on your water bill but help conserve water, especially if you live in a part of the country that is prone to droughts.
Make your yard self-sufficient
Landscaping is an ideal project for spring to take advantage of spring bulbs, but how you plant can make a big difference not only in cutting down on your yard work but in saving water, too. Selecting native plants will mean that your garden can withstand the change in seasons. Depending on where you live, incorporating rock gardens, succulents, and mulch can mean less to water and tend to. While you are thinking about your garden, you can also consider growing your own herbs and vegetables to have the double benefit of giving your yard some green, while giving yourself fresh produce when you need it.
Think ahead for summer with fans
Before summer gets into full swing, many homeowners will have their HVAC systems serviced to make sure they are ready to go full blast. However, aside from having working AC, you can cut down on your utility bills and keep your house cool, by installing ceiling fans. Homeowners who are thinking of selling will also find that adding fans is an upgrade that appeals to buyers. With two directions on most fans — either with a downdraft of cool air in the summer, or an updraft redistributing warm air in the winter — your fan can contribute to your climate control all year long. While running fans will still contribute to your energy bill, it is likely to cost less than running your AC all summer.
Upgrade your appliances
While you are thinking about energy efficiency, you can assess the state of your kitchen appliances. Some of the biggest draws on energy are your dishwasher and refrigerator and going with Energy Star can equal big savings. To earn an Energy Star, appliances must meet strict energy efficiency criteria set by the US Environmental Protection Agency or the US Department of Energy. Even just replacing old appliances for the newest models is likely to give you some benefits in energy saving.
Home improvements with a green focus are not only good for your budget, they also mean you’ve made a choice that is good for the environment. With any home upgrade, there is likely a greener option, once you start doing a little research into making a choice with a larger impact.