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Going Green with Home Improvements

Updated on April 29, 2011

Are you looking for ways to make your home “greener?” Making even small green improvements in your home can reduce your utility costs, not to mention help out the environment. Some green home improvements are costlier than others, but homeowners can make smart choices by considering their options and deciding how much they are willing to invest. For those who are looking into doing a little green remodeling, there are some useful tips to keep in mind.

Replace Bulbs

Traditional light bulbs use significantly more wattage than the newer energy efficient bulbs now on the market. Homeowners can expect to spend more on the light bulbs when they purchase them, but the bulbs offer a great return on the investment. Each energy efficient bulb saves as much as $30 over its lifetime, and an average house full of these bulbs can save a homeowner hundreds in utility costs. The bulbs work by putting off more energy than they use. In other words, a bulb may only use 15 watts but put off 65 or 75 watts. This means that homeowners will be able to make a direct switch from one type of bulb to another.

Purchase Energy Efficient Appliances

The new range of Energy Star appliances make it easier for homeowners to find exactly the right appliance for their home while also saving utility costs. Additionally, these appliances are available for many rooms of the house, so homeowners are not limited to appliances in the kitchen or laundry rooms: homeowners can now buy energy efficient air conditioners and heaters, room purifiers, televisions, and water heaters, among many other products. These appliances will require more of an initial investment, but homeowners will be pleased with the results in savings.

Increase Insulation

Improved insulation options range from indoor to outdoor improvements. Inside the house, homeowners can add window treatments that block the extra heat in the summer or hold out the cold in the winter. Additionally, homeowners can install better window frames that seal the windows more effectively to block air. Outside the house, homeowners have the option of adding cork tiles or exterior panels that seal the home better, as well as protecting it against the weather.

Don’t Let it Flow

The first step in making a home greener is to turn off the water. It costs nothing and simply requires that homeowners pay attention to how much water they are using. For instance, limiting water usage means turning off the tap while brushing teeth or reducing a shower time even by a couple of minutes. Within these couple of minutes, the homeowner can save gallons of water each day. For homeowners who are also gardeners, there are irrigation options that water the plants without flooding the yard unnecessarily.


Green remodeling features can update a room and be good for the environment. It is now possible to buy paint with reduced toxicity that results from low VOC content. Bamboo flooring is also a great option for natural floors that won’t harm the environment (because bamboo is a fast-growing tree that requires no deforestation to harvest). Solar panels are also available, but they are costly and are recommended only for homeowners who live in sunny climates – the more sunshine each day, the more likely homeowners are to recoup the cost of the solar panels.


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