Homeowners who “go green” and use an earth-sustaining approach in their home improvement projects can reap many benefits. In addition to the environmental advantages, remodeling in an eco-friendly way can result in monthly savings of as much as 50 percent on utility bills and increase the resale value of the home. If you’re looking for new projects to pitch to potential remodeling clients, mention some of these “green” upgrades to try and drum up some new business.
1. Low-flow showerheads and water aerators
Inexpensive and easy to install, these devices can help reduce water consumption by up to 50 percent. Current models do this without noticeably reducing water pressure.
2. Low-flow or dual-flush toilets
Flush toilets represent 30 percent of the water use in a home. Low-flow toilets use up to 20 percent less water, and dual-flush toilets, which have separate flush functions for liquid and solid waste, conserve even more water and reduce sewer use.
3. Programmable thermostats with timers
These thermostats can be set to turn down the heat automatically at certain times, maximizing energy savings and lowering heating bills.
4. Water heater insulation
Twenty-five percent of the heating bill in a typical home is used to heat water. Insulating the water heater improves the efficiency of this process and saves money over the lifespan of the heater.
5. Roof, attic and outer wall insulation
Insulating the outer shell of the home reduces the amount of energy needed to heat a home in the winter or cool it in the summer. It also reduces household carbon-dioxide emissions.
6. Whole house fan
Homeowners can save up to 30 percent on cooling costs by installing a whole house fan in the attic. The fan brings cooler air in and also prevents the growth of mold caused by attic humidity.
7. Energy-efficient windows
The average home can lose up to 30 percent of its heating or cooling energy through older, loose-fitting windows. Replacing those windows with energy-efficient models can result in significant savings on energy bills.
8. Solar panels
A solar energy system can result in savings of up to 50 percent on energy bills, and can pay for itself in four to seven years. Rebates available in some states can reduce the cost of installation. Once the cost is recovered, the system generates pollution-free energy.
9. Rainwater collection system
Rainwater harvesting captures and stores rainwater for later use. Systems can be as simple as rain barrels that collect water for landscaping or more complex such as those used to supply water in the home.
In addition to the specific projects mentioned above, choosing non-toxic paints and finishes, natural materials for flooring, carpeting and rugs, and recycled materials for roofing, siding and decks are also facets of green remodeling. These products reduce the amount of chemicals and other polluting materials that are sometimes used in home remodeling and are healthier for those living in the home as well as being better for the environment. Be sure to mention these “green” materials when pitching a potential project to a homeowner.
Find out about the top remodeling project for the winter months here!