So much energy that goes into powering a home. Some would say too much.
From air conditioning, water consumption, and running appliances, hundreds of vital processes either use electricity or require it to get you what you need. Not only can this strain your budget, but it’s hard on the environment.
If you’re hunting for creative –and easy– ways to make your home eco-friendly, consider these four innovative options. You don’t have to spend a fortune to save a bundle.
Architectural Window Film Can Save Your Skin & Bill
One option you have is to apply architectural window film all over your home. In general, window film works by blocking three types of light: infrared, visible, and ultraviolet (UV) light.
Blocking visible light cuts down on glare. Stopping UV light prevents damaging contact with your skin. But obstructing infrared light is the key to increasing eco-friendliness! This is because infrared rays heat the inside of your home. In warmer months, architectural window film lessens the strain on your air conditioning by blocking these rays, saving you money, and reducing your home’s energy footprint.
Install a Low-Flush Toilet
Another creative way to make your home eco-friendly is to ditch your water-guzzling toilet in favor of a low-flush replacement. Low-flush toilets use around one gallon of water per flush, where traditional, modern toilets (not quite as bad as their seven-gallon-per-flush predecessors) use 1.6 gallons.
Your toilet is a focal point for saving energy because a sizable fraction of your water consumption—as high as one quarter—goes down your toilet. Cutting your water consumption in half means expending less energy spent to transport water to your home.
Consider Satellite-Controlled Sprinklers
If you’re looking for a genuinely innovative, technology-driven way to reduce water consumption further, try satellite-controlled sprinklers.
If you haven’t heard of them (and that’s likely), here’s how they work: Sprinklers connect with a device or network that turns valves on and off according to the presence or absence of rain.
The results? You water your plants and lawn only when they need it, saving gallons of water from needlessly irrigating already-saturated grounds.
Start a Compost Pile
Transitioning to a more well-known staple of sustainability, a compost pile is incredibly energy efficient. A compost pile can make use of the yard waste, food scraps, pet waste, and much more that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill.
It’s an effective way to minimize the amount of garbage your family sends to the landfill. About 30% of what we toss are food and yard waste. Not only does this reduce methane gas (a factor in global warming), but composting also controls trash can odor.
What you can put into your compost depends on what kind of composter you have. However, some general rules apply. All compostable materials are either nitrogen or carbon-based, to some degrees. The secret to a great compost pile is to maintain a working balance between these two.
Carbon-rich matter (like branches, dried leaves, peels, wood, bark dust, corn stalks, coffee filters, coffee grounds, conifer needles, eggshells, straw, peat moss, wood ash) gives compost a light, fluffy body.
Nitrogen or protein-rich matter (manures, food scraps & green yard waste) provides raw materials for making enzymes.
A compost pile should have much more carbon than nitrogen. A rule of thumb is to use one-third green and two-thirds brown materials. The bulky fibers of the dried materials allow oxygen to penetrate and nourish the organisms.
Too much nitrogen makes for a smelly & slowly decomposing mess. Make sure and cover fresh nitrogen-rich material, which can release odors if exposed to open air, with carbon-rich material, which can exude a crisp, pleasant smell. When in doubt, add more carbon filler.
But the biggest payoff? You’ll have your very own rich fertilizer you can use in your garden or donate to your favorite cause.
If you’re looking for your own eco-friendly home to move into, let one of our realtors at Eng Garcia help you find the perfect home for you.