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Eco-Friendly Design Tips for Your Home

Your home’s energy efficiency is as big a concern as the landscaping or exterior paint color. Keeping an eye on energy usage can mean hundreds of dollars in monthly savings. This is especially true in places where you need heat or air conditioning for many months out of the year like Washington DC.  We also know may of you are looking to keep your home as eco-friendly as possible for environmental reasons. 

Green upgrades can also effect on your home’s market value! You’re in luck if you’ve been looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint or lower your utility bills. Plenty of great eco-friendly options are on the market for you to explore. Here are our picks for the fastest, easiest, and least expensive ways to incorporate eco-friendly designs into your home.

Focus on Irrigation

eco-friendly designed lawn
Save water with an eco-friendly irrigation system.

When it comes to keeping plants and trees looking their best, homeowners in the D.C. area are lucky. Unlike other areas of the country, we get just enough rain to maintain a healthy home and garden. But, depending on your grass type and the slope of your lawn, irrigation is sometimes necessary.

If your home has a sprinkler or drip irrigation system, investing in a timer can reduce the amount of water you waste. Even better, it’ll save you hassle and money.

If you want to go the extra mile, install rain barrels at your downspouts. The rain that makes its way through your gutters is perfect for watering lawns and gardens. In some cases, collecting that water will also reduce puddles and erosion on your property.

All that moisture also brings plenty of weeds. When designing your garden, choose native plants and flowers that won’t require much water and will crowd out the weeds. Mulching with organic mulch will keep weeds at bay without using harmful herbicides.

Go Solar!

solar panels
We’re excited for the future of solar panels!

It’s old advice, but it gets more affordable every year. Solar panels offer a clean, effective, and accessible way to power your home. And while we’re certainly excited about Tesla’s breakthrough solar roofing, it’s hardly the only game in town. Today’s homeowner can also take advantage of solar energy by:

  • Buy or rent panels to install on their property.
  • Getting electricity in whole or in part from a solar farm.
  • Joining a community solar program.

If you’re anxious about taking a complete solar plunge all at once, consider testing the waters with a solar water heater. Easy to install and a snap to operate, water heaters are one of the simplest appliances to turn solar.

Perform an Energy Audit

Every property is unique. Try a professional energy audit if you’re looking for ways to make your home more efficient. You can hire an auditor to give you upgrade suggestions specific to your property for a few hundred dollars.

Your auditor will locate air leaks, assess ventilation and insulation, and inspect your heating and cooling equipment. Though an audit costs a little upfront, showing where your remodeling dollars will go the farthest will save you money in the long run.

Upgrade Old Appliances

Save money with new eco-friendly appliances

Your home’s appliances account for about 9% of your home’s energy bills. That number can go up depending on the age of your appliances.

Few homeowners have the cash sitting around to switch out all their outdated kitchen and laundry room staples. That’s why it’s good to remember which swaps will give you the most bang for your buck. Refrigerators and clothes dryers are usually your best bets for electricity savings.

To conserve water, switch out your old washing machine. New Energy Star washers can use up to 75% less water than those produced 20 years ago!

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly designed home, let one of our experienced realtors at Eng Garcia help you today! 

Bob Pitkins is an environmental journalist reporting on sustainability efforts nationwide. He enjoys trying out new vegan restaurants and visiting second-hand stores in every city he visits.

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