Improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon footprint have increasingly become important considerations for homeowners who are thinking about their next home improvement project. Here are some great ideas for choosing the best green improvements to meet your home’s energy needs and reduce carbon dioxide.
Image via Flickr by Ken Bosma
Green roofing is a time-tested green improvement dating back to Babylonian times. This green improvement has become increasingly popular in new architectural designs, among urban dwellers, and for individual homeowners owing to its ease and practicality. You can transform a traditional roof into a green roof or build a new green roof from scratch at a relatively low cost.
There are many benefits of green roofing:
- It improves your home’s energy efficiency by insulating against cold and heat.
- It attracts and promotes biodiversity.
- It increases rainwater absorption for plant use.
- It protects nearby fish habitats from pollutants spread through rainwater runoff.
- It provides natural air purification through plants’ absorption of carbon dioxide.
- It lengthens the roof’s life span.
- It provides sound insulation.
Image via Flickr by Infrogamation of New Orleans
Professionally installed rooftop solar panels are an excellent space-saving green improvement for your home. Solar panel systems produce emission-free energy from sunlight. In addition, generating your own clean energy can save you thousands of dollars on your energy bill over time.
There are several considerations to make before installing solar panels on your home, including identifying the best place on your roof to receive the most hours of direct sunlight. This may mean having to trim down surrounding trees to maximize energy efficiency. Costs can vary depending on your energy needs, geographic location, and ability to do the installation yourself.
The cost savings that solar panels offer will accrue over time, so solar panels are a long-term investment. In some places, local governments will pay for clean energy production. Research on these types of programs and credits for converting to renewable energy can help reduce the cost of switching to solar.
Image via Flickr by mannewaar
Building a green wall is a great way to get some of the same benefits of green roofing. Green walls can consist of a freestanding wall structure with plants incorporated, or they can simply be constructed by adding trellises, cables, or frames that will support plants on an existing wall.
There are three types of green walls:
- Green façades consist of hanging pots and vines on trellises.
- Active walls have a soil or growing medium extending vertically.
- Passive walls incorporate epiphytes, or air plants.
Green walls trap carbon dioxide and filter water. In an indoor environment, they can also reduce air contaminants like volatile organic compounds, which are given off by carpets, paints, adhesives, and sealants.
Installing a green wall on the outside of your home can help to insulate it from heat and promote biodiversity. A green wall can create a cooler environment inside your home or in an outdoor garden. Green walls are also excellent aesthetic improvements that need little space and can produce therapeutic benefits.
These are just a few useful suggestions to keep in mind when taking up a green home improvement project.
Article Submitted By Community Writer