Changes and Upgrades to Your Home that Are Friendly to Green Living

green door surrounded by plants - upgrades for green living

Finding new and interesting ways to make changes or upgrades to your home that fit in with a green living philosophy requires a little extra effort. Yet not only does it pay off environmentally but many times it delivers financially too.

Here are some upgrades or changes worth considering for making your home greener.

Exterior Doors with Built-in Energy-Efficiency

Replacing weathered doors with energy-efficient ones reduces the need for maintenance and saves money over time. Doors now come with Energy Star ratings. These doors are typically are made using steel, fiberglass, or wood that includes polyurethane foam insulation that prevents or limits heat transfer.

Air leakage is a significant source of energy loss, as well, especially in older doors that are out of square and challenging to seal properly. Improved weather-stripping prevents drafts, while multiple, energy-efficient glass panes in newer doors tend to act as heat barriers too.

Installing a Whole House Filtration System

clear drinking glass of water - upgrades for green living

If you’re relying on bottled water as a drinking source in your home, a whole house filtration system would definitely be a greener way to go and would save you money in the long run.

Or you may still be using a basic filter with a water jug and needing to refill it throughout the day. Using a filtered water jug is greener than bottled water, but it has the limitation that it’s only good for a limited amount of drinking water. This doesn’t work very well first thing in the morning when the family is up and wanting a chilled glass of H2O.

It might be more effective and efficient to install a whole house water filtration system. If you live in an area where water quality isn’t great, this ensures that water from the faucet is drinkable, lowering the risk of little ones getting sick. It will also reduce the number of contaminants present in the water used in the washing machine or dishwasher, too.

When thinking about getting this type of all-in-one system installed, don’t forget to get a few spare filters. They’ll last different lengths of time depending on how much water is used.

Create a Living Roof

When you have easy access to your roof, then it makes sense to take advantage of this.

One of the latest trends is to have a living roof. This is a roof that’s been partly or fully given over to plant life. This could be flowers or even crops that benefit from ample exposure to the sun. The benefits of a green roof include improved energy-efficiency, reduced energy costs, better insulation and an extended roof life.

To create this, the roof will require a waterproof membrane covering it. It’s also worth thinking about other roofing layers to protect the home, such as a root barrier to prevent them from popping through. Also, don’t forget about water drainage because the soil will collect plenty of rainwater. For larger roof installations, an irrigation system might even be required.

Most importantly, consult a structural engineer before embarking on a green roof project. Living roofs are heavy and you’ll want to make sure your home can support that weight.

Gate Opener Powered by Solar

A solar gate opener probably hasn’t occurred to you.

It’s a nifty little installation that substantially reduces the operating cost versus an electrical gate opener that you may have installed already.

Happily, it’s possible to fit them yourself. They cut the energy bill down and have enough juice to open and close a heavy main gate 8+ times every day. This is usually enough for most homeowners.

Not all changes need to be major ones to make your home better for green living. It’s up to you to pick which ones hold the most appeal or offer the greatest benefits for you.

Feature image: Pixabay; Image 1: Stephan Müller

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