When you’re living an eco-friendly life, the home you live in and how you run it must always be a high priority.
Lots of people think about installing solar panels to make their current house more energy efficient, or they look at ways to build a greener property. However, it’s important to remember that even with an older home, there are still various steps you can take to reduce your ecological footprint and be kinder to the Earth.
This is particularly true when it comes to maintenance, so read on for some home maintenance tips that will help you develop a greener property in the coming year.
Create a Maintenance Plan
Before you start doing any maintenance work on your home, put together a plan for the jobs that must be done over the coming 12-month period. Since time goes by so quickly, you don’t want to suddenly realize it’s been a year and you still haven’t done a bunch of tasks. If you create a maintenance plan, you’ll be more likely to stay on track and enjoy the benefits of the “prevention is better than cure” method.
Your plan should cover a whole year, because different jobs need to be done at different frequencies. Some tasks will be required annually, while others will need to be done twice a year, quarterly or possibly every month or two. Put a reminder in your diary for when jobs are due, so you don’t miss anything. Consider taking photos or video footage of your home so you’ll have visual documentation of the current state of each room, too.
Maintain Your HVAC Systems
When it comes to the tasks you’ll need to do without fail each year, one of the most important ones is maintaining HVAC systems.
Heating and cooling systems can be a couple of the biggest gas guzzlers in a home, particularly when the units are older. As a result, you’ll need to do everything you can to keep yours in good order, so they don’t consume more power than is necessary. Regular maintenance will also enable your appliances to have a longer life, which means you’ll use fewer resources in the long run.
For HVAC maintenance, consider hiring an electrician or another specialist, as these units can be tricky, and you may not know how to maintain them safely without running the risk of electrocution or other issues. Take a look at this list of Riverside HVAC contractors for inspiration.
A couple of the main jobs that need to be done to keep units working efficiently include changing the filters and checking the ventilation. If there are strange noises coming from air vents or cold spots around your house, this indicates that ventilation problems might be an issue.
To live a greener life, it’s important to use less water each day. There are lots of ways to cut back on your water usage, but when it comes to property maintenance, the key one is finding ways to avoid leaks around your home. If your pipes have a slow leak you don’t notice, or if they suddenly burst, you can go through a lot of unnecessary water.
Avoid this by checking pipes and drains around your property on a regular basis. Get a plumber to come in each year, too, to clean out any clogs and repair leaking pipes. They might also have to replace those that have internally rusted or are otherwise beyond their “use-by” date.
Seal Your Home
Another way to achieve a greener property is to seal your home so you won’t use more power than necessary to heat or cool spaces. This is particularly vital in older homes, which often don’t have the best insulation.
Start by checking for drafts in your siding, if your house has this feature. Look for holes around exhaust fans, vents and the bottom rim, as well as gaps in other areas from which air might escape.
If you have an unfinished basement, you can plug drafts by sealing gaps where the basement walls meet the ceiling (the underside of your floor above). Plus, you’ll need to seal areas where pipes enter the home, as well as the areas that surround your HVAC ductwork. You may also need to repair cracked glass or seal around the outside of your windows, or simply add more insulation behind your walls.
Use Eco-Friendly Materials
Finally, when you go about your home maintenance jobs, use eco-friendly materials whenever you can. These include things like more sustainable (i.e. low-VOC) paints; energy efficient lightbulbs; natural rather than chemical-laden cleaners; and human-powered tools instead of electric tools, if possible. You can also be “greener” by using local contractors rather than those who have to travel from farther afield.