Maintaining a Sustainable Home

June 4th, 2015 by admin

What is Sustainability?

The term sustainability is getting a lot of attention right now, but what does it mean exactly? Sustainability is about making efforts to leave as little of a negative impact throughout our daily lives as possible. It means using natural resources as well as renewable resources that we can use time and time again.

Not only do homeowners benefit from a sustainable home, but it increases the value if it ever comes time to sell. Consumers are becoming more aware of home sustainability and as a result, ways to create a sustainable home are in high demand.

Wondering if a sustainable household is right for you and your family? Here are some easy tips to get you started: 

Tips

Insulation

  • Make sure you are not losing hot or cool air through small cracks in windows or frames.
  • For some houses with mail slots on the doors, this can be a problem area.

Electricity

  • Turn off lights when not needed.
  • Adjust the thermostat to a temperature that saves energy and where you still feel comfortable at.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water as often as possible.
  • Nice day out? Forget using the dryer. Try hanging your clean laundry on a clothes line.
  • Consider replacing regular incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) or LED bulbs.  They use less energy and last much longer.
  • If you use outside lighting for pathways or decks, try using solar-powered lights. It will save you money on your electricity bill and they turn on as soon as the sun goes down.

Water

  • Try to limit your showers to 10 minutes.
  • Low-flow showerheads are designed to use less water and can be a great investment.
  • When washing dishes or cleaning a load of laundry, make sure that they are always full. Don’t waste water and energy on a smaller load.

Home Renovations

  • Using skylights as a way to warm your home can be cost effective, and will create more natural light.
  • Although solar panels may seem like a costly investment, they pay off in the long-run by saving you on monthly electric bills. They will also increase the value of your home.
  • Heating and Cooling systems are accountable for nearly 75% of your utility bill every month. For a cost-effective solution, consider HVAC smart energy solutions.
  • Geothermal Solutions are possibly the most sustainable solution, as they recycle and store heat from underneath the ground. This method is one of the most cost-effective and natural ways to both heat and cool your home.

Environmental Garden

Creating a sustainable home is more than the house alone. The land and area surrounding your home can also be sustainable. Creating a natural environment, like an eco-friendly garden can have a positive impact on home sustainability.

  • Get rid of as many non-native plants as possible. They usually require more attention or water depending on their needs, and it will leave room for natural plants in that area to thrive.
  • Mulching is great in many ways. It is appealing to the eye, and can save water by trapping moisture in the ground. Because of the shield it creates, water cannot evaporate as easily. As the mulch breaks down over time, it also enriches the soil which will create less of a need for fertilizers.
  • Plant more trees, bushes, or plants that will attract wildlife. For example, butterfly bushes are both beautiful and will attract many colorful butterflies to your garden.
  • Avoid using pesticides when possible, and use natural fertilizers such as compost.
  • Hang hummingbird feeders. The nectar is easy to make and many people enjoy watching these unique birds from their kitchen or porches.
  • There are a lot of ideas on the internet on how to create birdhouses out of old or unwanted items from your house. This is a great activity to do with your kids while teaching them the importance of recycling.

At JK Mechanical, we believe in the effectiveness of energy efficient solutions. Solar and geothermal installations help our company maintain a net-zero energy building. If you want to learn more about zero energy solutions, please call us today at 800-JKM-0028.

 

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