If you’re someone who likes to watch home improvement shows on HGTV or you have subscriptions to a couple of décor magazines, then you’ve probably heard or read, on more than one occasion, about all of the benefits that come with making eco-friendly home improvements. The thing is, while they all can ultimately prove to be a wise investment for your home, many of them (like putting in solar panels, installing a metal roof or adding some double-pane windows) can actually prove to be quite pricey.
However, even if certain ones are not currently in your budget, that shouldn’t deter you from doing a bit of “green upgrading”. Below, we have a list of five ways that you can make some eco-friendly improvements to your home and save a bit of money in the process.
Perform your own energy audit. There are many green home improvement experts who will tell you that before doing anything else, you should have an energy audit performed. Although you could certainly pay someone to come to your house and do it for you, there are also websites that will walk you through how to conduct one yourself. The Daily Green is just one of the websites that does. Go to the site and put “DIY Home Energy Audit” into the search field.
Install your own low-flow showerhead. Two things that help to reduce the amount of water that you use each month is a low-flow showerhead and toilet. While the toilet might be a bit complex for you to put in yourself (which means that it might require hiring someone to install it for you), it only takes a few minutes to put in your own showerhead. Plus, in 20 minutes worth of time, you will have invested in a way to use 40-60 percent less water, annually, in process.
Put in your own insulation. Did you know that just by making sure that your attic has the right insulation, you can save approximately 10-30 percent each month on your heating bill? This is another thing that can sometimes be a bit expensive to pay someone else to do, so you might want to consider putting in your own insulation. Not only will it save money but there are tax credits that come with doing so as well. Our main word of caution with this is that you might want to get a housing contractor to come and make sure that your current insulation doesn’t have any asbestos in it. If it does, it’s actually worth the money to have a professional handle it instead.
Shield your windows. As we mentioned earlier, it can cost quite a bit of money to purchase a new set of double-pane windows. So, if you currently can’t afford to make that kind of home improvement investment, there are a few things that you can do to “hold you over” in the meantime. You can buy some strips of weather sealant to put along the sides of your windows. You can purchase some cellular shades. Or, you can add what are known as “draft snakes”. They are fabric tubes that you can place along your window sills.
Get some (more) plants. One of the best things that you can do for your overall health and well-being is improve the quality of air that you breathe. One way that you can effectively do that is by adding some plants to your environment. Whether it’s a Spider plant for the desk in your home office or an English ivy to sit on the deck under a couple of patio umbrellas, a plant is one of the most effective ways to beautify your space while pulling toxics out of the air simultaneously. It’s definitely a cheap yet wonderful green home improvement.