This post is sponsored by Home Depot
The term “green” gets thrown around a lot and I think most people want to help reduce our impact on the environment. There are tons of projects around the house (from big to small) that you can do, or change how you already do, to limit limit your impact on mother nature. The best part about it is that most of these projects will help reduce your monthly bills.
One thing that was important to us when building our house was creating a greener home. Come to find out, this is also very important to Home Depot, which is why they created their Eco Options Program back in 2007 and work with their suppliers to address global environmental concerns.
Below I have outlined some things that we did to help create a more efficient home and some projects that may help you create a greener home.
One of the best things you can do for you home is control the flow of incoming and outgoing air. Properly insulating can reduce air leakage and thermal conductivity, resulting in less energy required to heat and cool your space.
Sealing Gaps and Cracks
One of the easiest thing you can do is grab a can of spray foam and walk around the interior and exterior of your home looking for any penetrations that might be poorly sealed. This will help reduce unwanted air moving in or out of the house.
Insulating with Spray Foam
For our home we had a contractor spray open cell into all of the exterior wall cavities and attic. This made sure to give us a super tight house which makes controlling incoming and outgoing air easy as well as maintaining the air inside that we are conditioning. Learn more about that process in episode 5 of the Dream House Build series.
DIY Spray Foam
After seeing it done we decided to take matters into our own hands in episode 3 of the Rogue HQ build series where we sprayed the entire shell ourselves with closed cell foam kits which gave us the the moisture barrier that we didn’t have before and stiffened up the metal siding. While this might be a larger task than normal for a spray foam kit, something like insulating rim joists in an older home can make a big difference.
I am a big advocate for making things convenient, and while saying “Alexa, can you turn the lights on for me?” may be a cool party trick, being able to automate things is a sure fire way to save on energy cost.
One thing that I highly recommend is installing smart switches on things that can be scheduled. Our smart switches are used to automate the exterior lights at sunrise and sunset, turn all the interior lights off when we leave, and setting scenes for things like going to bed.
Another easy swap is a dumb thermostat for a smart thermostat. This will allow you to create schedules for your heating and cooling, set temperature envelopes for when you are home and when you are not, and monitor the efficiency and maintenance schedule of your system. We have our central air spilt into two zones and installed the Ecobee SmartThermostat on both which we love because it works with Apple HomeKit.
Over the years, we have started to realize that air quality is kind of important inside and outside the home. Here are some measures that you can take to improve overall air quality.
We recently painted this feature wall in our master bedroom and using a low VOC or no VOC paint (Volatile Organic Compounds) is a must. Luckily, if you shop at Home Depot you can rest assured because 100% of the paint in their stores are low VOC or no VOC.
A conventional lawn mower pollutes more in a hour than 40 late model vehicles do. With the advancements in battery technology you can now leave the gas can, fumes and noise behind and make the switch to electric outdoor power equipment. Check out episode 11 of the Dream House Build series to see how we are making the switch to a lot electric outdoor equipment is growing
It seems simple but changing your air filters regularly (every 90 days or so) will keep your air cleaner and lower your bills because your HVAC won’t have to work as hard. If you can’t remember to do so, or you just like automation like me, set up a subscription and save 5%.
Conserving energy is an obvious choice for lowering bills and reducing your impact on the environment. Here are a couple of easy ways you can do just that.
Appliances are one of the biggest energy hogs in the house. ENERGY STAR appliances are independently certified to save energy without sacrificing features or functionality.
Automating HVAC goes a long way but being more intentional with heating and cooling is another way to save energy. For instance, separate units for upstairs and down, or zoning your ducting and using separate thermostats which is what we did in our house. Installing a window unit or DIY ductless mini spilt in that problem bedroom versus conditioning the entire house is a more energy efficient way of conditioning.
LED Light Bulbs
Possibly one of the easiest things you can do is swap a light bulb out with an LED light bulbs. LED bulbs consumer over 75% less energy than an incandescent bulb.
Hopefully you now have some good takeaways from this article to get started creating a greener home. If you have any questions or other ideas for green home projects, leave them in the comments and I’ll get back to you.