Most families spend most of their time in their homes. For this reason, we need to make an effort to focus on making our homes safer, while using less energy to save on energy costs. We must also consider the environmental impact of our day to day lives. So where do we even begin? Is there an easy way to achieve energy efficiency while making a safer home? Here are a few ideas to help create a safe and eco-friendly home.
Improving your home increases the value of your home, which is ideal if you are planning to sell it in the future. If you are simply looking to turn your current home into the perfect place for your family, perhaps by adding bedrooms for a growing household or simply updating current rooms, then there are easy, affordable ways to do that while making the home safe and eco-friendly.
How can improving the safety and eco-friendliness of your home benefit you?
A more secure home is fairly self-explanatory. If you feel safe at home, you can relax more easily. You are also less likely to be a target for burglary or have your home vandalized, which obviously eases your mind when you have a family to take care of.
A more environmentally friendly home benefits both you and the world at large. You can save money in the long run and, by lessening your carbon footprint and impact on the environment, you are doing your bit to help.
So, what home improvements can cover this?
Turn your Home into a Smart Home
When most people think of smart home technology, they think of devices that can control the lights or music. This is part of it, and it can be very handy to be able to just speak and control the devices in a room.
However, there’s another more useful side to having a smart home.
A home monitoring system can keep an eye on the interior and exterior of your property. It can check for open doors and windows, changes in temperature, smoke, or even water leaks. You can set it to alert you when something isn’t right. If you’re away from home, this can give you more peace of mind. If you feel like you live in an area that needs closer monitoring, consider a security system that is monitored 24/7.
You can also install cameras on your property. Smart doorbells are a great option because they capture video and audio, and even allow you to answer the door when you’re not available. They are also very visible, so that can act as a deterrent because people are far less likely to steal and break in if they know that their actions are being recorded.
Another good idea is to get a smart thermostat that can control the temperature in your home. This prevents you from using power and water unnecessarily, such as when you’re out and don’t need a heated or air-conditioned home. There really are many smart home devices to add to your home!
Reducing your energy consumption not only lowers your utility bills but also decreases your carbon footprint. Consider at the very minimum, upgrading to energy-efficient appliances and smart lighting.
A great way to save money and the environment and improve the value of your home is to begin the solar panel installation process on your property. Rooftop solar panels are a popular option because they use up otherwise wasted space and, depending on your home, your roof probably gets more sun than the rest of your property anyway.
When paired with a good battery, solar panels can generate and store electricity. So you can use clean, free energy that you’ve generated at home rather than relying on the grid. True, it costs money to get it installed, but they can pay for themselves in the long run.
What about power outages? Blackouts, especially ones that last for days on end, are more than just an inconvenience. People have been injured or even killed due to a lack of power. But if you have solar power, you can generate electricity for at least part of the day and store some. It might not keep you covered all of the time, but it’s a whole lot better than no power at all. Solar energy is truly one of the best eco-friendly things you can do for your sustainable home.
New Doors and Windows
Are your doors and windows starting to look old and letting in unwanted cold in the winter and heat in the summer? Time and wear and tear do a number on everything, including your doors and windows. After about a decade or so, you should start considering replacing these parts of your home. There are a few reasons why, some more obvious than others.
First off, it looks better, especially if you have an older home. Once you have your new doors and windows, you’ll be surprised at how much better your property looks. This can also impact on your home value, as any new homeowners can rest assured that they won’t have to worry about replacing them any time soon.
Older doors and windows are also less secure than new ones, especially if you choose reinforced doors and windows. These are much harder for potential criminals to break and, if a window gets broken accidentally, modern glass is less likely to injure someone. Modern windows can even be used as an emergency exit, making them safer in so many ways.
Finally, if you’ve ever felt a draft, you know that older doors and windows are poor insulators. This means that you have to use more electricity to keep the temperature nice and in winter, you still might have a cold draft.
These home improvements might cost some money in the short term, but it’s more than worth it to feel safe and comfortable at home. Also, considering adding extra insulation in the attic and walls, or areas other than doors and windows where heat or cold might be escaping or coming in.
Conserving water is essential for a more eco-friendly home. Simple changes can have a big impact:
- Fix any leaks in faucets and pipes.
- Install low-flow showerheads and toilets.
- Collect rainwater for outdoor use.
- Water your garden during cooler times of the day to reduce evaporation.
Safe and Eco-Friendly Materials
Choose non-toxic, sustainable building materials for home improvements. Look for products with certifications like Cradle to Cradle, GREENGUARD, or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to ensure they are environmentally friendly and safe for your family.
Ensure the air you breathe inside your home is clean and safe:
- Use air purifiers with HEPA filters to reduce allergens.
- Avoid synthetic fragrances and opt for natural alternatives.
- Keep your home well-ventilated to prevent the buildup of indoor pollutants.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Implement a comprehensive recycling system in your home. Teach your family what can and cannot be recycled, and make sure to reduce single-use plastic and waste. Considering using a composter to cut down on garbage sent to the landfill. Check out this post on why you should not bag up your leaves and send them with the trash truck!
Educate Your Family
Share your eco-friendly values with your family and educate them on the importance of sustainability and safety in the home. Encourage them to adopt eco-friendly practices.
In a world increasingly focused on sustainability and environmental responsibility, making a safe and eco-friendly home has never been more important. Not only does this help protect the planet, but it also ensures a healthier, safer environment for you and your family.