Every now and then, all houses need to get their share of face-lifting to remain functional. People often like to look at these extensive remodeling projects as a chore. We prefer to think of it as an opportunity. Opportunity for what? Well, to use all the benefits of contemporary design, make your home more water and energy-efficient and save loads of money in years to come. Let us take a look at some of the ways how you can pull this off in the most intuitive and streamlined manner.
Install low-flow elements
Flushing the toilet is something we do without putting too much thought into it. If we did, we could see that each flush uses up to 9 liters of water. That is a lot. By simply switching to a more economical dual flush system, an average family can save up to 80 liters of clean water per day. Similar results can be achieved by installing low-flow showerheads. This way, the shower water consumption is cut by a pretty awesome 40%.
Take care of the windows and doors
Windows and doors that are not properly sealed are poison for electric bills during the months you are using heating or air-conditioning. So, at least make sure that any eventual gaps and cracks are properly sealed with silicone caulk. Ideally, however, you should replace both windows and doors with an insulated variety that will do an even better job regulating indoor temperature. Finally, expanding the windows space will allow more sunlight indoors and cut the need for artificial lighting.
Inspect the pipe system
Pipe systems are laid in a manner that often makes key points very inaccessible and small leaks are sometimes very hard to notice until it’s too late. Because of that, do a thorough inspection to make sure everything is okay. If you need to do an intervention, the good news is that you don’t need to take the walls down. If we look at Australia, for example, we can see that professional pipe relining in Sydney has become a very popular way of dealing with leaks in this city because all the repairs are made non-intrusively.
Make the lighting energy-efficient
According to some estimations, LED and CFL light bulbs are able to cut the energy consumption by a staggering 70%, as compared to the traditional incandescent alternatives. Switching to them makes an obvious and not overly costly move. However, you should consider going one step further and turning your indoor lighting into a layered setup. This way, you won’t need to light the entire room but rely solely on task lighting when necessary.
Insulate the house
Proper house insulation produces a lot of interesting benefits. It reduces the footprint of your home, increases comfort, puts you in a position to get governmental rebates, and, most importantly, reduces the heating costs up to 75%. In combination with the previous upgrades we've mentioned, this move should ensure that your upkeep costs will be kept at the bare minimum. However, make sure to use only eco-friendly insulation materials like wool, hemp, and soy-based foams.
Start reclaiming water
The first thing that comes to mind when someone talks about reclaiming water is collecting rainfall, so that is exactly what you do. And you don't even have to invest in some expensive collection system. Just adapt your existing sewage system and gutters to pour down the water into a barrel. However, if this simple move is not enough for you, know that installing a greywater filtration system can save up to 40% of used water.
We hope these few tips will help you use your next renovation to make your house a lot more sustainable. Sure, you will need to put in some extra effort and some upgrades will require palpable upfront investments. But, your hardships will be more than rewarded further down the road.