Green Home Improvement
Green Home Improvement
The newest trend in home improvement techniques, from kitchens to bathrooms, is green home improvement. Since eco-friendly became chic, itâ€™s no surprise that green bathroom and kitchen remodeling have found a place to stay in todayâ€™s redecorating world. There are many reasons to take your house to the next level by becoming much more environmentally-friendly. Not only can you save money by reducing your water and energy usage, but you can also greatly reduce your carbon footprint by implementing a few changes in the midst of your kitchen remodeling process.
Please Donâ€™t Take My Sunshine Away
San Diego is one of the leaders in solar energy usage. The year-round sunshine certainly helps, but there are many areas in the country that can benefit much more. San Diego home improvement projects are generally solar-power heavy, leaving wallets very light. If you are unable to install a full-out solar panel and energy system, consider simple changes such as window location. You can benefit from sunshine on certain areas of your house in order to reduce heating costs, and also take advantage of cross breezes to reduce cooling costs during the warmer months.
Energy Saving Appliances
If it is time to update your appliances, consider energy-saving options for your dishwasher, refrigerator and even your oven. The extra money up front will make a huge difference in the long run, and most appliances pay for themselves in energy savings in under a year. There are currently tax incentives for replacing your old equipment with Energy Star alternatives, and are only in effect until the end of 2010.
Donate and Recycle
If you are ripping out your old countertops and cabinets, you should recycle them. You can donate wooden scraps, pieces, and sawdust to your local area high school shop class rather than sending them straight to the landfill. There are plenty of places to take unwanted cabinets, and many companies such as Bardon Cabinets have teamed up with local San Diego Habitat For Humanity organizations to reuse the old cabinets in new or remodeled homes.
Consider changing out your incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs and replacing them with CFLs (compact fluorescent light) and LEDs (light-emitting diodes). Not only do they produce less in terms of emissions, they last much longer, and burn at a significantly lower energy level. You do not necessarily need to remove and replace all of your light bulbs right now, but if you install new fixtures, or old bulbs burn out, you should replace them with energy-savvy alternatives.
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