Sustainable construction that minimizes construction waste and makes your home more energy-efficient is increasing in popularity as the climate change debate intensifies. Do you want to make your home more energy-efficient but don’t know how? You can renovate your existing home to green standards instead of constructing a new one.
In fact, green renovations are becoming easier by the day since there are several incentives provided by both the Canadian and US governments to get these renos completed.
Many homeowners fear taking on sustainable renovations because of the fear of the process being expensive. It’s true that green renovations will cost you more than they would to carry out traditional renovations. However, that is not the best way to look at it.
Think of green renovation as an investment as opposed to an expense. It usually takes time for a good investment to payout and yield returns. When you make your home eco-friendly, you will make up for the higher initial cost by saving on electricity bills and you can even get money back from your provider.
Besides, the earth is precious, and so will your home be if it adopts green technology— your home will increase in value and its part in preserving the environment. Since you’re using materials that are environmentally friendly, green renovation is likely to promote a cleaner and toxin-free lifestyle.
Governments are taking sustainable development and construction seriously. Therefore, they have provided several government incentives for homeowners who have embraced green renovation.
In Canada, for instance, there is a new tax credit program that aims at providing homeowners with up to $5,600 to make green retrofits to their homes.
The Canadian government is looking to invest over $2 billion in green renovation through the Canada Greener Homes Grant. This allows homeowners the opportunity to receive financial support from the government to make green renovations.
Apart from the federal grants, homeowners can also apply for various energy-efficient grants at the provincial level.
The American federal government has several energy-efficient incentive programs which are available to any American who files a federal tax return.
Examples of these tax credits in the US include the solar investment tax credit which applies to both photovoltaic solar electricity generation systems (solar panels) and solar energy storage systems. The other tax credit is the renewable energy tax credit, which applies to solar water heaters and wind energy generation.
What are the best green renovations to promote a sustainable home? We have put together a list of top-shelf ideas for you to consider when thinking about renovating your home.
Consider using paints that emit fewer toxins into the environment. These paints are less toxic to your surroundings and have an eco-friendlier manufacturing process.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) are chemicals with high volatility that vaporize into the air at room temperatures. They are found in most of the paints used to renovate homes. The VOC comes from petroleum-based solvents that are used during production.
For green renovation, utilize low VOC paints that use water in place of the toxic petroleum-based solvents. Using this type of paint lowers the number of toxic emissions in your home and reduces your consumption of petroleum.
A cool roof has reflective materials that reflect the sunlight, hence absorbing less heat from the environment. This helps keep your home cool during hot weather, reducing your cooling bills dramatically which can help recover the costs of installation over time.
These types of roofs can be installed relatively easily if your current roof is in need of repair or replacement. Talk to your local roofing contractor about the different options available to you in your area and determine what will work best for your situation.
Heating and cooling account for up to half of a non-sustainable home’s energy consumption. Air leaks around major openings and ductwork contribute to heat loss. This can be mitigated by proper insulation.
Green insulation eliminates the need for finishes made from non-renewable materials. The green insulation process uses recycled materials such as cotton or denim, sheep’s wool, Icynene spray foam, aerogel, or polystyrene. ThermaCork and Cellulose insulation are also great options to think about.
Solar panels convert solar energy from the sun into electricity that you can use to power your home. Using solar panels is a sustainable way to power your home with a clean and renewable source of energy that emits fewer carbon emissions into the ecosystem.
Solar panels may be expensive to purchase, but the long-term savings they will bring about will soon numb the pain of spending that much at once.
As you think of sustainably renovating your home, shop around for new appliances such as ovens, washing machines, refrigerators, and dishwashers that are energy-efficient.
Many of the large high-end appliances use up a lot of electricity and may end up driving up your electricity bills tremendously. They not only cost you a lot of money when purchasing them, but they also cost more to run.
To identify energy-efficient appliances, look out for the Energy Star logo on them. It will give you all the energy consumption information that will help you pick the right appliance for your home.
Normal windows contribute to up to a whopping 50% of energy loss in most homes. High-performance windows can cure this.
These windows incorporate new technologies such as double glazing, non-conductive framing, and the use of special coatings to help them achieve high-performance status. There are also airtight window construction techniques that help to insulate the house.
Using these types of windows will result in better energy efficiency for your home and quieter spaces because they block out most of the noise from outside.
Creating a sustainable home has many benefits that can help you look past the financial implications of your renovations. Additionally, you are entitled to incentives from both the Canadian and US governments that you should consider before moving forward with your project to save the most money possible.
Green renovation ranges from making small retrofits to windows to the larger improvements such as installing a cool roof, installing solar panels, and replacing your old appliances with energy-efficient ones. Whichever you pick will contribute to the environmental conservation of our planet and reduce your carbon footprint.
We hope this article helped you decide to move forward with your sustainable renovations to your home!