What Are the Best Ways to Renovate a Home Sustainably?

  • by Emily Newton
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  • 2022-02-09 00:00:00
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  • International
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  • 3385

 

The green revolution is influencing the residential sector, and people are shrinking their carbon footprints by targeting emissions at home. Property owners are conducting sustainable renovations to enhance energy-efficiency levels and reduce general pollution.

Individuals are installing smart systems, using recycled materials and decreasing natural resource exploitation by building sustainable homes. People may question whether it is time to renovate their houses. Exploring the common sustainability limitations may help homeowners decide.

Identifying Sustainability Limitations

Residential properties consume nearly 21% of the energy supply. The average household produces 17,320 pounds of carbon emissions annually. They increase Earth’s temperature and cause adverse ecological effects when they invade the atmosphere.

A significant amount of pollution derives from homes’ heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Conventional HVAC systems run on energy derived from fossil fuels. Their high energy usage creates a large carbon footprint.

Homes also produce air pollution from traditional lighting systems. Most buildings rely on artificial lights to access reliable illumination. Incandescent lightbulbs also consume large quantities of electricity, which decreases a home’s sustainability.

The materials builders use to construct a house also affect its carbon footprint. Manufacturing and transportation practices produce atmospheric and surface-level pollution. Individuals can utilize sustainable materials and systems to conduct sustainable home renovations.

Reclaimed Wood Floors

Accessing recycled materials can support sustainable home renovations. The outsourcing and production practices for wood flooring have degrading effects on the environment. Deforestation is a significant challenge in the realm of conservation because it exploits natural habitats and increases atmospheric emissions.

One tree can filter up to 48 pounds of carbon emissions annually. Vegetation absorbs pollution and converts it into pure oxygen. Construction professionals and DIY renovators may preserve Earth’s natural purification process by using reclaimed wood for floors.

Utilizing reclaimed wood when renovating a home influences a circular economy. Material regeneration effectively decreases landfill pollution, which improves global ecosystem conservation. 

VOC-Free Paint

Individuals can also protect the environment by accessing eco-friendly paint for renovation projects. Conventional home paints contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The contaminants emit chemical gases that degrade local air quality. VOCs accumulate in the air and react with nitrogen oxide from vehicles to create ground-level ozone.

Builders can protect local habitats and human health by using VOC-free paints for sustainable home renovations.  

LED Lights

Construction professionals and DIY renovators may also upgrade a home’s lighting to minimize atmospheric and surface-level pollution. People can enhance their homes’ sustainability by replacing incandescent lights with light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. LED lights are significantly more energy-efficient because they use 100% of their electricity source for illumination. Incandescent bulbs waste about 98% of their energy supply because of their inefficient design.

LED bulbs also last nearly 10 times longer than traditional lights. Their extended life span decreases landfill pollution and manufacturing emissions.

Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats target HVAC emissions by increasing the energy efficiency of indoor temperature control. They use the Internet of Things (IoT) to identify a home’s vacancy patterns. The thermostats autonomously adjust indoor temperatures and minimize energy loss.

They also access local weather predictions using a Wi-Fi connection. The technology calculates the differentiation between indoor and outdoor temperatures to reduce energy waste on mild days.

Natural Lighting

Adding more windows to a home also increases natural heating throughout the day. Windows can reduce pollution from lighting and heating systems, and people can improve their access to natural light by installing south-facing windows during renovations. They receive the highest quantities of light because the sun emits energy from the south.

The sun also rises in the east and sets in the west, causing glares. South-facing windows experience fewer glares, making them more efficient for illumination. Natural lighting can also heat a home in the winter, allowing solar rays to penetrate the pane.

Pairing south-facing windows with smart thermostats can significantly enhance a home’s sustainability.

Deconstruct and Salvage

Deconstruction signifies the mindful removal of outdated materials as an alternative to conventional teardowns. People should determine the reusability of their homes’ current materials before engaging in deconstruction. 

After conducting an inspection, individuals can determine what size dumpster they need. Builders may order a 10-yard dumpster to promote material reuse and recycling. They can also get away with using bag dumpsters if disposing of 3 cubic yards of waste or less. People can then begin salvaging used materials to reuse in their renovation projects.

Deconstruction benefits the environment by reducing manufacturing emissions. It also minimizes landfill waste, which protects local ecosystems from toxic runoff. Homeowners additionally benefit from the construction process because salvaging materials is more cost-effective than purchasing new versions.

Rainwater Harvesting System

Construction professionals and DIY renovators can engage in sustainable building by minimizing resource exploitation. Another environmental challenge in the residential sector is water conservation. Only about 3% of the planet’s water supply is fresh, and 2.5% is unavailable.

People that rely on city water supplies contribute to freshwater exploitation. Individuals can install rainwater harvesting systems on residential properties to enhance their sustainability. The systems collect and store rain and snowmelt in barrels for conventional uses.

Harvesting devices either move the water directly to an irrigation system or through a filter. After filters purify stormwater, pumps move the resource into a home. Individuals can use the water supply to bathe, clean, wash clothes and more.

Renewable Energy Devices

Another way to renovate a home for optimal sustainability is by adding renewable energy systems. Solar panels on homes minimize reliance on fossil fuels and expensive power sources. Solar is currently the least expensive power source on the market.

Photovoltaic panels also generate zero greenhouse gas emissions when producing electricity. Residents can significantly shrink their properties’ carbon footprint by installing panels. They may also access electricity during outages by creating a personal power supply.

How to Start a DIY Renovation

Before construction professionals and DIY renovators start a project, they can conduct a sustainability audit on a house. People can install a smart thermostat if their property’s energy waste derives from heating and cooling functions. Residents struggling with high utility bills from inefficient lighting systems may benefit from south-facing window installations.

Individuals may also consult a green building expert for advice on their sustainable home renovation. The environmental benefits and cost savings make the effort well worth it.

 renovation
 DIY
 renewables
 energy
 smart home

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  • Emily Newton

    Editor-in-Chief

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