Deciding which green renovation projects to take on can be daunting. There are so many options available to homeowners who want to make their homes greener. If you're wondering where to start, here are the 5 best small projects and 5 best large projects that you can do to make your home greener. If you plan to ever sell your home, green features boost market appeal. Green features will also reduce your energy costs, as well as your environmental impact and carbon footprint.
Five small projects to get you started:
1) If you're looking for a small project, start with replacing your thermostat with a programmable one. Try to get one that can be set for the week and for the weekend. These programs are typically called 5-2 or 5-1-1 programs because they allow you to program your home's temperature differently on the weekend, when you're more likely to either be at home or be away. That way, you can program your thermostat to heat your home less during the day in the winter, for example.
2) The second small project is to replace your incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. Suppose you replace just 1 incandescent bulb with a compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb. An incandescent bulb costs about $1.00 and lasts about 1,000 hours. A CFL bulb costs $5.00 and lasts about 10,000 hours. So, you need to buy 10 incandescent bulbs to replace 1 CFL bulb and the cost of CFL bulbs is half the cost of incandescent bulbs over time. The CFL bulb is more efficient, so a 28-watt CLF bulb provides the same amount of light as a 100-watt incandescent bulb. Throughout the 10,000 hours of a CFL bulb, the energy would cost about $32 (if your electricity costs about $0.12/kWh) compared to $120 for an incandescent bulb.
3) Paint with no-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint.
4) Install low-flow taps on your faucets, which will reduce the amount of water you use.
5) Caulk and weather seal around your doors and windows. This makes your home more energy efficient.
Five large projects:
1) Replace you appliances, like your refrigerator, your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system or your dishwasher with energy-efficient models.
2) Install green energy technologies such as geothermal, solar or wind power.
3) Replace your toilets with dual-flush or low-flow toilets.
4) Increase your insulation in those seldom occupied spaces—your attic, crawlspace or basement. This makes your home more energy-efficient, which lowers your energy requirements and shrinks your carbon footprint.
5) Increase the insulation in your exterior walls, since it's a major source of energy loss.
These are 10 great projects that EnviroCitizen.org has put together that you can do to make your home more energy-efficient. These projects, once completed, will lower your energy needs, translating into a smaller electric bill and a smaller carbon footprint.