Tips for Making Your Home Greener and Safer

An individual household cannot stop water pollution, nor reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But combined in a team effort, every one of us can do little that can help a lot. Do your share by making your family residence eco-friendly and safe, and maybe you even save some money in the process.

Replace the light bulbs

Compact fluorescent bulbs and LEDs are more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs. Not only do they use much less energy, but they also last up to 10 times longer, saving you money on both your electricity bills and replacement costs.

Reduce water use

You may have switched from bathing to showering in order to save water. But it won’t do any good if your power shower blasts more water than a roadside carwash. Fit a water-saving showerhead and aerators on every faucet in your home. Choose native vegetation for landscaping as it needs less water and is more resistant to diseases and pests.

Use low VOC products

Many cleaning products and paints in our homes contain volatile organic compounds that can cause headaches, nausea, skin and eye irritation, as well as respiratory problems. The good news is that more and more VOC-free and VOC-low products are becoming commercially available.

Choose energy-efficient appliances

Whenever you need to change a refrigerator, washer or any other appliance, ask if the new one is certified by Energy Star. It basically means that the product meets high standards of energy efficiency. Your local electricity provider may offer incentives for replacing an old appliance with an energy efficient one.

Regulate water temperature

Scalding water in the bathroom is something you can live without. A lot of people set their boiler thermostat to the maximum without even thinking twice. Just by setting it a few degrees lower, you can save $10 to $20 a month.

Insulate the loft

Many of us know that the heat moves upwards, but still many people don’t insulate their lofts. After only two or three years, you will be able to recoup the cost of insulation and by saving a lot of energy, you will make your home more eco-friendly.

Prevent air leaks

Make your utility bill lower by preventing air from escaping your home. Use weather stripping around your doors and caulk around the windows. This way, your HVAC system will have a much easier job in maintaining a desirable indoor temperature.

Stop vampire power

Also known as standby power, this term is used for electrical devices that drain power when not in use or when they go into sleep or standby mode. According to the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, an average Australian household spends $100 on this vampiric power drain. Make sure you unplug the devices when no one is using them.

Inspect for lead

If your home was built before 1978, chances are there is lead in the paint under the top coat of your walls and windows. When the paint starts to chip or when you start stripping the paint off the walls for renovation, the toxic lead dust puts your family, and especially your children, at risk. If you are concerned that your house contains lead paint, contact EnviroX Consulting to inspect your home and recommend the best management strategy.

Go for green windows

Double glazing is something that can benefit both old houses and the new ones. Apart from obvious energy savings, some manufacturers offer panes with photovoltaic cells that act as solar collectors. Wood-framed windows are healthier, easier to repair and last longer than cheaper UPVC options, which emit toxic compounds.

Our everyday habits and the way of living don’t just impact the environment but directly affect our well-being. By following some of these tips, you will live a healthier life and contribute to preserving our planet.

 

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