Looking for ways to save some money on power costs and reduce your household's carbon footprint? Here are four effective options to consider:
Install Metal Roofing
There are many ways in which installing metal roofing on your home can help decrease your household's overall carbon footprint. Primarily, metal roofing is typically made up of between 25 and 95 percent recycled material. And if you ever decide to replace the roof in the future, it can be completely recycled. Choosing a metal roof that resists solar heat will help keep your energy bills low and reduce wear and tear on your HVAC system, both of which further improves your household's carbon footprint.
Metal roofs are known for lasting years longer than their counterparts too, which should save you money on maintenance and repairs as time goes on. You'll find that metal roofing comes in a variety of colors and designs, so you can create a custom look that complements the rest of your property's décor.
If you already have such a roof, make sure you are diligent about metal roof repair so you can continue reaping the benefits.
Plant Some New Trees
Believe it or not, just one mature tree on your property can absorb up to 48 pounds of carbon dioxide in a single year, and at the same time release enough oxygen for your family to use for twice that amount of time. Landscaping with trees also can reduce runoff, provide a windbreak to protect your home from extreme weather elements, and even increase your property value by about 20 percent overall.
Planting fruit trees near windows that get direct sunlight during the day will help shade your home from the sun and improve energy efficiency while providing you with free food throughout the year. Deciduous trees are also effective options because they're full of leaves in the summer and they lose their leaves in the winter, making them natural heaters and air conditioners.
Replace Your Appliances
Not only are Energy Star certified appliances convenient thanks to their performance efficiency, but they can also decrease your appliance energy costs by up to a whopping 50 percent. Furthermore, replacing your older appliances with Energy Star options will reduce your household's water consumption and decrease your greenhouse gas emissions. Replace as many appliances as you can, and have any that you can't professionally inspected and tuned up to ensure optimal performance, so their strain on your energy source is minimal.
If you do keep some of your old appliances, consider sanding them and giving them a new coat of epoxy appliance paint. The paint comes in a variety of colors and textures, which means that you should be able to make your appliances over to look like your new ones, so they match.
Add Some Extra Insulation
Any leaks in your home attribute to energy loss, so it's a good idea to add some extra insulation where you can. Sealing things up should result in noticeably lower power bills and therefore reduce your carbon footprint, help reduce noise pollution coming from the outdoors, improve humidity control, and lessen the chance that pollutants find their way into your home. To insulate your home, start by applying insulation film to all your windows. This film will decrease heat loss and gain throughout the year and protect your walls, floors, and furniture from ultraviolet rays coming from the sun.
You can also use caulking or spray foam insulation around your window and door frames to better insulate your home. Buy or make some weather snakes to put under the doors and windows when they aren't in use for even more protection — don't forget to treat your attic and basement. You can make your own by stuffing foam, cotton, or shredded newspaper in old long socks and then sewing the open end closed.