Inexpensive Vs. Expensive Green Home Improvements

For those who own homes, an occasional trip to the hardware store is inevitable. From burnt-out light bulbs to broken rain gutters, the items on your to do list are constantly multiplying. Next time you revise your list, consider green solutions for your home improvement needs, as there are a variety of options that fit any budget. Whether small or large, these measures are environmentally conscious and can help you save money on your energy bills.

Least expensive:

One of the simplest and cheapest ways to improve your home is with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). These cost more upfront than a regular light bulb, but since they require less energy to operate, you will actually save money on your electricity bill over time. Energy efficient bulbs last longer than their incandescent counterparts, so using them will cut down on the growing waste disposal epidemic.

Lower your heating and air conditioning bills by treating cracks in doors and windows. Weather strips for doors leading outside prevent drafts and can be made from scratch or purchased from the hardware store. Caulk the edges of all your windows to eliminate additional air leakage.

Reduce your home’s water usage by replacing your showerheads with low flow alternatives. These efficient devices use less than half the water for an average shower. Plus, your furnace will have less work to do in heating water. While you are at it, wrap the furnace and water pipes with insulated covers to prevent further heat loss. You can also add water aerators to the faucets to cut back on the amount of water used without reducing the pressure.

Most expensive:

One of the most obvious ways to decrease your home’s carbon footprint is with solar energy. This home improvement tactic is costly, yet it has substantial payoff. View adding solar panels or tiles to your roof as an investment, as you could receive payback from the utility company for excess electricity supplied to your community’s grid. You may also be eligible for government tax credits for installing this renewable energy source.

If your plans for home improvement include an interior paint job, look for paints labeled “low VOC” (volatile organic compounds). This option costs more but is considered less toxic than standard paint, as it contains little to none of the harmful fumes that have been linked to respiratory illnesses.

Replace old appliances with new energy efficient ones. Whether you are shopping for a refrigerator, dishwasher or air conditioner, finding these items built with environmental awareness is easier than ever. Purchasing a whole set is expensive, but you can add these pieces to your home gradually and watch your energy bills decrease in the meantime.

Save on your heating bills by insulating your home’s attic. This will keep the warm air inside when it rises. An experienced individual can take a crack at this project, but consider hiring a contractor if you have never installed insulation before.

All of these home improvements are green and well worth every dollar spent. Making these changes will increase the value of your home, which is beneficial if you ever plan on moving. If so, head over to to get started.