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  • Bill Starkey

Eco-Friendly Upgrades You Can Make to Your Home This Year


Since home is where we spend most of our time, it’s important to make it as eco-friendly and comfortable as possible. By making just a few changes, you can save money on energy bills, reduce your environmental footprint, and increase the value of your property. The following are several small, medium, and large green architecture upgrades that any homeowner can make in their home this year.

Starting Small

There are many ways to make eco-friendly improvements to your home, and not all of them have to be big-budget changes or require construction. A great way to start making “green” changes in your home is to start small.

Smart Thermostat

One of the easiest upgrades you can make to your home is to switch to a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats are controlled by your smartphone or computer, and they can automatically adjust the temperature in your home based on where you are. This helps keep energy costs down by making sure that no energy is wasted heating an empty house.

Compost Bin

Another simple upgrade to consider this year is putting a compost bin in your garden. Composting is a great way to reduce waste in your home, and it’s also beneficial for your garden. Placing a compost bin in the corner of your yard allows you to throw food scraps away without sending them to a landfill.

LED Lightbulbs

Another easy upgrade is switching to energy-efficient LED lightbulbs. These bulbs use less energy than standard bulbs while emitting more light. This means that you can save money on your electric bill while doing the environment a favor.

Swap Out Showerheads

A very earth-friendly choice, water conservation can be achieved by swapping out showerheads for slow-flow versions. These showerheads use less water, and they allow you to adjust the pressure as well. This upgrade is a great way to save both energy and water in your home.

Mid-Range Upgrades

If you’re looking to make a bigger impact on your home and you’re willing to invest in the project, there are several upgrades you can consider.

Energy-Efficient Appliances

There are countless options when it comes to energy-efficient appliances. From dishwashers to dryers, these appliances are designed to use less power. You can purchase such appliances new or look for them at secondhand appliance stores.

Green Landscaping

A type of landscaping suitable for areas with limited water resources, xeriscaping typically involves drought-resistant plants, mulch, and rocks instead of grass. This eco-friendly method of landscaping can still be visually stunning and require less maintenance than grass and lots of plants.

Tankless Water Heater

Upgrading to a tankless water heater is a mid-range expense you can consider to make a big impact. Tankless water heaters only turn on when you need hot water, and they save a lot of energy by heating the water right before it’s needed. Because tankless heaters are so efficient, they can pay for themselves in just a few years.

Larger Scale Changes

All of the eco-friendly upgrades mentioned thus far are relatively simple and don’t require too much extra effort from homeowners. However, some green architecture changes will necessitate a bigger investment and more time.

Solar Panels

A more expensive but very effective upgrade to consider is solar panels. Solar energy produces zero emissions, so it’s great for the environment. This upgrade requires some construction, but it’s worth it for homeowners who want to reduce their environmental impact as much as possible. Of course, not every house or rooftop is suitable for solar panels, so it’s important to consult a professional before making this kind of investment.

Window Replacement

Window replacement is another large-scale upgrade that can have a big impact on your home’s energy efficiency. New windows will help retain warm air in the winter and cool air in the summer, which can reduce your heating and cooling bills.

Eco-Friendly Flooring

If you’re in the mood for a remodel or larger construction project, you can take the opportunity to select eco-friendly materials. For example, you can choose to install eco-friendly flooring like bamboo. A sustainable resource that grows quickly and doesn’t need to be treated with harmful chemicals, bamboo is also very durable, making it a great choice for high-traffic areas.

Bottom Line

It’s always a good time to green your home, and there are many things you can do right now that will have an immediate impact. Homeowners who are willing to make eco-friendly changes in their homes can have a positive impact on the environment without sacrificing quality of life. There are countless upgrades that you can consider this year, so think about which ones would work best for your lifestyle.

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Bill Starkey
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A longtime entrepreneur in Montgomery, Texas, Bill Starkey served as the CEO of Starkey Construction from 1978 to 2015. He delivered measurable results in custom-designed luxury residences and met clients’ specific needs. Emphasizing quality over quantity, Bill Starkey ensured that premium materials were used for building and finishing, and he used a wide range of classic architectural styles, including Georgian and Elizabethan.

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