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Newer homes have a reputation for being very energy efficient, but tearing down a home to build a new one from scratch can be an unnecessary source of waste and pollution. Instead of rebuilding, it is often better to retrofit. A few simple upgrades can make older homes just as green as new ones. Here are some remodelling ideas that can make a home as eco-friendly as possible.

 

Use Salvaged and Reclaimed Materials

 

An excessive amount of fuel and raw materials are often needed to manufacture basic home goods like doors. Homeowners can greatly reduce their carbon footprint by just reusing items. In addition to being less wasteful, it also keeps more materials out of landfills. It also provides access to items with vintage charm and unique designs, so homeowners also get plenty of aesthetic benefit from remodeling with reclaimed products.

 

Think Smaller

 

A lot of remodels focus on adding more space to the home. However, this results in much higher energy usage for heating and cooling. Instead of remodeling in ways that add extra space, people should consider doing remodels that provide more uses for space. Doing things like installing a Murphy bed in a wall can help an office double as a guest bedroom while keeping a home’s original square footage intact.

 

Pick Low VOC and Organic Materials

 

Many construction materials leach harmful gases and chemicals into breathing air, soil, and plants around the home. Carefully selecting more organic materials can improve both environmental health and the health of residents in the home.

 

Add More Insulation

 

Any home’s biggest energy expenses go towards heating and cooling the home. Adding more insulation helps keep treated air from leaking out of the house. Doing things like swapping insulation materials, adding extra insulation under floors, and sealing gaps can save homeowners hundreds of dollars on energy bills.

 

Consider Power and Water Alternatives

 

Most of a green remodel just focuses on smarter ways of using materials and energy. However, those who want the ultimate in green living may also want to install solar panels or a rainwater protection system. These can be pricey additions, so not every home remodel needs to include them though.