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Go Green: Five Ideas for Creating a More Environmentally Friendly Home

If you would like to learn how to create a more environmentally friendly home, here are five ideas for "going green" while making home improvements.

1. Install a tankless water heater

A tankless water heater contains coils that heat your water on demand instead of keeping a 50 gallon water heater hot twenty four hours a day, every day. Additionally, a tankless water heater will not run out of hot water.

2. Invest in solar roof panels

Some utility companies offer rebates to homeowners who install them. And in some cases, it can actually roll back the power on your electric meter and send electricity back to the electric company giving you a credit on your bill!

3. Consider the color of your roof

‘Cool roofs’ are generally white or light colored and they reflect infrared rays. Therefore, a cool roof will lower the energy consumption of your air conditioner which will lower your electric bill during the summer months. However, if you live in a very cold climate, you may want to consider a darker colored roof. A dark colored roof can help your house retain the sun’s heat during the winter months which will lower your heat consumption and lower your utility costs as well. So consider the conditions of your area and do some homework before selecting your next roofing color.

4. Conduct a do-it-yourself home energy audit

A self-directed home energy audit includes locating and sealing air leaks and drafts, checking your attic insulation and vapor barrier, inspecting your heating and cooling systems, adjusting your lighting sources, and replacing your appliances and electronics with Energy Star rated equipment along with a few other minor adjustments. Click here for more detailed information about how to conduct a home energy audit on your own home.

5. Use low VOC paint

Traditional paint contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that add to our air pollution and are unhealthy for anyone with respiratory problems.  Low or zero VOC paints are available from most major manufacturers in all the same colors as traditional paints, but are healthier for your family.

If you are considering making environmentally friendly improvements to your home, be sure to do some research online and ask your local suppliers and contractors for more information.  Many states offer rebates and tax incentive programs for making your home more energy efficient which might offset the costs of your renovations.

Denise Monteiro with Dwell360 is a REALTOR® who services the cities and suburbs of metro Boston. She is focused on her customers and her experience in the residential real estate market is extensive. Search for homes in Massachusetts and then give Denise a call.