Aaron Wluka's Blog
The world today is experiencing high amounts of pollution and energy usage that stresses the environment. But being environmentally conscious helps to reduce the number of greenhouse gases that your home produces. Here is how to reduce your home's carbon footprint:
Hire a professional to carry out an energy audit of your home.
This stage of the energy audit will allow you to know your house better and give you the necessary facts you need to make a decision. In this way, you will identify precisely the weak points of your home. The auditor will then propose several options to you according to your budget.
Improve the insulation of the walls, roof, and floor of your home
Generally, the first thing to do to save energy is to prevent heat from escaping. For this, you must identify all the points where you lose cooling and try to repair or improve the insulation.
Change your windows
Ten to 15% of the heat escapes through the windows. You have to choose your windows and install new ones with double or triple panes depending on your home. The objective is to avoid unnecessary expenses from energy being wasted.
Think about the ventilation of your home
A well-ventilated home will conserve temperature all through the day and reduce the amount of work that air conditioners do. This also reduces your energy bills and keeps the air on your own home circulating without becoming stale.
Opt for natural materials
A truly green home uses materials that have little impact on the environment and indoor air quality. These are usually natural materials (straw wood, stone, etc.). Consider using bio-based insulation – made from renewable plant or animal raw materials (wood wool, hemp wool ...). In terms of finishes, use natural paints or coatings for better indoor air quality.
For heating, have renewable energy products installed in your home
Solar heating, wood heating and heat pumps (geothermal, aerothermal), existing equipment ecological heating are efficient and reliable. The idea is to recover energy naturally present in the air, the sun, the soil or our forests to limit the use of fossil fuels. And so reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases.
Don't throw away your home waste without checking for items that could be reused or recycled. Start a local recycling program in your home and do your best to make sure that the volume of waste reduces. Plastic bottles can also be re-used for other useful purposes.
Many contractors are upgrading properties to improve their green ratings, talk to your real estate agent about finding a green contractor in your area.
Once you are a homeowner, you now are responsible for all the maintenance on your property. How often and what time of year to do any of those maintenance or repairs can be a mystery if you have never owned a detached single-family home before. Creating a schedule for all those things that you need to check on around the property and inside your home may be helpful. Keeping a repair/maintenance journal to track projects can give you peace of mind. This schedule, or journal, can be a simple handwritten notebook or spreadsheet saved on your computer.
Keeping up the Outside
Your roof, siding, and fences take on all the year-round weather; visually inspect each of them at least once a year. According to NAHB, the National Association of Home Builders, your roof should be examined by a qualified roofer once every three years. Keeping any landscaping from rubbing up against the siding and cleaning the siding once a year helps to prolong the life of the materials. Fences in good working order secure your property and maintain curb appeal. Gutters and your downspouts need to be kept clear to work properly; so, they may require more frequent inspections during the year to ensure they are functioning well. In-ground sprinkler systems can experience cracked water lines in hard freezes. Sprinklers can also get damaged by lawn mowers or weed trimmers so test the system before winter set in and at the beginning of the watering season to ensure the system is in good repair. Larger trees and shrubs that are vulnerable to damaging property in inclement weather conditions so, keeping them healthy and trimmed can prevent possible damage.
Keeping up the Inside
Furnace, air ducts, dryer vents, these all need to have regular inspections and maintenance done. The interior items can be checked on anytime during the year but having a consistent routine increases the chance those checks get completed. Checking the batteries on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors once a month is good but, actually testing them is better. Have an annual chimney checkup from a professional to give you the all clear for those fireplaces. Larger appliances may need occasional checkups to keep them running efficiently. Keeping the mechanics of your home at optimal operating condition will not only provide for the longevity of that appliance but save you money on your utility bills.
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If you plan to buy a home in the upcoming days, weeks or months, it often pays to learn about the real estate market. By doing so, you can understand various best practices for purchasing a house and streamline the homebuying process.
Ultimately, there are several best practices for buying a house, and these include:
1. Become a Homebuying Expert
What differentiates a buyer's market from a seller's market? How do you submit an offer on a house? And what should you expect during a home inspection? These are just some of the questions that you'll need to consider to become a homebuying expert.
As a homebuying expert, you'll be better equipped than others to plan a successful homebuying journey.
Typically, a homebuying expert asks lots of questions and devotes the necessary time and resources to learn about the housing market. This individual also is open to expert homebuying advice and recommendations and will do whatever it takes to discover the right house, at the right price, regardless of the real estate market's conditions.
2. Get a Home Loan
For those who plan to buy a house, it helps to save money in advance. That way, you can shop for a house and have sufficient funds available for a sizable down payment.
Furthermore, you should start searching for a home loan as soon as possible. Because the sooner that you secure a home loan, the sooner that you can kick off a home search with a budget in hand.
To obtain a home loan, you should meet with several banks and credit unions. These lenders will evaluate your credit history, income and other financial factors and make a home loan offer.
After you accept a home loan offer, you can officially start your home search. And if you find a home that you'd like to buy, you can submit an offer without having to scramble to get a home loan at the last possible moment.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
When it comes to buying a home, hiring a real estate agent is essential. In fact, a real estate agent will provide plenty of support throughout the homebuying journey, ensuring that you can discover your dream house without delay.
A real estate agent first will learn about your homebuying goals. Then, this housing market professional can help you narrow your home search.
In addition, a real estate agent will set up home showings, submit home offers on your behalf and keep you up to date on homebuying negotiations. Perhaps best of all, if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them at any time.
Buying a home can be a quick, seamless process, particularly for those who work with a real estate agent. Reach out to a local real estate agent today, and you can move one step closer to making your homeownership dreams come true.
Green homes are becoming popular, and more home builders are now including eco-friendly homes in nearly all their projects. Apart from the growth in the number of new eco-friendly homes springing up, there is also an increase in the number of green renovation projects. If you are planning to renovate your home, here are some eco-friendly ideas to consider:
Passive design means designing a house such that it needs little or no artificial heating or cooling. When thinking about a passive design, you must take the seasonal weather pattern of your locality into consideration. Once you know the kind of weather to expect all year round, you can structure all the rooms in the home to optimize cooling and heating. Elements for passive design are insulation, orientation, airflow, double glazing as well as thermal mass. The benefit of this is that it does not cost much to incorporate passive design into your house.
Here are some green tips that will assist you in choosing the right material when renovating your home:
- First, look into the possibilities of reusing existing building material to reduce waste.
- When buying the materials for restoring your green home, select elements that are environmentally-friendly, avoid substances that release toxic waste to the surroundings. Examples of such materials are glues and paints.
Use sustainable building features
Not only do sustainable building features like skylights assist in creating a cleaner and healthier environment, but they also boost the home's thermal performance by minimizing the need for heating and cooling.
Installing effective insulation is an eco-friendly home renovation idea that you should seriously consider. The benefit of proper insulation is that it will make the house comfortable; staying cool during the summer and warm during the winter. Apart from making your home more sustainable, it significantly reduces your energy bill which is one of the most significant sources of carbon footprint in a home.
Minimize construction waste
You should try to consider your waste options before starting the renovation of your green home. There will be a sizeable amount of construction waste such as metal, rubbers, bricks, vinyl, and even toxins such as asbestos. This waste should be cleared effectively by employing the service of licensed professionals who are skilled in this regard.
To get the results you want, work with a general contractor that is experienced in building and renovating eco-friendly homes.