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green home improvement

Implementing simple green changes to your home is easy and most of us don’t think twice when it comes to installing LED lights or a dual-flush toilet. However, when it comes to going green on a larger scale, such as switching to a renewable energy system, we start thinking about our finances. Yet, we fail to see that even though such an upgrade might require more money initially, it actually offers a high return on investment. Furthermore, you have different systems at your disposal, so you can find one that meets your needs.

Wind Turbines

Although wind turbines aren’t the most common solution for residential areas, wind-generated energy is actually more stable than solar energy. With an appropriately sized turbine, you can meet most or all of your household’s energy needs. Some of the disadvantages of wind turbines are their somewhat unappealing look and noise. However, nowadays, you can find small turbines appropriate for residential use. Nonetheless, before opting for this energy source, make sure that there aren’t any local regulations that prohibit it.

wind turbines
Image Source: econews.com.au

Geothermal energy systems

Geothermal systems are another source of clean, renewable energy generated by earth’s heat. Although this type of system may have a small environmental footprint while being developed, it’s actually quite eco-friendly as it can reduce your home’s carbon footprint significantly by eliminating the need for electricity used for heating or cooling your home. This system consists of geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) that use 25 to 50 percent less energy than regular HVAC systems. Furthermore, the equipment produces no noise and requires little space, so it can easily fit in any home design. If you opt for this type of renewable energy system, make sure to check your property’s geological,
spatial and hydrological characteristics that will determine what kind of system you need.

Solar energy systems

Solar panels are one of the most popular and commonly used renewable energy systems that can boost your home value substantially. Depending on your energy needs, a few square feet of solar panels can be enough. Due to their aesthetic appeal, solar panels work well with modern home designs. They can be placed either on your roof or in your backyard. However, the main disadvantage of a solar system is that it produces energy only when the sun is up. Nonetheless, you can now find solar batteries that can store your excess energy which you can then use when there’s no sun.

home solar panels
Image Source: thegreenage.co.uk

There’s another possible solution if you want to go with solar energy. Solar shingles are becoming more and more popular as they feature a subtler design than solar panels. These are actually photovoltaic roof tiles that are installed instead of regular shingles. Since they resemble regular roof shingles, they can even blend with a more traditional home design. The initial installation may amount to even $20,000, but around 350 shingles can slash your electricity bill by up to 60 percent. In addition, you may find federal, state or local tax incentives that can reduce the cost of installation.

However, if you’re not in a financial situation to go with an entire solar system, you have other options available. For instance, you can go with a solar water heating system to heat your home and water. Solar water heaters are more affordable than solar panels and easier to install. In addition, they can cut your gas or electricity consumption, increasing your savings in the long run. Solar air conditioning is another possible solution that uses solar power to cool down your home. You can actually combine these two systems as they both use hot water.

Hydropower systems

A hydropower system generates energy from a flowing water source. Of course, this type of energy system is available only to homeowners who have such a source on their property. Thus, if you’re one of the lucky few, you should definitely invest in a micro hydro generator because even a small stream can generate steady and clean energy and cover your needs at a price significantly lower than wind or solar.

Renewable energy systems may require a sizeable investment upon installation, but they are a profitable home improvement that will boost your home’s value and increase your savings in the long run.

Power tools certainly make our work around the house much easier, but some of us aren’t comfortable with using them any more. There are various reasons – saving energy resources by avoiding tools that run on gas and oil, cutting down toxic gas emissions, lowering the electricity usage or just don’t like the noise they make. This is why we made a list of 5 practical and eco-friendly tools.

Cordless Chainsaw

The problem with regular chainsaws is that they are too loud, and they run on a mixture of oil and gas, thus producing polluting toxic fumes. A great alternative is an electric cordless chainsaw. First of all, it is lighter and less noisy that the regular chainsaw. It runs on electric power, so it can also be used indoors because of the absence of gas emission. Some cordless chainsaws are rechargeable, with an 18 volt lithium ion battery. This type of chainsaw, good for cutting lumber, is an effective regular chainsaw alternative.

cordless drill

Battery Operated Drill

The drawback of drills with cords is the limitation of the user’s movement and electricity consumption. These drills can burn about 950 W per hour. On the other hand, green drills work on batteries and are freely moveable. The batteries are rechargeable, you are not annoyed by the cord not being long enough and you save yourself some money on reducing electricity consumption.

Solar Panels

Solar panels are the ultimate green solution. The sun is an inexhaustible source of energy and that same energy it emits can be absorbed and transformed into electric power with the use of solar panels. They are used for powering almost everything – home applications, heating the water in the water heaters, swimming pools and hot tubs.

photovoltaik
Image source: www.flickr.com

Technology constantly evolves and advances, so we could soon be able to recharge all sorts of other green tools and household appliances. By using solar panels, we save our planet’s energy and nonrenewable natural resources. States like Gujarat make enough energy with solar panels that they export and provide it to other states. There would be no need for electric and nuclear plants, as this is a much more eco-friendly alternative.

Push & Green Mowers

Push mower is a classic and it will take you back to basics. It is a 100% green tool putting out zero pollution. Modern push mowers are quite light and have sharp high-quality durable blades. They also give you a good workout.

Green mowers run on electric power and, compared to ordinary fuel mowers, they offer many advantages. The most important on the list is – no gas emissions. A lot of fuel is also spilled during refueling the garden equipment. Electric mowers are not loud as ordinary mowers and they usually have 30 meter cords that can be plugged into the nearest source of electrical power. There are mowers that run on rechargeable batteries and battery-charged riding mowers, suitable for lawns where mower mobility is a necessity.

Image source: www.flickr.com
Image source: www.flickr.com

Eco-friendly Lawn Trimmer

There is a big difference between gas-powered and propane-powered lawn trimmers. Gas-powered trimmers do not participate in preserving the environment. Propane, unlike gas, is neither toxic nor harmful. It doesn’t pollute the air and it does no harm to soil or water (if it happens to be spilled). Electric lawn trimmers are easier to start and maintain because gas trimmers usually get their carburetors and lines clogged. Electric trimmers can be plugged into a power source or run on lithium-ion batteries.

This is just an introduction to the wide field that are green tools. By using them, we keep our planet greener, helping improve upon the eco-system. Next time you buy a tool, think about whether you want to emit poisonous gases, or rather be more conscious of the fact that we as humans have to stop doing that.