Living Sustainably At Home
A sustainable home is not only about conserving resources but also about creating a healthy indoor living space. Living sustainably is important for the health of our planet, and, as a bonus, can often benefit our wallets!
Creating a sustainable home may sound like a daunting, time-consuming task, but this is not always the case. You can make changes to your home and way of life ranging from small to large in order to increase your resource-consciousness and save money while doing it.
As your plumbing and HVAC team, AWS Plumbing, Heating & Cooling knows a thing or two about energy-efficient appliances and how they can benefit your home. Read on to learn about these appliances, as well as a few other habits that will increase your sustainability at home.
Efficient Appliances & Fixtures
Water and energy are two of the biggest resources our homes utilize every day. Decrease this amount by installing energy-efficient and low-flow appliances and fixtures.
Low-flow pieces have been designed to use less water than their traditional counterparts. Some low flow options include:
While you may not see a drastic decrease in your water bill (though this is possible), you will be doing your part to conserve one of our most precious resources.
Your HVAC system, dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer all use up a large amount of resources. Newer models are becoming increasingly more energy-conscious and efficient. If you're looking to decrease your water and energy bills while keeping your home comfortable and running smoothly, consider upgrading to newer, more efficient appliances.
Smart Energy & Water Consumption
One of the best things you can do for both your wallet and the environment is to be aware of your energy and water consumption. This means making smart decisions like turning off lights when you leave a room, reducing the amount of time spent showering, and only running the dishwasher and washing machine when they are full.
You can also save money – and resources – by making small changes like using a power strip to easily turn off multiple devices at once or unplugging appliances when they're not in use.
A final way to save water – and money – in your home is by catching rainwater runoff in a rain barrel. This water can then be used for things like watering plants or washing your car.
HVAC systems play a large role in both comfort and sustainability. They work to heat and cool your home while also filtering the air inside. You can increase the sustainability of your HVAC system by using reusable filters instead of disposable ones.
Reusable filters are not only better for the environment, but they will also save you money in the long run. They can be cleaned and reused multiple times, meaning you won't have to keep buying new filters every few months.
Over time, technology has brought us new ways to improve our homes. One great improvement that every sustainable home should have is a smart thermostat. As the control center of your HVAC system, your thermostat allows you to choose the temperature at which you’d like your home to stay. But the constant adjusting can become a chore and lead to wasteful heating and cooling.
A smart thermostat is a device that automatically adjusts your home’s temperature based on your daily schedule and the weather outside. For example, suppose the whole family is gone from the home every weekday between 9 AM and 5 PM. In that case, the thermostat will adjust accordingly, ensuring that it is only heating and cooling when you’re home to enjoy the comfort.
As it gets to know your routine, a smart thermostat will find ways to help you reduce energy consumption, save money, and reduce your carbon footprint.
One of the best things you can do for both the efficiency and lifespan of your HVAC and plumbing systems is to have them serviced by a professional regularly. Just like your car, your AC unit and plumbing need tune-ups to keep them running smoothly.
During these tune-ups, our team will clean, inspect it for any potential problems, and make any necessary adjustments and repairs. These regular check-ups can help prevent larger – and more expensive – issues down the road.
Sustainable Bathroom Products
Your bathroom is another great place to start making sustainable changes in your home. There are many eco-friendly and sustainable options available for items like:
- Toilet paper
- Shampoo & soap
- Cleaning supplies
These products often use less water and energy to produce than their traditional counterparts. They also tend to generate less waste.
Avoid Single-Use Products
One of the easiest ways to make your home more sustainable is to reduce your reliance on single-use products. There are many alternatives available for things like:
- Paper towels
- Sandwich bags
- Plastic wrap
- Water bottles
- Plastic grocery bags
You can find reusable options for all of these items at your local grocery or home goods store. While the cost for some reusable items may be higher at first, they will last you much longer and help avoid repeat costs!
Composting is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint and make your home more sustainable. Not only does it reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill, but it also creates a nutrient-rich soil amendment that can be used in your garden. Plus, it’s a great way to get the kids involved and participate in the sustainable-living fun!
If you’re unsure how to start composting, don’t worry – it’s actually quite simple. All you need is a compost bin (or even just a pile in your backyard), some organic waste, and a little bit of patience.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Start by adding some brown materials to your bin, such as dead leaves, twigs, or shredded newspaper.
- Add some green materials next, such as grass clippings, fruit and vegetable scraps, or coffee grounds.
- Alternate layers of brown and green materials until your bin is full.
- Keep the bin moist by adding water occasionally – too much water will make the compost smell, so just add enough to keep the materials moist.
- Turn the compost every few weeks to help aerate it and speed up the decomposition process.
After a few months, you should have some rich, nutrient-rich compost that’s ready to use in your garden.
Get Started Today!
There is no better time than the present to get started on creating a more sustainable home for you and your family to enjoy. Remember to take your time! Start by incorporating small changes into your life, and before you know it, you will have reduced your carbon footprint and save yourself some money in the process.
As you continue on your journey to sustainability, bring in AWS Plumbing, Heating & Cooling for help! From regular maintenance appointments to the installation of your new energy-efficient appliances, to finding the right low-flow fixtures for your home — we’re here to do it all!
Give us a call at (516) 217-2196, or contact us online to get started.