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DIY: Budget green home improvement projects

Old barnwood makes for awesome green floors!
Old barnwood makes for awesome green floors!
Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

Green is in. More importantly, going green is essential to the survival of future generations. We are very quickly running out of natural resources. Energy costs are rising. There's a movement toward green construction and renovation. This movement addresses both of these issues while preventing further harm to our environment. Here are a few inexpensive DIY green home improvements to save the earth and your energy budget.

There are several types of easy to install window films.

These are used to further insulate your home in the winter, thus reducing heat bills. They reflect the suns rays in the hot summer months to reduce cooling costs. An added benefit? Window films protect items in your home, such as furniture, carpet and drapes from sun damage and fading.

You may choose to implement solar curtains as another energy saving option.

These can be hung on a regular curtain rod. Installation couldn't be simpler. They aren't as attractive as regular drapes or curtains but they are very effective insulators in any season.

Insulating your home can be as simple as planting a tree.

Shrubbery close to your home protects your family from cold blasts of winter air. Larger trees provide your home with needed shade for summer months. Trees which shed their leaves in the winter, allow the sun to shine through and warm your home. All these can save you money when heating and cooling your home.

Flooring made from recycled or renewable materials is gaining popularity.

Bamboo, eucalyptus and cork are faster growing than conventional wood. Therefore, these materials are considered to be renewable resources. They can be expensive, though. Reclaimed wood is a less expensive alternative. Recyclers harvest wood from old homes being demolished. It's sent to a mill and reshaped into floor boards, The resulting products are reused for new homes or renovations. Recycled wood can be finished and shaped in various conventional forms.

Wrapping some of your appliances with insulating material can reduce energy usage.

Try draping a heavy blanket over your chest freezer. Your food will stay cool longer in power outages. You can buy a kit at most hardware stores to wrap your hot water heater. Be sure to check if this will change your warranty.

Consider installing a low flow shower head.

You won't notice the difference in water flow but your pocketbook will. So will mother nature. You can buy these at most hardware and home improvement stores for less than $20. They are simple to install by following instructions included.

A solar powered attic fan keeps cooling costs down in the hot summer months.

Since it draws it's energy from the sun, this costs nothing to use. These reduce the temperature in your attic, thereby reducing the cooling load for your home. This appliance may need professional installation depending on your skill level.

Think about installing a computerized sprinkler system.

These can save up to 70% on your water bills. Computerized sprinkler systems are programmed through your computer. They adjust to current weather conditions. Set up is very simple.

A programmable thermostat can save you nearly $200. a year.

This type of thermostat can be programmed to change settings when you are away, whether on vacation or just at work. It can also be programmed for different usage at different times of the day. Depending on your skill level, you may need professional installation.


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Portions of this article were previously published by this author on a closed Yahoo! Property.

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