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    Green Living is Good Living! 5 Tips for Eco-Friendly Home Improvements

    The COVID-19 pandemic had us spending a lot more time at home in 2020, and millions of Americans are still finding home improvement projects to keep them busy through this year—at least! Consider the following statistics from the home improvement industry in 2021:

    • Online searches related to home remodeling more than doubled from 2020 to 2021.
    • More than half (52%) of American homeowners will spend $15,000 on home repairs in 2021.
    • Consumer spending on home improvement is growing at twice the rate of other retail categories in the country.

    As Americans from coast to coast are investing in remodels, repairs, and improvements for their homes, issues related climate change are factoring into many homeowners’ plans for updating their living spaces. In this blog post, we’ll give you tips for five eco-friendly home improvement projects that will help you spruce up your space while reducing your home’s carbon footprint.

    Tip #1: Conduct an energy audit of your home.

    Did you know that a faucet leaking a single drop of water can add up to 165 gallons of water to your monthly bill? Or that using an energy-smart washing machine can save more water in one year than one person drinks in their entire lifetime? Conducting an energy audit of your home can help you identify problem areas and prioritize improvements that will have the greatest impact on your energy consumption.

    Tip #2: Line your driveway with drought-tolerant plants.

    Drought-tolerant plants, also known as drought-resistant plants, are very low maintenance and affordable. They’re also great for the environment, as they cut down on water use. These plants require a small amount of water and flourish in dry climate conditions. Examples of drought-tolerant plants include seaside daisy, Texas ranger, agave, and lavender. Plants can be purchased at your local garden center.

    Tip #3: Switch to energy-efficient LED light bulbs.

    Older incandescent light bulbs are no longer being manufactured and used in U.S. households because they use a lot more energy—and 90% of it is lost as heat. According to the Department of Energy, “Switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. By replacing your home's five most frequently used light bulbs with more efficient LED models, you can save $45 each year.”

    Tip #4: Change your air filters to lower your energy consumption.

    Dirty filters can cause many issues, including higher energy bills. If you haven’t already, set a 30-day reminder to check and change your air filters. Even if you have a more durable filter, you should still have a reminder to check in and make sure everything is running efficiently.

    Tip #5: Reduce energy expenses by installing a skylight.

    Did you know that 40% of your home’s energy usage comes directly from artificial lighting? If you have a bathroom, utility room, or even hallway that isn’t exposed to natural light through a window, consider installing a skylight. This light-filled pane will provide natural illumination, which means you’ll use less energy fueling artificial light.

    Experts say that U.S. consumers could save $26 trillion by 2030 if we start living sustainably. If you’re ready to start your next home improvement project, we hope you’ll use our tips for eco-friendly updates.

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    Home Maintenance & Renovation

    Jeremy Radcliffe

    Based in Dallas, Jeremy Radcliffe is a Senior Mortgage Banker for SWBC Mortgage. Jeremy works with his clients to explore their options and help them find a home loan they’ll feel great about.

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