Renovating your home can improve its comfort and cut its running cost. Also, renovation can boost the resale value of your home if you are considering selling in the future. Here are top 5 eco features to consider in your home's next renovation:
For all interior designs, ask your builder to use low/no Voltatile Organic Compound (VOC) materials anywhere possible, in areas like cabinetry and insulation, especially if one of the residents has a respiratory problem.
Also, when repainting, use non-toxic paints. These paints don't stink and they are better for your health and better for the environment. Pay careful attention to the instructions on the tin as some of them require specific application.
The roof is the key area for losing and gaining heat through the different seasons and it is important to ensure that it is properly insulated. Think of the roof as an extra wall to your house. Also, if you have any walls open during the renovation, insulate them before re-plastering. Consider finishing off with some good draft-proofing. This simple makeover improves comfort and can cut your energy bills by up to 25%.
Water wise – use a catchment tank
The cost of water is constantly increasing in Hawaii. If possible, as part of your renovation use a catchment tank and plumb it into the toilets. Make sure you fix a tap to the tank too so you can utilize it for garden watering.
Natural lights through the window can improve a home's internal comfort levels. In fact, up to 40% of your home's heating can be lost through windows in winter. Also, in summer, up to 87% of the heat in a home can be gained through windows.
The most appropriate type of windows for your home will depend on so many things including the orientation of your home and your home size and location on the island. You can talk to your architect, builder or home designer about this for advice.
You can build in savings by simply installing energy efficient appliances like LED Lighting and using good quality, and extremely efficient appliances. You can install fans to keep cool cheaply. They are not costly to run and an awesome way to keep cool. Also, if you have the budget available, install a Solar PV system and generate you own green renewable energy.