Easy Green Home Buying Guide
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to break the bank to live a more sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle. Although in the beginning you might be spending a bit more by investing in better quality items, these items often last longer, and will begin to balance out your environmental impact in no time.
It is estimated that by switching from incandescent light bulbs to LED light bulbs, each bulb, on average, will save you up to $20 a year. In comparison, a pack of LED bulbs from Amazon typically will cost less. In other words, simply by switching out one light bulb to an LED bulb, you save enough money to buy a whole pack. This effect is seen almost immediately while others are more long term.
Even though I try to be careful about my power consumption, there are always those times when you accidentally leave a room full of lights on after you leave and don’t realize until hours later. So in addition to switching out light bulbs, I would recommend looking into light switch timers or motion sensors. Every little thing adds up when it comes to sustainability, so although entirely optional, these systems will help catch the times you forget to turn off the lights and turn them off for you!
Next up is water consumption! While it may be difficult to make major changes like insulation in your house yourself, it is rather simple to switch out some water fixtures to significantly decrease your water consumption. By switching to a sink faucet that delivers 4.54 litres of water per minute, every time you wash your hands, you will use about 40% less water compared to regular faucets. This Delta fixture is of amazing quality and has a timeless look, meaning you can use this for years to come, furthering the reach of your money.
When it comes to showers, we fully understand the appeal of taking long and hot showers even if your skin starts to redden. But by standing there enjoying the sweet, sweet feeling of warmth, it is just money and natural resources going down the drain, literally. We won’t tell you to stop showering, but you can do it in a more sustainable manner by switching to a showerhead with lower flow. This Delta product has a flow rate of around 7.57 litres a minute. With its increased water pressure, you won’t even notice the decrease in water flow so you can keep enjoying your me-time spent in the shower but at a lower financial and environmental cost.
As we stated in our blog post about building green, Natural Resources Canada suggests purchasing a low-flow toilet that uses 4.8 litres per flush. I actually installed this exact toilet at home (and in my last two houses!) and I still recommend it! Although it is on the pricier side of toilets, you get what you pay for and I have not had any issues with it, even after years of use! Low-flow toilets tend to have more clogging and flushing problems than old water suckers, but Kohler has built a quality product with this one, and I believe this high quality toilet is something that is totally worth investing in.
Lastly, the Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) is a great investment to make if you have the money. Not only will it recycle the heat from your furnace and reduce your electric bill, but by reducing the strain on your furnace, the furnace’s life expectancy will increase as well! What does an HRV do? An HRV acts like the lungs of your home. It brings fresh cool air in from outside, and preheats it using the warm stale air inside your home (as the stale air leaves your home). The one below is a good brand, but always be sure to size your HRV system with a professional HVAC designer first, and have it professionally installed by a licensed HRAI professional.
There are countless other things that can be replaced with more sustainable options around the house, but this guide is a great place to just get started. I hope you felt inspired enough to at least swap your light bulbs out for LED ones and I wish you the best of luck with your sustainability journey!
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