Green home décor ideas have been gaining more popularity with each passing year recently, and that is by all counts and measures, a positive change. Not only is green construction, renovation and décor the way to go for the sake of the planet, but ecofriendly projects are also the more economic choice, as long as they have been well planned of course! Today, we are going to discuss three major ways in which a home can be transformed into a green one.
Change from CFL to LED: The Brighter, Better, Smarter Lighting Project
There was a time about 10-12 years ago when the shift from incandescent bulbs to CFL bulbs was considered to be a major move towards saving electricity and, as it turned out, the movement was a huge success. Almost all homes in the US today have replaced most, if not all of their incandescent lighting in favor of CFL bulbs, which offer a much better energy to electricity output. However, that was 12 odd years ago, and now it’s time to move on to something that uses even less energy than CFL bulbs, aka, LED lights.
LED lighting has been around for a while now as well, as they were the first to replace CFL bulbs inside TV sets, finally making even the giant screens a lot less power hungry than before. However, the cost of production associated with bigger LED lights that can be used in home lighting was not cheap, which made the end products even more expensive. On top of all that, earlier LED lights lasted for significantly less hours when compared with CFL, making the whole thing a lot less economic.
This all changed a few years ago and today, LED bulbs can last as much as five times longer than CFL bulbs, consume only around 55% – 60% of the electricity that CFLs use, and even the price of the bulbs are more or less comparable. This, of course, has now made the shift to LED the next most logical step to take for saving money and the planet simultaneously.
Turn the shift from CFL to LED into a lighting redecoration project, complete with mood lighting, dimmer switches and perhaps even a big chandelier in the living room! It will consume a lot less power with LED bulbs in it and with a bit of help from your dimmers, you can bring the energy consumption down even further. Don’t go too crazy right away though, but take one room at a time instead for the sake of both your budget and also to get a better perspective on how to proceed from there onwards.
How Feasible is a Photovoltaic System for Your Next Renovation Project?
The situation regarding solar energy systems is a lot different than it used to be before, as major strides have been made in solar power generation technology as a whole and in certain very particular areas, such as the wide availability of residential-grade solar battery storage options. Any home that installs even the smallest photovoltaic system is advised to consider a battery storage installation because that little innovation has turned the tide in favor of the average customer in a major way.
If you want to make this change, look for a battery storage company like Semper Solaris, that supplies and installs supplemental solar storage alongside their highly efficient solar systems. They suggest using a very simple but extremely effective strategy to maximize the electricity generated by any photovoltaic system that already has a battery storage installation:
- Use your stored electricity during off-peak hours to eliminate the extra cost of using electricity charged at that time
- Earn extra cash by selling off your stored energy to the power company, during on-peak hours
For obvious reasons, this strategy is adopted by thousands of homes spread all across the country and especially in sunny states like California. Get a Tesla Powerwall to complement your new solar cell system and you may eventually end up earning more by selling your energy than what you pay to the electricity provider!
As a matter of fact, if you invest in a big enough residential photovoltaic system, backed up by an appropriately sized battery storage system, it might even be possible for your entire home to completely go off the grid. The solar battery storage system will still be connected to the grid of course, but only for selling your surplus collected energy. However, keep in mind that going completely off-grid is not a good idea because there is no guarantee that you will be getting all the sun you need on a daily basis. Stay connected to the grid, sell them the excess energy which your system generates, and try not to use their power source unless it’s necessary.
For those that are wondering whether solar panels can generate enough electricity to meet all the needs of their home, then the answer would depend on the following factors:
- Your home has to be located in an area which experiences decent sunshine
- The system needs to be big enough for the necessary conversion
- A solar battery storage cell should be present to collect surplus energy and power your home during the night
The fact is that the sun casually radiates enough energy onto our planet per year to power the entire human civilization for thousands of years to come, but the infrastructure and the associated solar-to-electric energy conversion technology isn’t up to that mark yet, where using even a small fraction of that massive solar radiation could be deemed feasible. Nevertheless, by making solar panels a part of your next roof renovation project, you can definitely decrease your energy consumption significantly even today, irrespective of whether you live in a particularly sunny state are not. The cost-to-savings ratio will vary from state to state, but there is actually no place in the US which cannot benefit from a solar roof and a solar battery storage installation at all.
Even if you can’t go for an all-out photovoltaic system yet, make small changes like shifting to solar powered LED lights for your exterior lighting and using smaller solar-powered gadgets to decrease electrical energy consumption as much as possible.
Color with Green in Mind
Green itself is actually not a bad color for interiors, but we are talking about heat-resistant/reflective paint on exterior walls. They come in a lot of lighter shades nowadays, and there’s a lot you can do with the paint to make your house stand out from the rest in your neighborhood. The most important part is that heat resistant and reflective paint reduces your need to cool down your home during hot summers quite significantly. As you can imagine, this leads to reduction of cooling costs, which happens to be a major factor behind high electricity bills, right next to heating costs.
In case you don’t have the budget for a big change right now, don’t worry about it too much. Instead, just concentrate on making the small changes that you can afford at the moment. After all, nobody said that a green transformation has to happen in the scope of a single project!