Inexpensive Green Home Improvement Ideas

Economical and Inexpensive Green Home Ideas that can Save You Money and Lower Your Family’s Carbon Footprint

By Mark J. Donovan

There are many inexpensive green home improvement ideas that you can implement to make your home a greener home and a more environmentally friendly place. Besides reducing your family’s carbon footprint, inexpensive green home improvement ideas, such as those listed below, can significantly reduce your home’s energy costs and provide for more comfortable living conditions in and out of the home.

Caulk Exterior Doors and Windows

One of the most inexpensive green home improvement ideas you can implement is to simply caulk around all exterior doors and windows.

Exterior doors and windows are major contributors to heat loss from the home. For just a few dollars in exterior caulk and a couple of hours of work you can stop cold drafty air from entering your home and reduce your home’s heating bills significantly.

Install Exterior Door and Window Weather Stripping

While caulking around the exterior doors and windows, also consider adding door and window weather stripping.

Door and window weather stripping is easy to install and is another very inexpensive green home idea that virtually any homeowner can afford.

Replace Light Bulbs with CFL Bulbs

Another inexpensive green home improvement idea is to replace many of your home’s incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. CFL bulbs consume 75-80% less electricity than incandescent light bulbs. In addition, they can last up to 16 times longer than incandescent light bulbs in some applications.

The lifetime of CFL bulbs can be dramatically reduced if they are frequently turned on and off. Though CFL bulbs cost several times more than standard incandescent light bulbs, their costs can easily be recouped in many types of home lighting applications.

Caulk window exteriors

Wrap Hot Water Heater with Insulation Blanket

Wrapping your home’s hot water heater in an insulated blanket is another economical green home improvement idea as it can reduce hot water heating costs by reducing the frequency of having to reheat water in the hot water storage tank.

Install Low Flow Toilets

Switching to low flow toilets is another reasonably inexpensive green home idea for reducing your home’s water supply requirements. Low flow toilets use only about 1.1 to 1.6 gallons per flush, compared to standard toilets, which use 3.5 to 5.0 gallons per flush. A standard size family of 4 can save over 34,000 gallons a year in water consumption by switching from an old 5 gallons/flush toilet to a 1.1 gallons/flush toilet.

Install More Attic Insulation

Another affordable green home improvement idea is to install additional insulation in the attic. Most attics are under insulated, and that’s a real shame when you consider that attics are a major contributor to heat loss. Warm air rises, so when it hits the upper level ceilings it can easily find its way up and out through the attic.

New Home Construction Bid Sheet

In addition, attic doors and ladders are major culprits for allowing heat to escape into the attic. Make sure you inspect your attic for proper insulation and to add more insulation if required. In northern latitudes the Department of Energy recommends R-49 insulation in the attic, and in southern latitudes it recommends R-38. Also apply weather stripping around attic doors and ladders.

For help on building a home addition, see’s Home Addition Bid Sheets. Our Home Addition Bid Sheets provide you with the knowledge and information on how to plan a home addition project, and what to look for when hiring contractors. They also include detailed cost breakdown tables and spreadsheets for estimating your own new home addition building costs.

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