With house and energy prices rising, you might be looking for ways to save money and add value to your home.

There are two things you need to consider on this front:

  1. products
  2. installation

Remodeling does not have to break the bank, as long as you make sure to choose the right contractor and products.

It is possible to find a happy medium of affordable, good quality products, many of which are green products.

Why choose a green product?
It is simple. If it is good for the environment, it is good for you and your family.
When it comes to assessing quality, many are hesitant about the durability and life span of greener choices, but they shouldn’t be.

As our technology and knowledge increases, so does the quality of the new and updated products in development. Even cleaning products are now better quality than they have ever been.
People aren’t going to use products over and over if they’re not getting the stains off, if they’re not breaking up the soils,” says Samara Geller, a database and research analyst with the Environmental Working Group, or EWG. “They have been demonstrated to be just as effective at tackling various cleaning chores as traditional cleaning products.”

What about cost?
In many cases, “it is worth it, for the peace of mind associated with purchasing a product with higher standards for ingredient safety and transparency.” She adds, “… you’re paying extra for environmental protection benefits as well.”
Whether it is a “greener” floor or paint, you will know that the ingredients are less toxic and are safer.
In the end, like with everything, you absolutely will get what you pay for, and if you are smart about it, it can be affordable too.

Here are 5 energy efficient and money saving methods to incorporate in your home.
Whether you are undergoing a full remodel project or just want to upgrade few areas, incorporating just one of these could save you money in the long run.
Make sure you have them installed correctly though. This is where hiring a ‘green’ or ‘healthy’ specialist contractor is worth the money because they know the best products available on the market and how they can best work in your home.

1. Low Flow fixtures and products

With a new 2.5 gallon-per-minute (low-flow) shower head instead of a standard shower head, a 10-minute shower will use about 25 gallons of water, saving you 5 gallons of water.

Low flow shower heads cost about $30 at home improvement stores and can be easily installed. Low flow fixtures reduce home water consumption by almost 50%, and can save you up to $145 per year, according to Energy Star.

2. Insulation

Insulation keeps you warm in the cold winter and cool in the summer.

According to Green Energy Solutions Inc. It can also reduce your energy costs by as much as 20%. A roll costs about $25 at home improvement stores.

Read our How to reduce your energy bills blog series:
Insulation Essentials & the # 1 Material Worth the Investment

3. Smart thermostat

Heating and cooling account for nearly half of your home’s energy costs.

Smart thermostats are the next generation of temperature control. They can help you save on your energy bill by providing you more control over your home’s temperature and climate.

Bonus: a smart thermostat with a Wi-Fi connection offers many perks and advantages that go beyond temperature control. More info can be found here.

4. Weather stripping

Ever wondered about how much money that draft in your kitchen or bedroom is costing you?
According to Energy Star, air leaks account for 30- 40% of the heating and cooling loss in homes that have not been weather stripped.Weather stripping materials can start from $10 at home improvement stores.

Read about insulating your basement here.

5. Heat pump water heater

​Heat pump water heaters use electricity to move heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly and can be two to three times more energy efficient than conventional electric water heaters. More details can be found here.

What’s next?

No matter what remodeling you want to get done, it is always a good idea to speak to a certified general contractor about your options. A certified contractor can help you identify the materials and methods for the most cost-effective construction. It also might as well be sustainable and environmentally friendly for yourself and your family.

Not sure what certified means? Check out our blog The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Contractor

Do you have questions about remodeling, healthy and sustainable building design? 
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About Olga Lockhart

Olga Lockhart, Marketing Manager for Pathway Design & Construction, researches, analyzes, and writes about these key topics: Universal Design, Aging in Place, Northwest building & Seattle remodeling trends, air quality issues, and solutions, during construction. She's also willing to chat about travel and culture out of the office.