Green Design – 12 Easy Ways To Efficiently Upgrade and “Green-Up” Your Bathrooms and Kitchens!

No matter what your favorite color is . . . when thinking of your home, it needs to be GREEN! With growing concerns over rising energy costs, global warming and protecting our environment for future generations, the desire to “Green-Up” has dramatically increased.

There are affordable ways that homeowners can upgrade their bathrooms and kitchens to make them more water and energy efficient. The following are some easy ways that have been suggested by the National Association of Homebuilders to “Green-Up” when remodeling:

Water Heater – Replace your existing water heater with a money $aving, energy-efficient tankless model.

Showerhead – A high efficiency showerhead can help you $ave on your water bill each month, making it a simple choice when remodeling.

Toilet – With the addition of high efficiency toilets to your home, you again are $aving on water usage.

Ventilation Fans – Home owners will $ave electricity by using energy-efficient exhaust fans. When remodeling your bathroom, remember to look for an Energy-Star-Rated fan which will $ave you both money and electricity over the lifespan of the product.

Bathroom Faucets – High-efficiency water faucets for sinks and tubs have been designed to give you better performance as well as $ave water consumption.

Refrigerators – Energy-$aving fridges have been designed to perform more efficiently, and for more years than older models.

Dishwashers – Again, look for Energy-Star-rated models which will use 41 percent less energy than other dishwashers.

Microwave Ovens – Energy-efficient microwaves cook much faster than conventional ovens, but also can use up to 80% less energy. While not appropriate for all types of cooking, they can $ave you both time and money!

Oven Ranges – Gas burners use 55% of the energy produced compared to 65% for electric cooktops. Additionally, self cleaning ovens tend to have more insulation, making them more efficient as well.

Countertops – Recycled glass, stone and concrete have a great modern look, and have given these old materials a new life. Many of these same products also work well as tiles for your kitchens and baths.

Cabinetry – Consider recycled or reclaimed wood which is durable and both economically and environmentally friendly.

Flooring – Renewable flooring like cork or bamboo have become quite popular for both kitchens and bath areas. They offer durability and easy maintenance with a long-lasting natural look. And of course, stone and wood floors will last you a lifetime!

It’s important for us as homeowners to realize that we ALL can help save the planet by lowering our energy bills, one at a time . . . and doing all we can to conserve our natural resources. Green Building and Green Remodeling should no longer be viewed by us as an option, but as our RESPONSIBILITY!