Home Maintenance

Step Up Your Green Home Maintenance Game this Spring

 

Spring Daisies

As the weather takes a turn for the warmer, many a homeowner begins to contemplate cleaning, decluttering and strategizing toward spring home maintenance.  With some intentionality, you can carry out your spring home maintenance plan with our planet’s health in mind. Take a moment to read this post while relaxing on your front porch, then roll up your sleeves and dig in.  You will reap the rewards of a cleaner, greener and freshly maintained property in a few days of honest work.  Then you will be back to enjoying your front porch with a clean conscience and healthy, efficient home!

 

Green Home Cleaning

 

Green home cleaning involves using compounds that are bio-based as opposed to petroleum-based and synthetic.  For example, vinegar and filtered water, scented with essential oils makes a great all-purpose cleaner that is versatile enough to use to clean windows or to mop floors.  Stains may be tackled using baking soda, water and salt.  If you choose to purchase green cleaning products, look for logos by these certifying agencies:

 

  • USDA Certified Biobased Product

  • GreenSeal Certified

 

Make sure that your vacuum cleaner uses a HEPA rated filter.  This will help improve your indoor air quality by not allowing residue to cycle back into the room as you vacuum.  Choose microfiber cloths over paper towels.  Microfiber is recyclable and very efficient at picking up dust and not leaving behind residue.

 

Green Home Contracting

 

If you are having work done on your home, try to find tradesmen who use recycled materials, methods that save resources and energy, or materials that are better for the environment.  Carpenters, painters, landscapers, energy contractors, plumbers, masons and remodelers can all obtain certifications that help you identify their green home contracting status.  Look for certifications such as these:

 

  • Certified Green Professional (CGP)

  • LEED Professional Credentials

  • Green Advantage Certified Practitioner (GACP)

Home with Solar Panels

Green Improvements You can Make Now

Replace old windows.  You can significantly lower your energy bills and reduce your consumption of energy simultaneously if you replace your old windows with modern, energy efficient windows.

 

Install solar panels.  Due to the significant reduction in panel installation costs and energy savings by as much as 80%, the number of households installing solar panels is skyrocketing.  Harness the power of the sun this spring!

 

Install water-saving measures.  Energy-efficient toilets, rainwater collection barrels, tankless water heaters, and low-flow fixtures are all great ways to reduce your household consumption of water.  According to the EPA, your family could save about 20,000 gallons of water annually by making just a few of these changes.

 

For information on real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at mike@mymosaicrealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

 

Search: View all homes for sale in Asheville




 

 

 

9 Cool Green Living Tips for a Sizzling Summer

 

Summer Green Home Maintenance

photo from Shutterstock

Though running a household using green practices is not a seasonal affair, there are some green home maintenance tips which are easier to accomplish in warm weather.  Take advantage of the sunshine and fresh air while checking a few of these green home maintenance items off the list.

 

  1. Install a Rain Barrel

 

The ebb and flow of natural rainfall is not always ideally timed to nurture our new spring plantings.  However, you can harness that rainfall when it does show up by collecting it in cisterns known as rain barrels.  These are attached to the bottom of one of your gutter downspouts and released through a nozzle-controlled hose as you need it. Voila!

 

  1. Have an Energy Audit Performed

 

Warm weather is a great time to get a jump start on assessing your home’s energy conservation abilities.  Having an energy audit performed by certified professionals can both reduce your energy bills and increase your comfort in your home.  By doing this in the summer, you will have time to make suggested improvements ahead of the cold winter months.  

 

  1. Mulch Garden Beds and Use Compost

 

Garden beds will require less water if you keep a thick layer of mulch on them, and of course, they also look great well-mulched.  By choosing to feed your plants with composted kitchen and yard scraps, you are choosing a natural option that does not require harsh chemicals.

 

  1. Change Your Air Conditioning Filter

 

Having a dirty filter can greatly reduce your air conditioner’s efficiency.  These filters should be changed once a month during the cooling season.  A higher Minimum Energy Reporting Value, or MERV, means a greater level of filtration but an increase in the amount of energy needed to pull the air through the filter.  Balance your clean air needs with energy concerns.

 

  1. Wash Your Windows

 

If you have to be doing a chore, doing one outside in the sunshine with a hose involved is the best scenario.  Mix your own green solution of water, vinegar and essential oils.  Use a squeegee and a microfiber cloth to wick away moisture and buff streaks.

 

Rain Barrels

 

6. Plant a Vegetable Garden

As far as green living goes, it is hard to beat the benefits of growing some of your own produce.  Aside from the fact that planting anything green has great air-cleansing qualities, you are eliminating a lot of energy costs from food delivery that goes into store-bought food.

 

  1. Line Dry Your Clothing

 

This one is not for everyone, but if there is a season to do it, it is summer!  Having a retractable clothesline going from a sunny side of your house to a pole or tree makes for a convenient way to dry clothes without the energy consumption of using a dryer.  Added benefit of fresh air scents!

 

  1. Use an Electric Mower or Push Mower

 

Eliminate the hassle of realizing that you are out of gas just as you have a spare hour to mow the lawn.  Invest in an electric mower to reduce or push mower to eliminate fossil fuel consumption while mowing your lawn.  Think of human-powered mowing as your daily exercise and you can eliminate the gym trip too!

 

  1. Install Solar Lights for Ambiance

 

Green living can be not just about maintaining, but about improving your home experience as well.  Treat yourself to some ambient solar lighting.  There are plenty of models to choose from ranging from walkway lights to overhead string party lights.

 

Remember, green living is best accomplished slowly and steadily, with a conscious decision  to make lasting change.  Choose a few of these options and take a step toward greener living this summer!

 

Mosaic Realty offers a free home energy audit to our homebuyer clients during the examination period.

 

For information on real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at mike@mymosaicrealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

 

Search: View all homes for sale in Asheville


 

Sources and Further Reading: http://greenlivingideas.com/2015/05/12/how-to-make-your-home-more-energy-efficient/