When having a new home built, renovating your current home, or making any major repairs to your home, you might take the opportunity to make the space more eco-friendly. There are many ways that you can incorporate energy savings into your home's design, and if the space will already be torn up for renovations or repairs, or you're working with an architect to design a new home, you have a chance to incorporate many "green" features. Note a few of those here that you might discuss with your home's designer or with your contractor.
You may not think of linoleum flooring as being eco-friendly since it's a manufactured product and not a natural stone, but note that linoleum is somewhat easy to recycle and breaks down quite easily when in a landfill. This type of flooring has a natural oil base that makes it more eco-friendly than vinyl, so if you're not installing natural stone or wood, opt for linoleum.
Thicker gypsum board
You may not give much thought to the gypsum board, meaning the plasterboard or drywall, that is installed in your home, but consider how a thicker board will mean more insulation. A thin, lightweight gypsum may be very cheap to install but these boards help to insulate the home and cut down on drafts or warm air during summertime. The thicker the board, the more insulated your home and the less energy you use for heating and cooling. Invest in the thickest gypsum board you can afford and that will work for your renovation project for this extra layer of insulation.
Tankless hot water heater
If your renovations or repairs involve the plumbing, consider taking the opportunity to upgrade to a tankless hot water heater. These heat water as it's needed rather than wasting energy to heat water that is sitting in a tank. They can hook up to your current plumbing but should be installed by an expert so that your old hot water heater is properly drained and then removed, and your tankless heater is properly connected to your plumbing as well as your electrical or gas connections.
Adding eco-friendly insulation made of recycled paper and other such materials can be a good choice for your home, but be sure you're adding insulation in the home everywhere possible. This includes insulating your home's ductwork so that heating and cooling are not lost through the ducts. Ensure that window frames and doorframes are also properly insulated; add weather-stripping where possible to cut down on drafts and the amount of energy you then use for added heating and cooling.
For more information about making your home as eco-friendly as possible, contact a contractor who specializes in eco homes.