Copyright Alex McGregor

Just last week, President Obama’s proposed budget for 2013 emphasized many energy-efficient and green-energy initiatives. As a result, many people are taking action to add ecological and energy efficient renovations to their homes, minimizing your the effect on the environment. Energy efficient renovations also decrease the amount of money you must spend on the energy you use in your home, such as electricity. Below are five of the best ideas for energy efficient and ecological renovations, including eco-friendly vinyl flooring, solar roof panels, double pane windows, programmable thermostats, and energy efficient heating and cooling appliances for the home.

Eco-Friendly Vinyl Flooring

Eco-friendly vinyl flooring is an excellent alternative to other types of flooring, such as linoleum or ceramic tile. It is more durable and easier to maintain than these other varieties. It is easy to install and affordable. Vinyl flooring can also imitate several different classic floor coverings, including wood, stone, and ceramic tile. For example, vinyl plank flooring, which resembles wood, is a common choice among renovators who like the look of wood floors but do not want to maintain them.

Eco-friendly vinyl flooring is good for the environment because can be recycled, and it is also made predominately from recycled materials. Though linoleum is also eco-friendly, it emits linseed oil fumes, while vinyl does not. Vinyl floors are resistant to water, which makes them ideal for laundry rooms, bathrooms, and kitchens. They are also more hygienic than other flooring types because they prevent the growth of bacteria and do not hold dust mites.

Solar Roof Panels

Solar roof panels are another great energy efficient and eco-friendly addition to your home. These panels function by capturing solar energy and converting it to electricity. The panels require very little maintenance and are capable of lasting for many years. The energy created by these panels can be used to run nearly any appliance that requires electricity.

These panels provide your home with a source of energy that does not pose any danger to the environment. Solar roof panels will reduce your utility bills because you will require less electricity. In addition, when your home’s solar energy system produces more energy than your home consumes, your electric meter will spin backward and you may receive a credit from the electric company.

Dual Pane Windows

A third eco-friendly addition to your home is the dual pane window. Dual pane windows insulate well and possess soundproofing qualities. They are also energy efficient because they reduce the amount of heat lost from your home, which in turn reduces the amount of electricity you must use to operate your heating system. Less electricity used translates to less damage to the environment. These window panes are available in wood, metal, or vinyl.

Programmable Thermostat

An addition to your home that doesn’t require much work is a programmable thermostat. Though this home renovation seems minor, it can dramatically reduce the energy you use each day, as well as your environmental footprint. You can program the thermostat to alter the temperature in your home automatically up to four times each day. When you leave the house, you can set the thermostat so that less heat or cooling is necessary, which reduces your monthly electric bill and prevents unnecessary pollution.

Energy Efficient Heating and Cooling Units

Finally, if you want to increase your energy efficiency and reduce the amount of harm your home does to the environment, consider installing an energy efficient air conditioner or heating system. These appliances can drastically reduce the amount of energy lost in heating or cooling your home, which results in a reduction of overall energy used. The less electrical energy your home consumes from sources that aren’t green, the less damage will be done to the environment. In addition, adding these appliances to your home will reduce your monthly electric bill and save you hundreds of dollars each year.

Regardless of which home renovations you decide to install to reduce your environmental footprint and increase energy efficiency, they will most certainly raise the resale value of your home. Buyers today are much more interested in preserving the environment than ever before. A home with energy efficient and ecological features will sell much more quickly than a home that lacks such features.