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Buying and moving into a new Waterloo Region home is an exciting time for embracing fresh starts and new habits. And a great time to start thinking of ways you can enjoy your new home while making eco-friendly choices. Popular options that are easy to incorporate into your new space can save you money, help you have a healthy house and reduce your impact on the earth while settling into your new house.
Tankless Hot Water Heater
One area where almost everyone can make more eco-friendly choices is with water conservation. Older and traditional tank-style hot water tanks use more electricity to constantly maintain the set temperature, leading to a drain on your bill and energy consumption. We also often use more water than we think while merely waiting for the tap to turn hot or cold to our needs every time we turn on a faucet.
With a tankless heater you use less energy by only heating on demand and having faster access to hot water. The only drawback is that these systems can be expensive and often have specific space requirements for installation, so older homes might need renovations for this to be an option. Do your research beforehand and see if there’s a model that can fit your new home.
One of the more overlooked areas of eco-conscious choices is considering the health of the air we breathe every day. In addition to using air fresheners and candles that introduce chemicals into the air, new paint, furniture and carpeting can off-gas volatile organic compounds (VOCs) further contributing to indoor air pollution.
Airing out your house and using an air purifier, regularly vacuuming and shampooing carpets and using non-toxic daily cleaners are all good ways to cut down on pollutants and allergens. While shopping for new furniture look for non-toxic options, particularly for low VOC mattresses and other pieces that you spend significant time around.
Heating & Cooling Systems
Along the same lines of lowering your electricity needs, look into different heating and cooling upgrades you can make to improve your efficiency. Programmable thermostats are becoming more accessible for any price point and if you have some room in the budget you can also look into more extensive HVAC upgrades like radiant flooring and smart cooling systems. These are often investments that you’ll enjoy and will add value to your home while saving you a little each month on your electric costs.
Cut The Clutter
Decluttering, donating and streamlining your stuff is a standard step before making a move. While it’s amazing to find ways of selling or donating unwanted items, try to keep that mindset going forward so you’re not taking on large decluttering projects later. Before purchasing anything, try to ask yourself if you really need it or if you’ll just end up throwing it out in a few years while decluttering again.
Along with reducing what we use overall, recycling is a simple way to be more eco-friendly. Go paperless for all bills and communication when you can while changing your address to your new home. Upon moving in make sure you have any materials or special bins your waste management company might require that you use so you can recycle properly.