There is a lot of talk about going green these days. It is important for the future of the planet that we “think green” whenever we can. Green home improvements are an important step because they make a noticeable contribution to the effort. There are, of course, many things you can do to your home to make it energy efficient and earth friendly. Some are simple things everybody knows about, like changing to compact fluorescent light bulbs. But there are other green home improvements that won’t break the bank.

There are many steps you can take to make green home improvements, but you will want to consider how and when you implement them.  For example, if you plan to remodel your bathrooms in the next couple of years, you can probably do some quick and easy changes to save water and electricity for now; then make the major changes when you remodel. Another example might be if your heating system breaks down, go ahead and replace it with a system that is more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient.  Appliances can also be replaced with energy-efficient models as the need arises. If you live in a region that is either extremely hot or extremely cold and your energy bills are high, though, you might find it worth your while to go ahead and make the change.

Whatever your schedule, here are some sensible green home improvements that won’t break the bank:

Photo from The House of Windows

1. Install new exterior windows that are better insulated and resistant to UV light. The better the windows, the better the results will be in terms of insulation value.

2. Install new exterior doors that offer better insulation and better security.

3. Install additional insulation in the walls, floors and ceiling.

4. Install energy-efficient appliances.

5. Install an energy-efficient furnace, air conditioner, heat pump, and water heater.

6. Install low flow faucets, shower heads and toilets to conserve water.

7. Install ceiling fans in rooms to reduce the work required of your heating and cooling system. This can make a huge difference if you have high ceilings.

8. Plant trees to shade your home in hot weather.

9. Use only building materials that are certified to be made from sustainable or rapidly-renewable resources.

10. Use only environmentally friendly paints, floor covering, exterior siding, and roofing materials.

11. Buy salvaged or recycled materials.

These are some of the most popular green home improvements that won’t break the bank. Each of these green updates should pay for itself through reduced energy costs in a matter of a few years.

Other articles you might find interesting:

Simple Steps to Greater Energy Efficiency

Green Home Improvement: Extreme Options

Fast and Simple Green Home Improvements