When you own a home, it’s up to you to make decisions about everything from maintenance to furniture. With so many competing issues, it can be difficult to figure out how where to focus your energy — not to mention your dollars. By making thoughtful and wise green decisions for your home, you can keep it in top shape for decades besides protecting the environment and conserving natural resources. Environmental psychology may also play a key role in strengthening the relationship between between you and your surroundings.
Read on for the wisest green decision you can make for your home:
1. Do Frequent Deep Cleans
Don’t like deep cleaning? You’re not alone. It’s not exactly a dream to get down on your knees and scrub at the dust behind the toilet. However, if you own a home, frequent deep cleanings are one of the best things you can do. Each time you clean thoroughly, you remove germs, dust, bacteria, and skin cells. This reduces the chance of sickness and allergies. It also helps you notice and track small problems that can turn into huge structural problems down the line, such as leaks or cracks.
At a minimum, you should do a deep cleaning once per month. This includes the refrigerator, carpets, microwaves, bathrooms, and beds. Clean around the baseboards, sweep under appliances, and clear out your dryer vents. Don’t forget about your refrigerator coils; if they get too dusty, it can make your fridge die faster. Too busy? Hate cleaning? Hire a cleaning service to make your home neat and clean; it’s a little bit of a splurge, but it can help you head off bigger, more expensive issues in the future. Check out the Spring Cleaning Checklist.
2. Buy High-Quality Furniture
One of the best things you can do for your home is to invest in high-quality furniture. Sure, they’re more expensive than pieces from IKEA or Target, but the higher price tag comes with some serious benefits. High-quality furniture uses top-of-the-line materials and excellent construction, which means that it looks better and lasts longer.
Of course, it’s not always easy to shell out thousands of dollars for furniture. When that’s the case, it’s a good idea to prioritize. What items do you use daily? What pieces are most visible? For many people, the highest-priority items are the sofa, bed, dining table, and TV stand. You use them every day, so it’s worth your money to buy pieces that will be comfortable and sturdy for years to come.
The TV stand, on the other hand, is the focal point of your living area. It also needs to support your TV, which is one of the more expensive appliances in your home. In the article “Modern TV Stand Guide: 12 Consoles You’ll Covet!”, Kevin Sykes says that a TV stand is not a purchase you’ll want to skimp on. A TV stand is usually something people plan on having for a long time, so investing in a quality stand will save you the hassle of replacing it earlier than you planned.
Once you’ve invested in these high-quality priority pieces, you can move on to the rest of the furniture in your house, including:
- Kitchen cabinets
- Fixtures like toilets, towers, and tubs
3. Take Care of Crucial Home Maintenance
Home maintenance is easy to forget about, especially if you’re not mechanically minded. If you ignore these tasks, however, they can lead to shorter lifetimes for your expensive equipment and structures. Some of the most important tasks to tackle are:
- Drain your water heater each year to remove sediment
- Remove leaves from the gutters
- Keep window wells clean and dry
- Balance and clean your garage door opener
- Remove insect and mice nests
- Inspect HVAC filters
- Check water pressure
4. Install Ceiling Fans
A humble ceiling fan can have big benefits for your house — and your heating bills. Fans increase the air circulation in the house, which means that the hot or cool air from your heaters or AC units is dispersed more effectively. As a result, you can usually set your thermostat a little lower in the winter and use less AC in the summer.
Why does a couple of degrees matter? Over time, those small changes can add up to big cost savings, especially if you live in an area with extreme temperature swings. Plus, you’ll reduce the environmental footprint of your home and enjoy a more comfortable atmosphere.
Chances are, you’re planning to live in your home for many years. By making these wise green decisions, you can save money and head off expensive repairs.