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Editor’s Note:  This article was contributed by Modernize.  Modernize is “Guiding you through the information you need to speak with confidence and take your home project from dream to plan.”  Visit them on social media: Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, G+, and LinkedIn.

Simple DIY Home Improvement Projects for a Greener Home

With the world facing signs of global warming and the influx of eco-friendly home update options quickly becoming available, there has never been a better time to make a few home improvements that will make your household greener through 2016 and beyond. Investing a new solar system to power your home is one of the most popular ways to improve your eco-friendly lifestyle and decrease your household’s carbon footprint, but it’s not the only effective method.

These favorite home improvement projects from Modernize are just as effective and important for a full solar makeover:

 Dress up the Windows

Dressing up your home’s windows is a great way to create a new look, increase insulation, and save yourself some money on energy costs throughout the year. While the process won’t make much of an aesthetic difference, it’s important to seal your windows with caulking or spray foam insulation—just apply a small layer of the insulating product of your choice around the interior and exterior edges of your window frames. This will keep unwanted air from infiltrating your home and cut down on mold buildup on the windows and walls.

Applying tinted insulation film to each window will not only make it easier to maintain comfortable temperatures inside, but it will also give your space some extra depth and dimension that is sure to complement your preferred home design. This film is easy to install and comes in a variety of shades and designs. You can even make your windows look like they are made of stained glass! Once installed, the film will even keep the sun’s harmful UV rays from damaging your home’s flooring, walls, and furniture.

Simple DIY Home Improvement Projects

 Plant Some Trees in the Yard

Planting a few deciduous trees in the yard is sure to increase your overall property value as well as decrease your household’s carbon footprint on the planet. Because deciduous trees are full of large, lush leaves during the summer months, they’ll naturally protect your home from the sun so it stays cooler inside. During the winter, deciduous trees tend to lose their leaves so the sun can heat your roof’s home and organically warm things up inside.

There are a variety of beautiful deciduous options to choose from that will make your yard more enjoyable to spend time in and increase your property’s curb appeal. Consider sprinkling your yard with magnolia, sycamore, dogwood, or even cherry trees. You’ll need to know the maturity size of each tree so that you can plant them far enough away from your home that their large branches won’t fall on your roof during extreme weather. Simple DIY Home Improvements

Install a Couple Ceiling Fans

 With the wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and styles available, ceiling fans offer a touch of sophistication that can be combined with any type of décor, from country settings to eclectic city designs. Ceiling fans will reduce wear and tear on your HVAC system and help lower your carbon footprint, as they use only about 60 watts of power each hour compared to an average of 3,500 hourly watts that heating and air conditioning systems tend to require.

Program your ceiling fans to run counterclockwise during the summer months to create optimal air movement within your home. During the winter, program your fans to run clockwise so the warm air stays circulated throughout the space instead of getting stuck up near the ceiling while the cold air builds up near the floor.

Replace Your Hot Water Heater

 Another effective home update that will increase your property value and decrease your carbon footprint is replacing your hot water heater with a solar powered model. Installing a new solar hot water heater should also decrease your monthly water costs and minimize plumbing maintenance expenses as the years pass. In fact, you should experience a savings of up to 50 percent on your water bills starting immediately after installation of your new solar hot water heater. Your new water heater will even significantly decrease carbon emission production within your household. Ask your technician about any tax deductions or discounts you may qualify for.

 Create a New Lighting System

 New lighting is the perfect way to brighten things up and create a new vibe for your interior décor. You are sure to make a big impact on your home’s décor by replacing your lighting fixtures with bold brass or sterling silver options. Vintage wood fixtures are a great option if you’re going for a traditional look and feel.

While you’re switching out your lighting fixtures, it’s important to replace your actual light bulbs with eco-friendly options. Your best bets are LED and CFL light bulbs because they require just a fraction of the energy traditional bulbs necessitate. You can create a bright and luminous space using white filtered lights, or infuse your house with a soft and relaxing feel with the help of off-white lights and those tinted with pink, blue, and green.

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