Sustainable Home Improvement Ideas Without the Big Budget

Responsible homeowners should always be brainstorming ways to maintain the value of their homes. Whether this involves routine maintenance, refreshing the decor or innovations, every decision should guarantee the best ROI.

Often one of the best ways to secure your investment is to make sustainable decisions. Making eco-friendly home improvements will not only add value to your home; these will help you reduce your carbon footprint over time.

Next to health insurance plans and stocks, your home is another great investment. So, if you want to make a good investment out of your residential property, go sustainable with your home.

1. Start with an Energy Audit

Sustainable home improvements are better for you, your home and the environment. But do you have all the information you need? If not, start with a home energy audit.

An energy audit lets you know:

  • If you have the right type and/or level of insulation
  • If your home leaks air, where are the leaks? How can you stop them?

2. Sustainable Home Improvement Ideas

Once you’ve determined your home’s needs, here are some ideas that will add value to your home without breaking the bank.

1. Energy Star

If you’ve dabbled in home improvement before, you’ll recognize the Energy Star logo. Energy Star is the government-supported organization that promotes energy-efficiency by providing credible and unbiased information to consumers and businesses. In order for a manufacturer to receive an Energy Star rating, they have to meet certain guidelines that are designed to save consumers money and energy.

Look for the ‘energy star’ when buying a new appliance.

For example, a 10-year-old refrigerator uses more energy than a new model. Over time, that can add to significant energy costs. If you’ve got another fridge at home that is older, it may consume more energy. If you want to save more money and energy, remove the second fridge.

Get in touch with your local utility to learn more about their appliance recycling programs. You can also check if you have rebates when you purchase a new fridge.

2. Switch to Tankless Water Heaters

The water heater, which often sits in the corner of a basement or garage, provides your family with how water whenever needed. But did you know that it uses high levels of energy constantly? To maintain the temperature you’ve set, the water heater uses energy to run cycles. If you’re using an electric one, the process will cost you more money over time.

Instead of harming the environment AND spending more money on electricity, make the switch to on-demand or tankless water heaters. These high-efficient heaters don’t heat the water unless you ask for it, saving you energy and money.


There are a few considerations before you switch to tankless heaters. Check out this complete guide from Consumer Reports to find the ideal model for your home.

3. Add Non-Toxic Carpeting to Your Floors

Flooring, an often over-looked part of your home, can be transformed into a more sustainable part of your home. The right kind of carpet will make a huge difference.

If you have old carpeting or hardwood floors, you’re missing some crucial insulation. Carpeting does more than dampen sound in your home; it also regulates the temperature inside. The additional layer of insulation keeps a more consistent temperature during the winter and summer months, which drastically reduce your energy usage and lower your bills.


When choosing a carpet, make sure it’s labeled as non-toxic, eco-friendly and all-natural. Traditional carpets are often created with harmful chemicals, which are secured with fume-rich glue. On the other hand, sustainable carpets are made with natural fibers that are free from chemical fumes.

4. Go for Energy-Efficient Exterior Doors

Door jamb draft stoppers are cute, but they fall short in terms of sustainability. The cool air from your AC unit may end up along the edges of your exterior doors. This means that your air conditioner may be working double time, especially during summer.


Instead of worrying about losing energy, swap out your old door for an energy-efficient one. New doors have features like:

  • Tighter fit to the frame
  • Multi-paned glass
  • Made from improved materials

The Department of Energy has all the information you need to help you pick the right door for your home.

Sustainable Home Improvement is Doable

On the surface, making green renovation choices may seem like a “waste” of time and money. But that’s not always the case. The truth is you can make slow and steady home upgrades that you can keep within your budget while increasing your property’s value and still save Mother Earth.

So instead of going with traditional spray paint cardboard changes, go with sustainable options for your home.

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