Time for a makeover

According to recent research, two-thirds of Americans have had an ‘eco wakeup call’ since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. And new data suggests Americans are now more concerned with eco-home renovations than ever before.

Insulation4Less examined Google search volumes between June 2020 and June 2021 to reveal which eco home renovation has seen the biggest increase during the pandemic, and is now the most popular in the USA.

Johnpaul Manning, MD at Insulation4Less said: “As people become more passionate about a greener planet, we’re seeing rising trends in sustainable home renovations and eco-design. There’s a mixture of renovations here – some, like eco-walls, are more design-focused but do have numerous green benefits – improving air quality and acting as insulation. Others – like underfloor or renewable heating methods – look to making our homes more energy efficient.

“We’re seeing many start to prioritize sustainable materials in their renovations, with this being the biggest jump in terms of search interest. Sustainable materials are anything repurposed, recycled, non-toxic or natural. So think of materials like cork, bamboo. Many look local to reduce carbon costs on materials, and some look to repurpose items – saving them from landfills and giving them a new lease of life, after a lick of paint, in your home. People seem to have more of an eye on waste than ever before and it’s clear that those in the US have a rising interest in sustainable living.”

Johnpaul also offers five tips to make homes more eco-friendly:
Invest in Insulation
“Insulation is one of the most important factors when it comes to a home’s energy efficiency – if your insulation isn’t good enough, you’re going to be spending more trying to keep the space warm. If your home has cavity walls, ask your energy supplier about reduced rates for cavity wall insulation. For those without, look at retro-fit walls with insulated panels. Insulating a boiler or hot water tank is always beneficial. And whilst insulation may come with an upfront cost, the money you’ll save year on year means it’ll essentially end up paying for itself – a well-insulated roof can save hundreds. Keeping both you, and the planet happy!”

Go solar
“Solar panels are great for reducing energy bills, generally don’t take up much space and need little maintenance once they’ve been installed. This gives them a lot of advantages over renewable home renovations. Depending on which state you’re in, you’re going to get a lot of sunshine.”

Explore energy efficient lighting
“If you haven’t got the funds to install solar panels or new loft insulation, a far cheaper – and also very effective way to go greener is to install energy efficient lighting in your home. Some people also look to change the switch placement in their home to encourage those living there to switch off the lights when they go by – the top and bottom of the stairs for example, will see you saving more energy than just one or the other.”

Buy a new boiler
“This might not be the cheapest option, but it’s one of the most effective, and worth considering if you’re looking to make a real energy-efficient change to your home. Like insulation, this is an upfront cost which pays for itself over time. If you haven’t got the funds to go new, make sure that your old boiler is serviced annually to avoid costly breakdowns.”

Save water
“Water-saving taps are a handy way to save on water usage in your kitchen and bathroom. Investing in a water saving showerhead is a great way to cut back on water consumption, helping the planet whilst helping your bank balance! Some people go one step further, investing in water diverters which send wastewater straight to the yard – doubling up your water usage.”

•Google data shows USA has rising interest in eco-home renovations
•Google data reveals the most popular eco home renovation by State, i.e. low flush toilets is most searched for in California, solar panels in Nevada
•Using reclaimed materials sees 241 percent increase in popularity
•Installing electric car ports more popular than expected with 120 percent increase
•54 percent increase in searches for solar panels across US
•50 percent increase in searches for living walls

John-Paul Manning is Managing Director of Insulation4Less. Insulation4Less is the USA’s best rated online insulation supplier for both trade and DIY, with a one-stop shop approach that aims to assist customers in managing their building projects by finding the best possible prices on all insulation products and plastering materials.