Are you interested in making your house more electricity efficient and green? With rising electricity costs and sky high utility statements, most of us are looking for ways to cut costs and save some money. You can start right at home, by making a few easy changes to make your home electricity efficient and more eco friendly.
But beyond energy efficiency, there are several other vital factors that go into the model of a green home. For example, water conservation, indoor air quality, and the use of safer constructing materials will all add to a more eco-friendly residence. This applies to new building, as well as renovating and greening an older residence for improvement and sale. Here’s a listing of some of the factors to think about when remodeling your home, or buying a green home.
Correct Ventilation – The house ought to have the right number and placement of exhaust fans, proper ventilation, vapor barriers, and duct sealing. A well designed thermal envelope can make the home more comfortable and energy efficient. Ventilation systems should be wrapped and sealed to stop air loss.
Air Quality – To make the house healthier, safe constructing materials ought to be used to limit introduction of noxious and dangerous vapors. For instance, use zero-VOC or no-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint, and install recycled, reclaimed, or sustainable flooring prepared from materials that don’t have formaldehyde, such as bamboo or cork. Consider installing physical termite barriers instead of chemical treatments, where suitable.
Water Efficiency – Think about installing dual-flush toilets, low- flow shower heads, and a tankless water heater, or at a minimum; a more energy efficient Energy Star rated model.
Insulation – One of the top choices a consumer can make is to install additional insulation. Use formaldehyde-free insulation. As well, install a radiant barrier on the underside of the roof, where appropriate.
Roofing – Consider metal or cement tile roofing, or durable shingles rated for 40 years or more.
Appliances and Furnaces – Use Energy Star rated appliances. The HVAC (air conditioning) systems ought to have a 17 SEER rating or better, and furnaces ought to have a 90+ rating. The heating and cooling unit range and assignment ought to be properly thought out to increase efficiency.
Lighting – Install electricity efficient fixtures. Compact fluorescent light bulbs should be utilized in place of halogen or incandescent bulbs.
Windows and Doors – Install double-paned, Low-E windows. Correctly shade windows that face the sun, or install window overhangs. Install storm doors where suitable.
Thermostat Timers – Install a programmable thermostat and hot water heater timer.
Outside – Consider installing low upkeep materials that make sense for your type of weather and area, such as fiber cement siding, 40-year shingles, and engineered wood framing.
Landscaping – Eco landscaping considers careful assortment of plants, and focuses on water conservation. Use green landscape design practices, such as reducing the size of the lawn. Consider the proper placement of trees to help shade the home and decrease cooling costs. Utilize hardscape materials to reduce weeds and do away with the use of pesticides and herbicides. Use native plants and xeriscape techniques to avoid the need for excessive care and watering. Compost. Install drip irrigation systems and consider reclaiming water.
You will see that from top to bottom, you may look at your whole home indoors and out to look for potential improvements to make it more eco friendly. It’s not too hard to make your existing home a green home. By making at least a few simple changes to improve energy efficiency, in no time you will see the positive results in your utility bills. Plus, you have the extra benefit of knowing that you are doing more for the environment at the same time, and that always feels nice.