Building a green home has gone a long way in the last ten years with more and more people acknowledging the importance of energy saving, environmental consciousness and the overall climate issue happening due to human misuse of all the available resources. If you are a supporter of the green life and are looking to build a new (green) home or upgrade your existing one, go through the tips below to find your building inspiration and pick up a few green techniques and ideas.
If you are considering purchasing a new home, i.e. a new property, consider the following tips before you foot the bill:
- West facing homes are a no-no; houses that face west have limited sun exposure which makes them extremely cool in winter (and therefore, you’ll be wasting too much heating power)
- Avoid environmentally sensitive locations like flood/hurricane/earthquake prone areas
- Double-check how close the markets are and whether they are easily reached on foot; if it’s close, you won’t have to use your vehicle as much
NOTE: Building a smaller house is always better for the environment (especially if you are following eco-rules) as the environmental impact is smaller. The bigger the house, the bigger are the expenses and the overall home “interaction” with the nature around.
Insulation is a priority
One of the first things to think about when starting your eco-friendly home project is insulation. Although it sounds unbelievable, 50% of your home’s energy consumption goes on cooling and heating – and that’s a lot of energy, and A LOT of money. So, in building your new home or upgrading the existing one, make sure you repair all air leaks around doors and windows, eliminate holes in the walls (even if they are barely visible), insulate the attic, pantry and basement and make sure other rooms of the house have proper insulation as well.
Go with ENERGY STAR equipment
Energy-efficient equipment should be your go-to when choosing the equipment and gadgets for your home; ENERGY STAR is already a well-known and trusted label consumers massively turn to when they want to upgrade their homes with eco-friendly, high-quality appliances. Their performance is fantastic, too.
Follow the 3-R rule
Reduce, reuse and recycle are the holy trinity of an eco-friendly lifestyle, and they’re pretty self-explanatory.
- Reduce: Don’t buy products you don’t need; avoid buying things that aren’t environmentally friendly.
- Reuse: Make good use of things/elements/materials that have been used before such as doors, windows, floors, furniture, etc. from your last home and use them in the new one.
- Recycle: Use recycled aluminum, glass, plastic, tile, reclaimed lumber, and other similar materials.
Rely on sustainable building materials
If you are committed to building a green home, then choosing sustainable building materials should be one of your top priorities. Talk to professional home builders about the choice of materials that will go into the core building structure, roofing, flooring, counters and cabinets in the home, etc. before you actually purchase anything. They should be skilled enough to advise you on the choice of materials and their further placement.
Install solar panels
Although pretty expensive at first, solar panels pay off in the long run. Solar energy is the best renewable source of energy and a pretty useful one. Depending on the way your solar panels are constructed and the location of your house alone, you could be taking huge advantage of the solar power to reduce your bill and supply your home with an overload of energy.
Say YES to LED
Eco-friendly lighting is one of your home’s best friends: although both LED and CFL tend to be pretty costly, they pay off in the long run because they last much longer than regular bulbs. Plus, they shine white instead of yellow, providing better visibility.
Install a programmable thermostat
Installing a programmable thermostat could be one of the simplest ways to reduce your electricity bill and stay on good terms with nature. Once your thermostat reaches the programmed temperature, your HVAC system will work its magic, and you’re set.
Creating a green home for yourself and your family to enjoy is probably one of the best things you can do because not only will you be working to Mother Nature’s advantage and helping save the planet, but you’ll also be passing very healthy habits and behaviors onto your children, and (in) directly encouraging those around you to potentially turn to building a green home as well.
Guest post by Carolin Petterson
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