For the past decade or so, the focus of consumers’ has shifted. From being one that is all about materialism to one that considers the impact their choices have on the environment. Now it’s been adopted by homeowners and property developers. Going green in your home will ultimately reduce your carbon footprint and in the process reduce your energy and water bills. We’ve created this list of eco-friendly building ideas that would be easy to incorporate in your home, whether you’re building or renovating.
Smaller homes naturally have a lower impact on the environment. There is less square footage to cool and heat, which keeps energy consumption down. Building smaller doesn’t mean you have to give up your dream home. Instead, create a floor plan that maximizes usable space. Then downsize rooms you won’t be using frequently.
Use Energy Efficient Windows
When building or updating a home, use Energy Star-labeled windows. Having an energy star means the window has been tested by the Environmental Protection Agency and has been proven to reduce energy consumption.
Use Energy Efficient Products
Like windows, certain appliances are also Energy Star-labeled. Energy Star appliances conserve energy, without sacrificing performance. Everything from light bulbs to a geothermal heat pump can be approved by the EPA. Use these products instead of generic, energy-hungry products.
Heating and cooling typically accounts for approximately half of a home’s energy consumption, and this energy is often wasted because of poor insulation. Insulating doesn’t have to be complicated, simply start by making sure there are no drafts by windows and doors.
Use Sustainable Building Materials
When contracting builders make sure they know you’d like to use sustainable building materials as much as possible. This can include sourcing the wood for the frame of your home from a supplier who practices an environmentally friendly planting and harvesting. Then for simple things like flooring consider using either bamboo or cork. They’re sustainable and trendy.
Install Solar Panels
Solar energy is both clean and renewable, and solar panels are the perfect way to harness this remarkable form of energy. While the initial cost of installation can seem high, the money saved in the long term will offset the initial cost. Plus, there are often tax breaks and other monetary incentives. To make the most of your solar panels consult with an architect about where to position the property as well as the solar panels so you’re able to get more sunlight throughout the day.
While you’re saving the planet by building an eco-friendly home start by saving water – Earth’s most precious resource. There are several ways you can ensure you’re cutting back on your water usage. For example, you could install low-flow aerators on toilets and shower heads, invest in a tankless water heating system and purchase energy star rated dishwashers and washing machine. You could also capture rainwater on your property and then use this water for landscaping and irrigation.
Your home can be more efficient and eco-friendly for far less than you expected. However, any money you choose to spend on these upgrades shouldn’t be an issue as you’ll save more on bills in the long run.