The average American household can save up to 25% of their utility bills or $2,200 a year if their home is more energy-efficient. Improving your power consumption through modifications in your dwelling can drastically make energy intake more efficient and economical. On top of energy improvements, there are several things that you can do at the design phase to make your home green. Sustainable homes are not only good long-term investments, they are also durable and offer improved comfort.
Energy and Water Efficiency Features
When designing your green home, it is vital to ensure that designers, architects, and builders work together to make the structure airtight. Insulating a house well from ceilings to walls and floors is a cost-effective strategy in creating a zero to low energy home. Advance framing strategies must also be considered to reduce the amount of wood used in the construction. Well-insulated windows and doors are good opportunities to seal a structure and make the building energy-efficient. Hence, it is critical to select and locate window and door products to optimize energy savings. In addition, a highly efficient heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system will ensure good energy use.
Water use must also be enhanced to minimize water waste. For example, you can install low-pressure shower heads and toilets, and sensor-activated faucets to save water. If the site location is in an area that receives a lot of rainfall, collecting rainwater in tanks is a great idea. It can be used to water the garden, clean the exterior, or the driveway. When furnishing your home, buy only appliances that are energy-rated and water-efficient. Furthermore, provisions for reusing gray water from dishwashers and laundry machines can be made by directing it to a collection point outdoors or piping it directly to irrigate plots and orchards.
Sustainable Building Materials and Energy Sources
Another strategy to build your dream green home is to use sustainable materials. Consider reused or recycled flooring, siding, windows, and doors. Check that the wood you buy is sustainably harvested and go for locally-sourced materials instead of buying imported ones. Look for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo to ensure that the wood you purchased comes from trees that are replaced and regenerated naturally. Renewable items such as bamboo, straw, and cotton can also be used as sustainable building materials. Go for eco-friendly finishes such as water-soluble paints, environmentally-friendly varnishes and waxes, and sustainable wallpapers.
Besides insulating and enveloping your home, tapping sustainable sources of energy can also decrease your bills and reduce your carbon footprint. Spend money on solar panel systems that can generate electricity and heat water. In addition, solar panels also produce power to heat your homes. Study heat pumps and biomass boilers as alternatives to provide warmth to your home. Even underfloor heating is a good alternative that you can easily link to heat or solar thermal pumps.
Building a green home is a sustainable way to save non-renewable resources, create and throw less waste, improve indoor comfort, and save money in the long-run. Incorporating eco-friendly elements during the design phase of a house ensures that you’re helping the environment while improving your lifestyle.