Environmental protection is a huge concern in modern times. Many people are striving to make their homes more efficient, not only to reduce their bills but also to reduce the negative effect they have on the environment. There are plenty of home renovation projects that can help with this task. Most of these projects work better for homes that residents intend to stay in for several years, since the financial benefits will come gradually over the years.
Solar energy and thermal heating panels that get installed on one’s roof are major energy savers. Many people have started putting these on their houses because, though the installation and panels themselves are expensive, they will reduce your bills enough to eventually pay for themselves. This is why many people prefer to undertake this task only if they know for certain they will remain in their homes for decades.
Building an environmentally friendly home makes sense in this day and age. Not only does lowering your carbon footprint make sense from a sustainability perspective, it can also help save you money on your utilities and may even add resale value to your home. If you’re thinking about incorporating some eco-friendly features into your next house build, read on to find out what you need to think about before you get started.
They work by converting solar energy into the heat and energy you would normally have to pay for. This makes homes need less man-made electricity. It also makes homes less reliant upon fuel to heat them. The panels require very little maintenance and have no negative aesthetic effect on your roof. Another large and more immediate benefit people get is the enormous tax cut for doing something so good for the environment.
You need to find the right construction company, so start doing your research. Visit some display homes and check out who are leading the pack in terms of innovation, sustainability and creativity in your area. You need to find someone who can be flexible with their options. Builders like Coral Homes specialise in tailoring their house and land packages to suit the buyers’ vision (and budget).
Energy-efficient insulation is of great importance, as well. The better insulated your house is, the less power you will require to heat it. Many may note that older houses are often very cold in the winter because insulation technology was not as good. Fiberglass insulation is often used. It is fire resistant and conducts heat quite well. The problem is the it is not biodegradable, which means when any major repairs are done to a house, the discarded insulation pollutes the environment.
Recycled or reclaimed building materials can make stunning features, but it can take a bit of time to find the perfect piece. Your builder will need to know the dimensions of any pieces you want to include, so it is worth keeping an eye on the classifieds or visiting some demolition yards well before you start building your new home.
There are other products that can be used as insulation which are better for the environment. For example, mineral wool is completely biodegradable and conducts heat just as well as, if not better than, fiberglass insulation. The only negative aspect is that it is not as flame resistant.
While there have been some impressive advances in architecture and technology, some of the fundamental home features like insulation and the materials used to build your home can still have the greatest environmental impact. Light colours reflect heat, so incorporate them into your roof and exterior wall palette. Your floor plan is also important. Things like having the living areas placed so they are north facing ensures that you can make the most of natural light mean that the bedrooms can be on the southern side of the property and stay at a cooler, more comfortable temperature for sleeping.
Pellet stoves are another great option to live green. Instead of using logs to power them, they only use wood pellets. The design enables them to get just as much heat out of much less wood. It has the dual purpose of making people less reliant on fuel and electricity and also keeps more trees from being chopped down. Pellet stoves are so good for the environment that they can be another large tax write-off. Energy is never wasted in them because they come with sensors so they shut off when a certain temperature is reached and turn on again when it gets cold.
Wind turbines are not quite ready for single home usage, but they will be within the next few years. All people should consider having them installed once the size and installation processes are more reasonable for private families. They harness the wind in the same manner that windmills used to, only they convert wind power into energy to power homes. They are already being used for large companies and by different governments.
The problem with open plan layouts is that because you can’t close off zoned areas, you end up using more energy (and spending more money) on heating and cooling. Stacked or recessed sliding doors can be a great option to consider as they let you keep that open plan look while maintaining the ability to close them off when you need to turn the heater or air conditioning on.
Even if you do not intent on staying in your home for an extended period of time, there are small things that can be done in order to preserve energy and keep your bills low. Use energy efficient light bulbs. Draught-proof all windows and doors so heat does not escape. Recycle as much as you possibly can and have an efficient recycling system in your house so separation of materials is easier. Put electronics on timers so they automatically shut off after a certain time when you are sure you will not need to use them.