With more and more emphasis on “being green” we would like to provide you with some ideas for turning your home green.
Installing tubular skylights- these skylights provide natural sunlight at a cheaper price than the traditional 2′x4′ skylight. These skylights also provide less area for heat to escape through the glass.
Installing solar panels- Solar panels are wired directly to your main electrical box and provide power for all your electrical needs. The great thing about this setup is you don’t need large batteries to store the power. Whenever your solar panels are producing more power than you are using it spins your electrical meter backwards and the power company could actually end up owing you money.
Doors and windows- Replace your old non-insulated doors and single pane windows with new energy efficient ones. Its not just the gaps that air comes through that make your doors and windows non-insulated. Heat and cold transfers directly through the doors and windows themselves. Make sure your new double pane windows actually have gas between the panes. Some of these discount windows you hear advertised for $189 installed have no gas between the panes therefore no insulation.
Shading your windows- When the sun pours in your south side windows it heats up your house while you are trying to cool it. You can shade your windows with retractable awnings or deciduous trees. In the winter retract the awnings so the sun can heat your home and the deciduous tree will loose its leaves so the sun can shine in.
Storing rainwater- You can store your rainwater and use it for irrigation or even flushing your toilets. The rain water is collected by gutters and routed into barrels where it remains until it is used.
Ceiling or whole house fans- Ceiling fans or whole house fans can circulate the air in your house and cool the house down without running the expensive air conditioner.
Programmable thermostats – When you are not home you do not need to cool or heat your house as much. This type of thermostat can be programmed to control your heating and air conditioner any way you want at any time you want.
Tankless water heaters- These water heaters only heat water when you need it instead of heating the water and allowing it to cool and re-heat all day over and over again
Windmill generators- They haven’t been approved by all localities yet but eventually governments and neighborhood associations will get their priorities straight.
Fix your screens- One reason people don’t open their windows on nice days is because the screens have holes or gaps that let insects in, so get them fixed and enjoy some fresh air.
Weather-strip your doors- The weather-strip on most doors will pull right out and the new weather-strip you get at the hardware store just pushes right into the groove.
Attic insulation- The easiest way for a home owner to insulate their attic is to get bags of blow-in insulation and break it up and throw it everywhere your lacking insulation. Take a push broom into the attic with you to push the insulation around.
Pipe and water heater insulation- Installing pipe insulation on cold and hot water pipes and an insulating blanket around your water heater will keep water hotter longer. Some people do not insulate the cold water pipes but the water in the underground pipe coming to your house is warmer than the pipes exposed to the air under your house. The warmer the cold water is the less time it will take to heat up.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs- No need for explanation here. They save money and energy.
Energy Star appliances- Always look for the energy star label when buying appliances.
Green mind set- This is probably the most important thing. Doing the smallest green thing may not help the environment as much as it helps you get into a green mind set. It’s like saving money, if you say it’s only a dollar soon you’ll be saying it’s only 10 dollars then it’s only a hundred dollars, I think you get the point.
These are just a few ways to make your home green. You can actually get tax credits for taking steps in this direction. The federal government and individual state governments have strict guidelines so make sure you do your research and chose the improvements that are right for you. These tax credits are sadly just a drop in the bucket but hopefully politicians will see their way clear to give us a significant tax break when we try to save the world they don’t seem to care about.
Green Construction Blog – Green building technologies, cool roofs, metal roofing and buildings. Review of energy efficiency and conservation products & techniques to reduce your heating, cooling and electric bills. Review of Solar PV and Geothermal installation for homeowners & businesses.