Do you want to build a greener home for yourself and for your children? It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s also fiscally responsible and practical. Here are 10 great techniques you can use for building a green home from the ground up.
Use Energy Efficient Lighting Everywhere
This is one of the most common green energy ideas for homes. Replacing old incandescent light bulbs with LEDs is not just energy-efficient, it’s practical. LEDs light up faster, are brighter, and save you more on the annual energy bill.
According to the US Department of Energy, 15% of the Average American Household Energy Bill comprises of lighting. Using LED lighting can cut down that bill by about $225 per year.
Another awesome feature of LEDs is that they don’t emit UV rays or heat. Along with being brighter and more energy-efficient, they’re safer to use! What’s more, they last longer, they use less voltage, and give out constant light. There is little to no flickering throughout the lifespan of an LED light.
Install a Smart Meter to Optimize Energy Usage for Your Home
When you’re investing in a green energy home, you should ensure that it’s utilized efficiently. All the efficient lighting in the world can’t cut down on bills if you don’t manage consumption. Here’s where a smart meter or a smart thermostat comes in. It’s an appliance you simply must invest in when building a green home from the ground up.
Smart thermostats can heat up your home in the winter right before you walk in the door. They can cool down your home if you’re sweating during the summer. They can also work in schedules to manage heating and cooling depending on the temperature of the day.
A smart meter or programmable thermostat can save you 10% on heating and cooling costs year-round. This is a combination of comfort and practicality you should invest in without a moment’s notice. Programmable thermostats make the most out of any setup.
Install Solar Panels to Save on Energy Bills
Solar panels are perhaps the most popular type of renewable energy setup. They’re easier to set up than a wind turbine. They’re much easier to maintain, and they’re great for areas with arid and harsh climates.
Note: Solar panels will only make a dent in your electric bill if you live in a region with regular sunlight. If you live in a particularly humid region with regular rainfall, you can try alternative energy methods. These include geothermal energy.
While installing a solar system can run you anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000, the savings are worth it. You can save anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000. In fact, the US Energy Information Administration estimates you can save upwards of 90% on your monthly electric bills with solar energy.
Invest in Proper Insulation for Climate Control and Annual Savings
Investing in proper insulation isn’t just about keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in winter. It’s about practical energy savings which can benefit your budget and the environment. Insulation comes down to keeping the energy in your home at a constant.
This means that less heat leaks out and less heat leaks in. That way, your thermostat wont’ have to work overtime to cool or heat your home. If you have heaters or ACs installed, you’ll save on those appliances too. Overall, EPA estimates put insulation-related energy savings at up to 15%.
Exactly how much you will save depends on how complete your insulation is and how responsibly you use your appliances. According to the US Department of Energy, 49% of the annual energy bill in an American household is spent on heating or cooling. Spikes arise during cold winters and harsh summers. These spikes can be avoided or somewhat minimized if proper insulation is installed.
Most Effective Insulation Techniques
Covering exposed areas of your home from your ceiling to your floors with insulation can do a lot. This includes the crawl spaces, the attics, and the basements. Insulation padding usually costs around $0.20 to $0.50 per square foot.
Since the average American household energy bill is $115.49 per month, the average American can save:
$115.49 x 0.15 X 12 = $208 per year on energy bills.
Buy Recycled Furniture to Cut Down on Waste
Not all green decisions for your household will save you a lot of money. Some will just cut down on deforestation and save forest cover for the birds. This is one such technique for building a green home from the ground up.
Instead of going to a big brand to buy luxury sofas or dining tables and chairs, try recycled wood. You can also try other recycled materials which are more eco friendly than buying new ones.
While you can still get a brand-new product, it won’t be as environmentally taxing. Also, it won’t cost you as much. Also, getting used furniture is probably a better idea than getting recycled furniture. You will get something pre-loved, sure. However, you will get something that’s been holding together for generations. It may need a little maintenance, but it will hold up for years to come.
Buy Thick Curtains Instead of Blinds
While it may be more fashionable to have blinds in your home, thick curtains are more practical. For some, they may also be a more personal aesthetic choice. Thicker curtains can block more sunlight and can save you on energy bills on particularly hot days. These are lifesavers on un-seasonally hot days when you don’t want to turn on the AC.
Regularly Service Your Boiler
Boiler technology has grown leaps and bounds. Today, they’re more energy efficient than their older counterparts by miles. However, servicing them regularly can keep the energy efficiency at its peak for longer.
Servicing boilers can actually save you from having to repair or in the worst case scenario, replace the boilers. This is where a smart thermostat also comes in handy. By reducing the temperature regularly, your boiler won’t have as much stress on its operations. Hence, its shelf life will increase.
Opt for Green Power
If you have the money, then you can go the environmentally responsible route by buying green energy. According to the Department of Energy, you can buy clean electricity by paying a premium on your monthly bill. While some may see this as an inconvenience, others may wear it as a badge of honor.
You can also do the opposite and get a green certificate from the government if you have a solar power or green power setup. That way, you’ll be contributing to the power grid and giving the country more green energy.
Try to Rid Your Household of VOC Products
Finally, you can do the green thing and reduce or rid your home of VOC products. These are products made with volatile organic compounds. These can be irritating to the skin and the respiratory system. They can cause headaches and other illnesses.
VOCs can be found in everyday items like paints, and cleaning products in your home. Opting for more organic products can reduce their prevalence in your home and in the atmosphere.
Install a Water Filter
Buying a water filter may not immediately seem like a green move, but it lowers your dependency on plastic bottles. Compared to the hundreds or at least dozens of plastic water bottles you use ever year, you’ll use far less. A water filter and a few vacuum thermoses in your home can replace water bottles entirely. Water filters can last about 6-12 months while water bottles are often replaced many times a month. You’ll be reducing landfills and drinking much healthier water. It’s a win-win for you and the environment.
Michael Gailliot Homes Will Help You Find the Green Home You’re Looking For
Green homes and energy efficient villas are no longer the exception to the rule. Michael Gailliot Homes has various listings which include energy efficient architecture, optimized energy use, and green energy options.
If you want to buy a home that utilizes renewable energy and prioritizes energy efficiency, we’ve got great options for you. So, tip your hat to green living and embrace the change that helps you and the planet and the future of your children.
Contact Michael Gailliot Homes to purchase the green home of your dreams today!