Green homes have been growing in popularity and for a good reason. They are energy-efficient, cost saving and usually have a higher resale price. Last but not least – they significantly reduce your carbon footprint and help your contribution to a good cause.
In case you’ve been considering the idea of building a green home, the following are the essentials to stick with.
1. Go Smaller
It’s always better to opt for a smaller version of a green home – your carbon footprint will be smaller in comparison to building a large green home. Nobody says you need to live in a tiny home. Careful design will provide you with everything you need and the comfort you desire but on a smaller surface. In other words, be thoughtful when you’re planning your new home. A smaller home will be easier to maintain, more cost-effective and with a lesser environmental impact.
2. Careful with the Materials
It goes without saying – the smaller the house, the fewer materials are needed. However, there are other things to have in mind. It’s important to be effective at using the materials and reuse the ones you can. For example, you can recycle reclaimed wood and use it as beans, door or even furniture.
Another strategy is to use renewable and sustainable resources, such as cork that’s mainly used for flooring. You could also go for true linoleum, a completely natural material that’s incredibly durable. In general, going for durable materials can ensure you won’t have to replace them for decades in some cases. And this philosophy doesn’t refer to materials only - stick to flea markets and antique stores to salvage materials and give them a new life.
3. Additional Energy Sources
A smart long-term investment would be to provide your home with alternative energy. Use can choose between a wind power system, geothermal, solar hot water or photovoltaic (solar electric) system. Wind systems have to be placed on the ground by professionals. On the other hand, photovoltaic and solar hot water systems should be mounted on the roof by solar panel electricians. A well-thought placement of solar panels will allow for maximum use of the sunlight. These systems allow you to heat and cool your home or to heat water for domestic use.
4. Energy-Efficiency as a Design Element
This here is a broad term. Once you start with designing your green home, there will be lots of things to pay attention to. The term includes having high-efficiency appliances that will save plenty of energy. The approach should also cover heating and cooling equipment, as well as water heaters. However, you can go further than that. Careful placement of windows around the house will allow natural ventilation, while the south-facing windows will allow the sunlight warmth to enter the house. Quality awnings will reduce the use of air conditioning, while skylights will reduce the use of electricity during the day.
5. Cooling the Roof
If you make an effort to ensure a cool roof, it will also have a great impact on the temperature of your home, too. Materials like terra cotta, white tiles, slate and metal roofing are those that may cost you more initially but will save you money in the long run.
Another method of cooling down the roof is to have a “living roof”. They hold plants growing on the roof filter rainwater but also insulate your home. They also prevent roof water from getting into the storm sewer system. Even though they are generally installed on commercial buildings, they can also be created on residential roofs.
A green home is the home of the future. It simply has all that we need – it saves us a lot of money through energy-efficient elements, it provides us with several alternative energy sources and it helps us do our bit for our environment. A greener future is more certain if you wait for it in your green home.