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How do I Choose the Best Green Home Design?

Article Details
  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 August 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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Green home design has gained considerable popularity in the wake of information about the need for a sustainable and low-polluting society. There are many things that a person can do to green his or her home, from buying new windows to simply implementing a recycling bin. Green home design also applies to building or buying a new home built to sustainable standards Choosing the best green home design for a new house or remodeling an older home to fit new green standards depends on budget, lifestyle, and the level of greening desired.

Many energy companies and green building initiatives now offer free home consultations to determine energy efficiency. A green technology expert can identify areas where energy efficiency can be improved, as well as suggest easy and low-cost fixes to basic environmental issues around the house. Consider scheduling an appointment for an efficiency check-up to help start the process of a green home design.

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One of the best ways to incorporate green home design is to try to make a house work for the process instead of against it. Poor insulation, old and outdated plumbing, and even certain types of light bulbs can be sucking untold amounts of energy out of the house as well as money out of the bank. By updating insulation and replacing windows with double-paned glass, indoor temperature can be more easily regulated. This in turn leads to less need for heaters or air conditioning, and therefore less energy used. Updating furnaces and water heaters with newer, energy-efficient versions can also lead to a far lower bill and a greener lifestyle. Using recycling, compost heaps, and replacing single use cleaning aids, like paper towels, with repeat-use products like dishtowels can also help extend sustainable practices into everyday life.

Many new green homes will include appliances that are energy efficient, including washers, dryers, refrigerators, and stoves. While these can be great aids to reducing energy expenditure, those truly dedicated to eliminating use of regular energy will want to look for a home that produces its own power. Many new green homes are built to have zero energy cost, which means that the home produces all of the energy it needs in a sustainable, clean way. Green home design often incorporates solar and thermal power sources, such as solar panels, to reach toward a zero energy level.

Whether in a custom built green home or in a remodeled, energy-efficient house, remember that green home design extends into the yard as well. Try to set up rain catching devices that can provide water for plants, or consider creating a garden out of drought-resistant, low water plants. Consider how many pollutant pesticides go into commercial vegetables and fruit, and how much gas is spent transporting that food to supermarkets; one great way to improve green home design and a sustainable lifestyle is to grow fruits and vegetables at home. If a home comes with a swimming pool, consider investing in thermal heating discs that suck heat into the pool from the sun, rather than an energy draining heating system.

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