Green homes are ones that are energy efficient and earth friendly. Green home communities are being built throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Asia, Australia and Europe in an effort to lessen the carbon footprint humans leave behind. A green home will contain some or all of the following earth friendly features: an alternative power system such as solar and wind, fiber cement siding, solar powered hot water heating, recycled building insulation and no-VOC paints and stains.
If you don't live in one of these new green homes, there are still things you can do to increase your energy conservation and contribute to saving the environment. By making your home green you can save money and help reduce global warming. These changes requires little to no effort on your part but will significantly impact the environment for the better.
A majority of green homes are now using compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs, instead of the standard incandescent light bulbs. Switching out your current light bulbs to CFLs can save you over $100 US Dollars (USD) per year. CFLs can now be purchased in the same aisle as regular light bulbs and are slightly more expensive. Many municipal and utility districts will provide CFLs to low income families. If every household in the United States switched out their light bulbs, there would be a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of one trillion pounds (453,592,370,000 kg).
Another way to make a pre-existing home green is to install a programmable thermostat. This will allow the homeowner to program the thermostat so that the heater or air conditioner is off when they are away from home. They can also program the thermostat so that it will heat or cool the house shortly before arriving home. This change can save ten percent or more on heating and cooling costs.
Plugging air leaks is another way to practice energy conservation and save money. Installing weather-stripping and properly caulking windows will stop air drafts and keep the temperature in your house from fluctuating rapidly. Drafts can be found around windows, doors, outlets, pipes and attic floors.
A majority of green homes come equipped with energy star® rated appliances, including water heaters, furnaces and air conditioners. These appliance have less of an impact on the environment, as they reduce the amount of electricity required to operate them. For an additional savings on your energy bill you can also purchase energy star® washers, dryers, dishwashers, ovens and refrigerators. Besides saving money on your bill, you also qualify for a tax credit when you purchase energy star® rated appliances.