Building a Home: Things To Include To Make Your Home Green

Written by  //  June 11, 2014  //  Energy Efficient Home  //  Comments Off on Building a Home: Things To Include To Make Your Home Green

Looking to build a home with leaner bills and a greener footprint? It is much cheaper to do the eco-upgrades now than retrofit them later on down the road. If you want to build green, make sure to add these eco-friendly features.

Going Solar

Devoting part of your roof to solar panels is about as green as it gets. The latest advances boast unprecedented 32 to 44% efficiency levels. As a bonus, excess energy can be stored in batteries and used as backup power in the event of an outage.

In 2013, solar panels cost about $3 per watt, and the costs drop yearly. If total energy independence sounds too pricey, consider putting in enough panels to power your most energy-draining devices, or look into buying second-hand panels at a deep discount.

Efficient Windows

The term "Energy Star" may summon visions of appliances, but windows can be Energy Star certified, too. Energy Star fittings prevent indoor temperature fluctuations from the sun and outside temperatures.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Energy Star windows keep energy bills 15% lower versus their conventional counterparts. According to RetroTeck Window Mfg. Ltd., a company specializing in windows in Surrey, upgrading to 100% vinyl is ideal for energy-efficiency and durability.

On-Demand Water Heaters

Traditional water heaters, which maintain a reservoir of hot water, are energy-guzzling behemoths responsible for up to a third of a home’s energy consumption. Going tankless can cut back on up to 50% of that energy use.

Tankless heaters heat water only as it is needed. A single whole-house heater will be 8-36% more efficiency than a traditional tank heater, according to the EPA. Putting a small heater near every amenity that uses hot water boosts those numbers up to 50%.

Smart Thermostats

Odds are you have already chosen an Energy Star HVAC system, but to maximize energy conservation, combine it with a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats are similar to their programmable cousins, but they learn from your habits.

After a period of being manual adjustment to learn your routine, smart thermostats self-program your schedule, making your HVAC inactive when no one is home. They can be controlled via smart phone, and the savings can add up to $180 a year or more.

Eco-friendly building options are multiplying every year. When the time comes to choose any feature or building material, do your research and find out which option is the greenest. The choices you find might just surprise you.

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