If you are building a new home, or renovating your old home, it’s a good time to think about going green. Sustainable home design isn’t just good for the environment, but it will also save you money in the long run, in bills and maintenance.
When building your green home, keep these 9 sustainable design tips in mind:
A Green Orientation
This is the first step you should be taking to building your green home. The orientation of your home can save you money in cooling or warming up the place as the season changes. This usually means to let the largest part of the building face towards the sun. This will give it clear access to sunlight during the winter months, bringing down your heating bills significantly.
You might want to consider talking to a builder or an architect to help you align your home towards a green orientation.
If it’s possible, build a smaller house. These are more energy efficient. It’s simply because they use fewer materials. It requires less energy to maintain and run these homes. For instance, during the hotter months, bigger homes require more cooling units than smaller homes. It’s common sense really.
You can make up for the smaller house by increasing the landscaping area in your home. Give more space to gardens and nature. Rely on reused water for their upkeep.
When you buy local, you forgo the need to ship your materials from other countries. This doesn’t just mean less shipping charges and lower costs for you, but it also translates as more energy efficient for the environment. Less fuel and energy is spent on shipping these goods.
Moreover, you’d be surprised by the range of local materials available to you. Explore the local community and see what you find there. In the long run also, this choice will be more stress-free for you. If any material or part needs replacement, it will be easily available to you. You won’t have to go chasing suppliers and shipments.
Use Recycled Materials
This is one place where you can let your creativity out and try out new ideas. Recycled materials are usually cheaper because they are already there.
If you use reclaimed wood from an ancestor’s home, for example, you can come up with wonderful furniture accessories. This will create a synergy in the entire home, and you’ll have a story to tell. Some recycled, reclaimed or reused materials you can use are glass, steel, wood, plastic, bricks, masonry, soils and roof shingles.
Make It Energy and Water Efficient
Building an energy and water efficient home really brings down the utility bills. Some ways you can do that is:
- Install energy star appliances
- Install timer thermostats of major appliances
- Keep the thermostat on low
- Go for energy-efficient LED lighting
- Insulate your roof and attic
- Put your outdoor lights on a timer or try solar lights.
- Clean and replace furnace filters regularly
- Install motion sensor lights
- Wash clothes in cold water and dry your clothes on the line.
- Install a low-flow toilet
- Install energy rated faucets
- Install tank-less water heaters
- Make use of rainwater for your garden
Replace with Solar
Modern homes have the advantage of benefiting from the new solar appliances. Start with installing solar panels in your home. If you live in a sunny part of the world, solar panels are enough to power your home and even leave you enough to sell some to your utility company.
Many countries have this law where utility companies are required to buy the extra solar power created from individual home. This means that by installing solar panels you aren’t only saving money, but can also make it!
Install Energy Star Windows
Energy Star windows are energy rated products by the government to help you conserve energy in your home. They help insulate your home better. This means cooling or heating in the home keeps inside the home for longer, keeping the utility bills lower. Some homeowners claim that after installing these windows, their bills dropped by hundreds of dollars.
Insulating your home serves a dual purpose. You not only save energy costs, but your home is also more comfortable. Like energy star windows, it reduces the transfer of cooling or heating into the outside environment.
Review Energy Use
Even after you have built your green home, your work doesn’t stop here. A good idea is to review your energy use periodically and find out what areas are sucking up the most energy. If you can, work on them.
Building energy efficient and sustainable home might cost you a little more than a traditional home, but it will make up for the cost and even earn you money in the long run. If you are looking for mortgage lenders to finance your sustainable home, we recommend you try these best mortgage lenders.