Practical (Not-So-Sexy) Green Measures

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biobased-foam-insulation.jpgSo, you’ve replaced your burnt out incandescent lightbulbs with compact fluorescents and been more conservative with the thermostat, now what else can you do to ease the strain on your wallet and the environment?

If you’re ready to take the next step in making your home more green and efficient, here’s a list of practical green solutions:

  • Insulation: Use as much as you can appropriately fit in any given space. There are many new insulation choices available today, ranging from recycled newspapers (cellulose) and denim to injected bio-based foam. High-absorption insulation also slows the flow and leakage of heat.
  • Furnace: Install a power-vented, D.C.-motor, dual-stage, 90 percent+ efficiency furnace.
  • Hot water heater: Utilize a tankless, on-demand hot-water heater. It tends to be 20-25 percent more efficient than a traditional hot-water tank and takes up much less space.
  • Low-flow toilets: An older toilet can use three to seven gallons of water per flush! Todays standard toilets use 1.6 gallons of water per flush and save thousands of gallons of water a year. Dual-flush toilets, widely used in Europe and gaining popularity here in the states, use .8 gallons per flush for #1 and 1.6 for #2.
  • Low-E and argon-filled windows: These produce the best R-factor (degree of insulation) and minimize the escape of heat in the winter and cool air in the summer. Triple-glazed or paned windows are the ultimate in energy-efficiency.
  • ENERGY STAR heating & cooling products and appliances: The EPA says that if 10 percent of households used these, 17 billion pounds of pollution would be kept out of the air.
  • Build tight with ventilation: Homes that are built tighter are more comfortable and less drafty. However, it is important to bring in fresh air through mechanical means such as a heat-recovery ventilation unit.

Whether your building new or remodeling your old house, these measures will typically add 1 – 3% to construction costs, but pay for themselves within 2-5 years.

Source: Business Wire

Tag(s): Going Green, Green Building, Money Saving

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