Thursday, July 29, 2010

Trends in Green Home Design

Electricity and water bills are on the rise and our country is moving further and further towards green home design. Many ways exist to stay green in your house no matter how old it is and keep style and design aesthetics in check.

Replace all incandescent light bulbs with energy saving light bulbs. By replacing solely the light bulbs that are used most in the home, you can save up to $100 in a year. ENERGY STAR has great qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) that would be a great replacement. Also, if Motion Sensor Lights are added to outdoors, that will cause a huge saving on electricity. That way, the lights will only be triggered with motion rather than staying on for hours at a time.

Check all appliances in the home and make sure they are energy efficient. Appliances that are qualified energy efficient will be marked with an ENERGY STAR sticker. Savings up to 10%-30% can be made on operating costs versus having non-ENERGY STAR appliances in the home.

If the windows in your home are old, it would be a good idea to look into replacing them. Replacements may include windows that are energy-efficient that include weather-stripping and storm windows. Replacing windows alone can save up to 7%-24% on heating and air-conditioning bills.

Are you thinking about installing wood floors in your home? Hardwood floors are beautiful and give homes a warm feeling. However, bamboo floors are now among the rise in home trends and they are considered environmentally friendly due to the years bamboo takes to mature compared to usual hardwoods. Their light nature can easily lighten up a room and gives it a beautiful, but unique look.

Reduce trash. That may sound a bit silly to many households, but now we want to rethink and reuse before we recycle. Pounds and pounds of compost is thrown away as trash and that can all be reused in every household. Such items are banana or orange peels, tea and coffee grounds, egg shells, apple cores, and even moldy cheese! The compost can be collected in a jar (there are so many decorative ones for all styles of home) and reused throughout your garden. A popular way to reuse compost is as soil for gardening and it is known to have a higher nutrient value compared to most store bought soil.

Plant trees! How many times have you heard that said over and over again? However, planting trees close by to homes creates natural shade, especially in the summer. The foliage blocks radiation in the summer that would warm the house and in the summer, the branches are bare and allow radiation to come through and warm the house.

Now what are you going to do to make your home more green?

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