Energy has become one of the most debatable issues in today’s world and it is no surprise that more homes are looking to reduce carbon emissions and thereby create a more sustainable and healthy world. In fact lot of governments across the world are making it mandatory for homes to have energy efficient systems installed, in order to reduce the dependency on non-renewable sources of energy like coal or fossil fuels.
Apart from being a part of the noble energy saving initiative, having an energy efficient system installed at home has its other advantages as well. You shall certainly increase the overall worth of your home by having an energy efficient system as a part of the home. A few energy efficient systems that can be installed to make your house non-dependent on conventional sources of energy are the following. As you decide to work towards the goal of an energy efficient house, the first step is to do an energy audit. You need to check the usage of energy in your house and check ways to reduce usage of electricity which is normally generated from non-renewable sources of energy.
A few systems that are normally used to make the house more energy efficient are:
Solar powered systems: These are systems which use solar power to generate electricity and run your equipments. Most common form of solar systems available nowadays is those which are used for room heaters or water heaters. The only disadvantage connected with this type of power is the initial cost associated with the installation. They are quite expensive to install, but end up being very cost effective in the long run, with returns on equipment working out in at least eight to ten years.
Rain water harvesting systems: Like solar systems, these are also slightly expensive to install and require quite a lot of planning; especially in the initial stages. They need detailed workings to be done, so that every drop of rainwater is harvested. It also requires additional land to make the entire system viable; hence these are practically possible in big communities, which can warrant that the cost per house will work out to be quite cheap, as also the benefit can be derived for every house hold, by bringing a reduction in their water bills.
Apart from these tailor made systems, there are a few simple ways to reduce your energy consumption patterns. These steps can be incorporated into your home when you construct the house itself. Cross ventilation in all rooms reduce usage of air conditioning and good insulation in the walls can reduce use of heaters as well. Also, higher ceilings and some greenery can reduce the impact of the summer, thereby reducing your air-conditioning bills.
If you happen to be looking for a green home or eco-friendly dwellings, you might be confused on how to determine if it is truly green. What are the qualifiers for a green home? Here is a checklist that will guide you in determining the features of a green house and the benefits you can get when you live in it.
Area: Green houses and communities should not be on environmentally sensitive locations such as farmland, wetlands and endangered animals surroundings. The ideal sites are “in-fill” properties like previous parking lots, rail yard, shopping mall and factories. Choose a location wherein public transportation such as bus lines, light rail and subways systems are accessible. In this way, you can leave your car at home. It must also be near the park, school and stores. Everything must be reachable as possible so that you can just ride on your bicycle if you need something. It will not just save you from fuel; it is a healthy activity as well.
Dimension: Keep in mind that if the lot is big, it requires greater heating, air conditioning and lightning. And this is like spending double on your electricity bills. A smaller house will allow you to save more energy. Though it does not have to be very small, just enough to accommodate you and your family.
Infrastructure Design: Your house must be situated in an area that can take advantage of the natural daylight. In this way, you can minimize the use of lighting requirements and make use of the coolness of the air. Make use of the parts of your house to bring light inside. You must have shading devices like sunshades, canopies, green screens and trees to help you control the amount of sunlight that comes inside. Dual glaze windows lessen the heat during summer season and heat loss during winter. The roof must have eco-friendly features like light-colored, high reflector of heat or a green (landscaped) roof.
Eco-friendly construction materials: A green house should use healthy and non-toxic materials and furnishings. If you use wood in some areas, make sure they come from renewable sources like bamboo. It is recommended to use eco products since they are made of mostly organic and recycled components.
Energy Efficient Appliances: As much as possible use appliances and devices that have energy saving features, you start from your lights, heater, cooler and other necessary tools. Some of them might be costly, but it is a worthy investment.
Front Yard Landscape: Your landscape plays a big role in the external appearance of your house. You want to make it look very appealing. When you choose ornaments and plants, be sure to place it in such a way that it will help minimize heat islands. The plants you use must withstand the droughts.
Choosing a green house can have a lot of things that must be considered. But the advantages that you can get and the act of helping the environment are much more than price of the house.