Generation Y have been bought up with an awareness of the environment and have become more inclined to use and purchase items that are deemed eco friendly. As a result eco-friendly properties are growing to be more well-liked. For a sellers best interest if your house is eco it’s useful for your buyers to be able to identify sustainable home building resources for themselves. When it comes to buying a home if you know the details of its build you can make vital decisions between one property and another based on just how careful the construction has been with taking into account the impact of protecting the environment. You can also identify which properties will save you funds when it comes to running costs and making repairs. And if you plan to put up additional buildings or extensions to your property, you’ll know how to go about it in a responsible way.
Here is a quote taken from a book I have been reading on sustainable living. It says sustainable material can come in many forms. Preferably it should be offered locally to lessen the environmental impact on transportation. The materials should originate from renewable sources, such as sustainable forest plantations, and the processing and manufacturing involved in preparing them for construction use should be efficient and non-hazardous. They should also be intended to last for a long time, reducing the need for repairs and replacements. It sounds like a lot of hog wash but the practical use and the impact
Sustainable building materials are not only excellent for the environment, they’re good for your health. In order to take full advantage of their staying power, they should be water resistant, which will also go well in stopping the growth of mould and rot, which can harm your health in many ways. Using natural materials such as wood or stone means you won’t have to be concerned about toxic and carcinogenic emissions such as those emitted by some petroleum-based building materials and asbestos. If builders used recycled or reclaimed materials in the construction of a property, you can use air-monitoring equipment to check the interior air quality and make certain no problems have arisen as a result. For many construction businesses, such tests are standard on eco-friendly homes, making them a better bet than ordinary properties. And most sustainable materials are designed for easy cleaning so that you won’t have to use to use strong chemical cleaning products which can potentially harm both you and the environment.
Once you begin looking into sustainable building materials, you’ll find that there are all sorts of intriguing options out there, including traditional cedar or stone, lightweight but unexpectedly strong bamboo or cork with wool-based cavity filling providing a tremendously efficient substitute to standard insulating materials, and linoleum or terracotta tiling perfect for floors. Materials such as these can be used to craft a home that is good for the environment, good for you, cheap to run and truly individual. You really can’t lose.
But for a start here are a few things you can do in your house today.
Start with Just a Bulb
Start with small changes that make a big difference in your own energy use and the pollution we generate. If every homeowner replaced their five most frequently used light fixtures or the bulbs in them with ones that have a low energy rating then you can save 10% of your power bill straight away. The initial cost can seem high but the long term rewards are good.
- Kitchen ceiling lights
- Living/Family room table and floor lamps
- Outdoor porch or post lamps
Energy saver lighting uses about 75% less energy than standard lighting, produces 75% less heat and lasts up to 10 times longer.
The energy used in the average home can be responsible for more than twice the greenhouse gas emissions of the average car. Helping with global climate change starts right at home with easy changes like light bulbs and fixtures.
Heart of the Home
Close to 50% of the energy used in your home goes to heating and cooling. It makes sense to ensure your systems are operating efficiently.
Air Filters & Obstructions
Change the air filter on your heaters or air conditioning modules at least every 3 months to run it at its maximum efficiency. Clogged, dirty filters really reduce efficiency of your system and the air quality in your home.
Keep your vents and registers unobstructed. Move drapes, rugs and furniture away from heat registers and return-air vents. Free-flowing air through the units provides more comfort and will save you money.
Save Money with Regular Maintenance
Get a tune-up for your HRV equipment yearly. Airflow and other problems can reduce your system’s energy efficiency by 15%.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat can save you hundreds a year in energy costs! It will give you the flexibility to turn down the heat or air conditioning during the day and when you are away for extended periods of time.
Save 25 to 40% on Energy Costs
Seal your leaky heating and cooling ducts and increase their efficiency by as much as 20%, while increasing the comfort in your home. Much of your heating and cooling goes out through leaky ductwork.
Close to 75% of installed cooling equipment has the incorrect amount of refrigerant. This can lower efficiency from 5-20% and cause premature failure. Work with your contractor to verify the level is correct.
Infinity hot water heating (tankless) have an advantage over tank water heaters because they provide significant energy savings. The tank water heaters must constantly heat the tank’s water waiting for the demand, where the tankless provides the hot water on demand. Installing tankless water heaters in new homes makes a lot of sense. When replacing a tank water heater in an existing home, the cost of the tankless, plus installation will generally be 2-3 times higher.
If you are replacing an electric or liquid propane tank water heater with a tankless, the savings can be up to 50% on water heating costs. The cost of heating hot water in a home is about 14% of your energy bill, so it is a significant expense.
There are both electric and natural gas tankless hot water heaters. The natural gas units are more expensive than the electric, but they cost about 10-15% less to operate. A good plumbing contractor can help you calculate your potential savings and payback period, plus discuss which is better for your home.
Front Load vs. Top Load
When you need a new clothes washer, there are quite a few choices, but the primary choice is between a front or top loading machine design.
Front loading machines use about 38% less water and 56% less energy, and they are also easier on clothing because there’s no agitator. They require less detergent too. Big families can fit more clothes in a load, saving even more energy and some time doing laundry too. Front loading machines also extract more water, reducing drying times for additional energy savings.
Front loading machines do cost more upfront, but can pay for themselves fairly quickly. A family of four can save around $100 annually just on water and energy costs alone. The cost of top loading machines ranges from $400-$1200 and front loading machines from $700-$1500. A front loading machine can pay for itself in 2-3 years, depending upon the model you choose.
Remember to always look for ENERGY STAR!
ENERGY STAR Savings
Products with the ENERGY STAR rating use 10-50% less energy and water than standard models. The money you save on energy will more than make up for any additional cost. Look for the EN ERGY STAR label on clothes washers, refrigerators, dishwashers and many other household systems and appliances.