Most of you are proud owners of impressive, luxurious and comfortable homes that have cost you a lot of money to build. You take great care to make your house stand out from the rest. Beautiful home décor, sprawling garden and expensive fittings make your home worth living. But is that all you think when you build a home?
At a time when the entire world is moving towards eco-friendly sustainable living, is it not important for us to incorporate the said attitude in building our homes too? An energy efficient eco-friendly home has a number of benefits. Apart from helping the environment, it saves a lot of money as well. A cost-effective eco-friendly home is a dire necessity in our present world. Building a greener home would diminish your expenses in the long run. Moreover, it is a big step towards a pollution free greener planet. If you are keen on building an eco-friendly house or want to convert your present home into an eco-friendly one, the following guidelines would definitely help you out.
- ENERGY CALCULATION
To build a greener home, you first need to calculate the total energy usage of your home. A home energy audit is necessary. You can take the help of professionals in this matter. A calculation of the energy consumption of your home would give you a better idea of how to proceed towards a greener path and what changes to make. You will get to know whether your house is poorly insulated or whether you have any air gaps in your windows or doors. These gaps can disturb the temperature of the house by letting cold or warm air pass freely. This type of air leakage usually happens in old buildings which often comprise of badly fitted windows or doors. If you are building a new house, you need to make sure that such leakage does not happen. Talk to your architect or contractor about climate control strategies. Also, see to it that every part of the house is being properly utilised. Proper utilisation of space is crucial.
- BUILDING MATERIALS
Now what about building materials? No matter what happens, see to it that the contractor is not using asbestos as a building material. It is detrimental to the environment and the general health. Tell them to use recycled lumber thereby contributing to the prevention of cutting trees. Also make sure to use building materials that are sturdy and strong. A strong house lasts many years and saves repair costs in later years. Salvaged building materials may be used instead of new ones. Using salvaged materials does not mean that you have to compromise on the quality. Purchase from reliable sources to get the best products. There are many other factors to be considered. What about the paint for the house? Always remember to use low VOC products for the house, especially in case of paint or any type of polish. The fumes from high VOC paints and polish can badly affect your health and the toxic chemicals are damaging to the environment.
- SOLAR ENERGY
You can put the light of the sun in good use by installing solar panels. Solar panels use the sun’s energy to provide electricity to the house. They are a bit expensive but are extremely good for the environment. Solar heaters and solar powered generators are nowadays very much in vogue. Another way to save electricity cost during day time is to install skylights. With skylights, you house is flooded with sunlight all throughout the day.
- CARBON FOOTPRINT REDUCTION
Many of you may have heard of carbon footprint which is the amount of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases that we release in the atmosphere. To reduce our carbon footprint at home, don’t forget to fit energy efficient LED lights in your house. This saves a lot of energy as well as money. Also you can choose motion sensor lights for the porch.
- WATER CONSERVATION
An important area of the house is the bathroom. Using low-flowing toilets can save a lot of water. If you want to go all in, there is another alternative called composting toilets. Composting toilets don’t use water at all. Put in rain barrels on the roof that store the rain water and prevents it from falling on the roof. This water can later be utilised in the garden or for housework.
If you follow these steps, you will definitely achieve an eco-friendly greener home in no time. To build an eco-friendly home you need organisation, proper knowledge and calculation. You also need a lot of dedication and hard work. It is indeed difficult to convert each and every part of the house to something eco-friendly but there is no harm in trying. Both the interior and the exterior can be made eco-friendly. From furniture to lights, kitchen appliances to coolers- every item in the house has an eco-friendly alternative. So don’t waste any more time, go make your home eco-friendly today.