Posts tagged green living
Spring is just around the corner and as green starts to make its presence known in the grass and the trees there are simple things that everyone can do to green their new home. You can look for eco-friendly building materials and green solutions to many of your home building processes, but while you wait to move in, here are a few more simple solutions to consider.
Update Your Appliances
One of the things that no home should be without is an ENERGY STAR rated refrigerator. The refrigerator is one of the biggest energy hogs in a home. When a fridge, ten year or older is replaced with an ENERGY STAR rated model, the average home owner can save up to $150 according to the Environmental Protection Agency. And according to ENERGY STARS’s website, if one in ten homes used ENERGY STAR appliances, it would be the equivalent to 1.7 acres of new trees.
Watch the Temperature
Almost half of a home’s energy is consumed during heating and cooling. You can save that energy by being mindful of the temperature. Keep the thermostat down in cold weather and up in warm weather. For each degree you lower your thermostat during colder weather saves you between 3 and 5 percent more on heat energy. During warmer weather, keeping the thermostat at 78 degrees will help you save money. You can also consider using ceiling fans instead of air conditioners.
If you are planning for next winter, you can also consider buying a new furnace. Furnaces made today are 25 percent more efficient than those made in the 1980s. You can also find furnaces that carry the ENERGY STAR label as well.
Adding things like an aerator or a low-flow toilet, or showerhead can help you towards saving water. You can save water simply by changing certain behaviors. For example, shutting off the water while you brush your teeth saves 4.5 gallons every time and using a broom instead of a garden hose to clean your driveway will save 80 gallons of water.
When it comes to living green, using green materials is half the battle, but there are always little things that you can do to save more energy and water. Living green doesn’t have to mean making compromise after compromise. You can have style and still be green with some simple lifestyle changes and one of several award winning ENERGY STAR rated house plans from Direct from the Designers.
Everything about this European house plan is green, especially the way it integrates the indoor and outdoor living spaces. From sustainable materials like stone and stucco to barrel tile roofs to energy-efficient appliances to eco-friendly floors, countertops and decorative millwork – this home is designed to last forever. This breathtaking design is filled with plenty of entertaining areas like the lanai, loggia, courtyard, porch and pool. Inside you can enjoy an open floor plan where the gourmet kitchen looks into the great room with fireplace and gallery.
You will also enjoy browsing our collection of new green house plans (all part of our first ENERGY STAR house plan competition), which you cannot find anywhere else. For more information on how to build or remodel a home to incorporate sustainable and energy efficient practices and products, check out the newly added Green Living section. It is packed with informative articles on the latest tips, trends and products so you can live healthy and smart.