Your home can be a haven if you want it to be, but when its inefficient use of energy sucks up power — driving up your utility bills and expanding pollution of the environment — it’s hard to feel great about that. The average person spends most of her time in the home, so it’s worth the labor of making it energy efficient as well as the ultimate escape after a long day.
Here are some of the best eco-friendly home design trends.
The kind of lighting you use doesn’t have a huge impact on power consumption during a single day, but over time it becomes a major investment. Switch from traditional, incandescent light bulbs to CFLs or LEDs.
Incandescent light bulbs use 90 percent of the energy they consume to generate heat, and only 10 percent becomes light. CFLs and LEDs use almost all their energy for lighting, so they significantly reduce energy consumption. They also last longer, and thus save money on the initial cost of the bulbs.
New Windows and Treatments
Some windows are better than others for improved efficiency. Look for the ones with the Energy Star rating.
They’ll have a tighter seal and thicker window panes, which keep outside air where it should be. This ensures your HVAC system won’t have to work too hard in order to compensate invasion by unwelcome outside air.
In addition, window treatments can reduce the penetration of sunlight into your home. Sunshine is a natural heater, which is useful in winter, but during the summer, it will raise your internal temperatures and require the air conditioning to work harder.
This is a waste of energy. Good window treatments like blackout curtains, sun coating on the glass, or indoor shutters can substantially reduce indoor heat.
These remodels can be costly, but your wallet and the environment will thank you when your energy consumption and utility bills plummet.
Smart Home Installations
Home automation is the latest and greatest trend in home renovations. A smart panel that connects your thermostat, door locks, and alarm system can improve the efficiency — and convenience — of any home.
It’s easily controlled from the smart panel or your mobile device, so you can adjust it anywhere and at any time. This is especially worthwhile for scheduling your smart home thermostat.
The thermostat places your home’s temperature control system on a timer so that when no one’s home, the HVAC system shuts off. It can be set to turn on again just before the residents return.
This saves plenty of energy that would otherwise have been wasted by a homeowner who has other things on his mind.
Net Zero Energy
This concept is gaining steam as more homeowners recognize the benefit of significantly reduced power usage. A net zero home can reduce energy consumption of a typical home by nearly 50 percent. It’s achieved through greener construction, in which smart home features are included and more efficient appliances are installed to cut down on energy use.
Smart Toilets and Water Features
Though energy is the most common issue in green home processes, water is also an expensive and precious commodity. The typical American family home consumes 400 gallons of water a day, and 70 percent of that water is used indoors.
Much of that water is unfortunately wasted during activities such as long showers and constantly running water during dishwashing. Through smart toilets and other water control features, you can reduce your consumption.
Toilets alone account for 27 percent of the water used in a home. A smart toilet can reduce the amount of water consumption by half. Mindful water taps and shower heads can also decrease indoor water use and cut waste.
Today’s home trends often involve far more than the latest colors and patterns. Many homebuyers and contractors are putting a hefty emphasis on developing a greener lifestyle in the home.
If you seek to fit in with current trends, save money, and help the environment, you’ll want to implement these green home features.