Building eco-friendly homes matters to more buyers today, but many are unsure how to start this vital process. Energy efficiency is just the start of what you need to think about when designing a house for eco-friendliness.
The series Impossible Builds on Hulu + Live TV takes a look at the current trends involving kit houses. Many of these homes are in remote areas and stand out as examples of ways eco-friendly features are put into use.
Read on to learn more about how you can build an eco-friendly house and what this means for your family.
How to Ensure Your New Home Will Be Eco-Friendly
Designing or remodeling homes to be eco-friendly is more than a passing trend; it has become a way of life for many homeowners. Many buyers who have been looking to escape the issues associated with renting with a lower-cost option or wanting to downsize from a conventional house have opted for affordable prefabricated homes.
Many of these homes are eco-friendly from the start or are easy to modify for eco-friendliness. Regardless of where you are in your home search, you’ll benefit from considering the different available options.
Whether you opt for a prefabricated house or a conventional house, there are several steps you can take to make sure your home is eco-friendly from the time you begin construction.
Let’s go over some of the steps you can take to create a more sustainable home.
Energy-Efficient Light Fixtures
Energy-efficient light fixtures consume considerably less energy than other types of fixtures. If paired with energy-efficient bulbs, the bulbs may last 25 times longer and use 75% less energy.
Dual-flush toilets use separate flushes for solid and liquid waste. This feature may reduce water consumption by as much as 80%.
Ensuring That The Duct System Is Sealed To Prevent Energy Loss
Making sure that the duct system is well-sealed helps prevent energy loss. With as much as 20% of the air moving through ducts being lost because of leaks, a secure duct system makes a difference.
Use Higher-Quality Insulation For Greater Savings
Better insulation makes a substantial difference in your home’s heating or cooling efficiency. One of the advantages that you have during the building process is being able to specify what type of insulation you want when constructing a conventional home.
Opting for energy-efficient faucets will help prevent leaks that can account for as much as 10% of your water bill. Because many areas are encountering problems with water supply, containing as many leaks as possible is a good strategy.
Quality Doors And Windows That Seal Properly
Making sure the windows and doors on your home always seal properly is another winning strategy. Your air conditioning and heating system won’t need to work as hard to keep your home comfortable, and you could save hundreds of dollars each year.
Using Recycled Or Repurposed Materials When Possible
Recycled or repurposed materials are popular in many components used for building homes. Some of the most popular examples include:
- Plastic bottles recycled into carpeting
- Countertops with a managed forest-material paper base
- Recycled paper and wood waste-based composite decking
- Recycled rubber roofing products
Eco-Friendly Improvements You Can Make Before Moving Into an Existing Home
One of the best ways to help conserve overall energy is to save the space that you use inside your home. For example, consider using a section of your living area for this space instead of setting up a dedicated room as an office that may require additional heating or cooling.
When you’re selecting paint and products like floor oils, you will want to avoid products that use volatile organic compounds or VOMs. These compounds are bad for the environment, as well as your family’s health. There are several lines of eco-friendly paints and floor oils that you can try for your home.
Selecting your window coverings carefully also adds to energy conservation. Allowing in more light during the daytime helps keep the house warmer during the winter. If you choose the right curtains or drapes, you can keep the house shaded and cooler during the summer.
Solar energy is an excellent way to make your home greener. Although rooftop solar panels have long defined how we see solar energy, there are several ways that solar energy can be used in a home, including:
- Outdoor solar lights – These lights are often excellent for illuminating driveways, walkways, and other areas without requiring extra electrical wiring.
- Solar water heaters – Although accounting for only about 20% of residential water heaters, these water heaters have a good track record of reducing energy costs.
- Solar attic fans – These fans are most popular in areas with warmer climates and help prevent heat from getting trapped in the attic, which may raise the temperature elsewhere in the house.
In many cases, appliances in existing homes may be lacking in energy efficiency. Check for Energy Star certifications for these important appliances:
- Water heaters
- Cooling or heating units
- Washing machines
Choosing ceiling fans, portable fans, and coolers for greater energy efficiency is especially important in smaller homes. If your home lacks central air conditioning because of its smaller size, fans will play a more significant role in cooling.
If you use a smart thermostat for your home, energy efficiency is essential. Because these devices are necessary for temperature control, maximum efficiency matters.
You’ll also want to make sure your TV and stereo equipment meets efficiency standards. These types of equipment usually see some of the heaviest use, which makes their efficiency important.
Building an eco-friendly house requires necessary steps, regardless of whether you’re building a new home or moving into an existing house.
Although some of these steps may seem of little consequence, they may make a significant impact. Opting for an eco-friendly home will be one of the best decisions you could make as a homeowner.