by Lauren Busser The House Designers Contributing Writer
It's Earth Week and that means it is time to evaluate your energy consumption. Whether you are looking for lifestyle changes or more energy efficient products, we have advice on how to make your home as green as possible. Whether you are looking to add some insulation to your home, find a way to control your electricity and energy consumption or you simply want to add some sustainable products to your home, now is the perfect time to do it.
When you begin constructing your home, you can take steps to save energy from the ground up. For starters, you want to make sure your home has enough insulation. Making sure everything from the walls and floors to the attic are well insulated will make your finished house a place of comfort and warmth.
Think about your insulation sooner rather than later. Having efficient insulation in your home can save you a lot on your heating and cooling bills. Owens Corning® EcoTouch™ PINK® FIBERGLAS™ Insulation with PureFiber® Technology is a great way to be green and save money in the long run. Made of 58% recycled materials and 99% natural materials.
Not to mention insulating your home will keep your heating and cooling bills down. Owens Corning® offers environmentally friendly solutions for insulating your home with their EcoTouch™ PINK® FIBERGLAS™ Insulation with PureFiber® Technology, which is made from 99% natural materials and, at minimum, 57% recycled materials.
When working on the inside of your home, you may wonder what high-quality green materials you might use. For example, you really needn’t compromise the quality of your flooring. Each type of flooring has a green solution, from carpet to hardwood, and even bamboo.
One type of green flooring is a cork floor. It might sound like an odd idea at first, but cork is a special kind of renewable resource. Cork is made from harvested tree bark, and it is never harvested until it is mature. A cork floor is soft underfoot, offers good sound insulation and is naturally water resistant, making it a good choice for kitchens or baths. You can find a great selection of cork flooring at Lumber Liquidators® in a variety of colors and patterns.
It’s never too late to take up energy saving efforts. Naturally, keeping that bill as low as possible is high on everyone’s list. To help with this goal, you may consider using ENERGY STAR® labeled appliances and installing dimmers for your lights. A dimmer automatically reduces electric usage by 4 to 9% compared to an ordinary switch.
If you want to maximize the value and efficiency of all your lighting, consider a home light control system such as SAVANT SYSTEMS® Lighting Control or Climate Control. SAVANT SYSTEMS® Lighting Control has the ability to respond to variable sunset times through the year as well as automatically adjust lights for video conferencing and multimedia presentations. You can also create beautiful complimentary lighting scenes and automate landscape and security lighting.
Likewise a climate control system will make efficiently use of your home's resources so that you can save on your utility bills while still living in a comfortable environment. The convenient integration of Apple® technology allows you to adjust climate systems based on the time of day, month of the year, and even annual events like seasonal change, temperature and humidity.
Saving some money on your water bill may be as easy as installing a water efficient toilet. Take into consideration the Toto® Drake II 1G which uses only 1.28 gallons per flush.
If water savings is a concern, consider using appliances such as a low-flow toilet. Leading the way in water conserving toilets is Toto®. Toto® has developed a one-gallon-per-flush toilet called the Drake II 1G. This toilet delivers one-flush performance with Toto’s Double Cyclone® technology while using only one gallon of water.
Whether you are just starting your home building project, or are well under way, there are plenty of ways to incorporate green materials and solutions into your design. Everything from keeping your environmental impact low to minimizing the cost of utilities—there are plenty of green solutions to be found with just a little research.