As environmental issues are becoming increasingly important concerns across the globe, homeowners are slowly changing the way they look at sustainable living as well. Rather than only making smaller lifestyle changes, consumers are choosing to build entirely eco-friendly homes that can aid in saving the environment while also reducing the overall costs of running the home. If you have similar green goals, here are some of the most essential factors you should consider when building your own sustainable home:
Prioritize renewable energy
Generated using naturally replenishing resources such as water, wind, and sun, renewable energy is the most sustainable solution you can go for. When building your home, contact your local energy providers to see which environmentally friendly solutions they offer. If you want to reduce the amount of energy needed to heat and cool the home altogether, you can also consider passive solar design. This option uses the sun’s energy to control the temperature in your space, with no need for electric or mechanical equipment. Passive solar design only depends on building materials that absorb or reflect sunrays and support the movement of sun-heated air inside.
Choose greener windows
Since windows can account for around half of all lost energy, focus on this feature of your home as well. High-performance windows can significantly reduce your usage, especially technologies such as special coatings, double glazing, nonconductive framing materials, and air-tight construction. If you live in a warmer climate, look into low solar gain solutions, reflective technologies, and windows that facilitate ventilation. In colder climates, select well-insulated frames that have a lower U-value, or the rate of the heat flow through the material. Triple-glazed solutions with a vacuum between panes could also reduce heat loss.
Rethink your insurance
Building a home means you’ll likely need to invest in a good insurance policy to protect your property. And if you choose environmentally friendly features such as energy-efficient plumbing and updated HVAC systems, you might even be able to lower your insurance premium and get more affordable quotes. However, you should pay special attention to junk insurance, or unnecessary insurance products sold using unethical practices, in order to save even more money. If you’ve already paid for these products, you can always try to refund junk insurance as well. Just make sure to collaborate with experienced industry professionals.
Use eco-friendly materials
To reduce your environmental impact during the building process itself, make wiser choices in terms of construction materials. Consider sustainable solutions such as rubber slate, recycled asphalt shingles, reclaimed wood or brick, recycled glass, etc. The creation of these materials tends to waste less energy and resources than conventional building materials, along with preventing usable materials from ending up in landfills. If these eco-friendly options aren’t available in your area, choose locally sourced, recyclable construction materials to make your home-building process as green as possible.
Think about drip irrigation
The exterior of your home can be just as important. Whether you choose interesting landscaping solutions to increase your home’s curb appeal or even plan a garden for growing your own produce, any greenery around your home can contribute to cleaner air and overall sustainability. But to stay as eco-friendly as possible, go for solutions that require less water and upkeep. If watering plants is necessary, look into drip irrigation systems. They leverage gravity to water plants at the roots, thus saving on electricity and minimizing water wastage.
Invest in better appliances
Although often overlooked, appliances can also be large energy wasters in the home. For that reason, it’s recommended to do thorough research and select the most energy-efficient appliances for your new sustainable home, from dishwashers and refrigerators to washing machines and air conditioners. Keep in mind that energy-efficient appliances can often come at a higher cost compared to their higher-consuming alternatives. However, the investment will surely be worth it once you see the dramatic savings on energy costs in the long run.
Evidently, there are a number of important factors to consider when attempting to build a sustainable home. No matter which features you decide to implement, remember that every step in the right direction can help in supporting the health of our planet.