By: Guest Contributor, Aby League
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With people’s current and modern lifestyles, combined with the fast-changing times, people are being more and more aware of having an eco-friendly home. Daily reports about natural disasters have encouraged people to make green practices everyday, including making their homes ideal for living green. Especially if you’re moving or building a new house, it helps if each material and space in your house is eco-friendly, which can make you feel assured that your home financial investment is all worth it. In fact, the National Association of Realtors reports that prospective buyers put environmental features of their home as one of their top priorities. Want to join the green bandwagon? Here are 8 tips to help you choose the best eco-friendly house for your family.
1. Green Agents For Your Greener Home
When finding a home, it is always best to find an experienced and trustworthy realtor to help you select the best house. But since you’re focusing now on environment-friendly real estate, it is an additional advantage to find a realtor that knows green home listings. They can also help you out if you have little or zero knowledge on eco-friendly. You might ask, “Where can I find them?” You can try realtor.com to help you find a professional realtor that specializes on green real estate features.
2. Location Is Always Important
Your home’s location is one thing that you must put on your priority list when finding your dream green home. Aside from choosing a piece of land that is realistically available for constructing your house, it also helps if your desired location is convenient and near to everything that you need such as schools, work, etc. You’re sure to cut costs on your daily gas by simply walking or taking the public transport. Also, be clear on the number of rooms and size of your house so that you don’t waste resources on your materials.
3. Step On That Eco-Friendly Flooring
As you build your green home with knowledge on the practical ways to reduce appliances energy cost, you can continue with your environment friendly decisions by focusing on your flooring. Always think of durability as your top priority when it comes to floors, so you’re sure of the longevity of your floors. For wooden floors, check if it is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified so that you know that it is harvested responsibly. You’ll also be helping out locally by choosing local wooden species. And of course, check the hardness of wood by using the The Janka scale so that you know if the wood is wear and denting resistant.
4. Have Your “Green” Fireplace
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An eco-friendly fireplace is one that produces less pollution compare to standard fireplaces. The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) suggests that prospective homeowners should be able to decide if the fireplace that they’re getting is for decorative purposes or for heating purposes during winter. A good option is to use Duraflame due to its lower carbon emissions. Other eco-friendly fireplaces you can choose from include pellet stoves that are convenient to use, as stoves which are one of the cleanest and cheapest options, and wood-burning stoves and inserts which can provide heat to the entire house as long as its constructed properly.
5. Not Just Your Ordinary Siding
The sidings of your house may not be too eco-friendly, but there are ways on how to make it more environment friendly. It all depends on your decision when it comes to the materials that you’ll be choosing. Nadav Malin, vice president of BuildingGreen and editor of Environmental Building News shares that aside from installing sidings properly, owners should think that it is a part of a bigger system of weather protection. People should be wise in choosing a material that’s long lasting, low-maintenance and will contribute greatly to a well-insulated and well-drained wall system. A helpful tip: one can achieve the wooden look by using a fiber-cement composite that is fire and termite resistant and other eco-friendly versions are already available in the market.
6. Solar Panels Are Still In
Your colleagues or friends might claim that solar panels might be expensive, but in the long run it can also save you a lot of money. Be sure to choose the proper location of your solar panel and install it properly, since these are important determinants of the amount of power that you can gather for your house. If you use it properly, you can lower down your energy consumption, and you can also take advantage of incentives and grants, which benefit those who choose to have solar panels at their residences.
7. Ideal Lights For A Greener Home
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Aside from natural light, you’ll also need to pay attention to your installed lights at home. Instead of buying incandescent bulbs, get a hold of LED and CFL bulbs that may cost a little bit higher but you’ll be glad to know that they last longer and consume less energy.
8. Best Insulation, Important Decision
Lastly, the most important that you need to consider for your new green home is proper insulation. Studies show that your home cooling and heating account for 50% of the total energy consumption at your house. Check for broken stuff in your house, which can result into energy waste, such as air leaks, because of improper insulation. In the long run, proper insulation can bring your energy bills down.
Choosing and building your eco-friendly home need not be difficult. Along with energy-saving appliances and these helpful tips, you’re sure to enjoy your new life at your new home, at peace with Mother Nature.
About the Author: Aby League is a qualitative researcher and a passionate writer. She is an innovator and technology enthusiast. She has been writing about health, psychology, home improvement and technology. To know her more, follow @abyleague on Twitter.