Going Green: A Homeowners Guide To Doing It The Right Way
Not sure what projects to take on this year to help your home be a little more eco-friendly? Wondering what the best way is to go green?
It’s easy to be a little confused by all the hype in the media today. Every product makes promises that sound good. Yet it’s only after a little research that you discover some of those promises are empty at best.
What should you do?
Is buying a new home the answer? New home communities ensure you it’s the best way to go green. The truth is age doesn’t have as much to do with efficiency as how much you build into your home. Compare a new home with 3,000 square feet to an older home with only 2,000; which is easier to heat? Rather than taking on additional square footage to heat, have you considered making your existing space fit your needs? An energy audit can show you precisely where you can improve your home’s efficiency, where you need air sealing, insulation, or upgrading of appliances. Even simple steps can make your home greener, regardless of age.
How about buying an eco-friendly product? That means I’m doing my part, right? Well …. The truth is not all eco-friendly products are the same. Green is a buzzword in the industry, and as such, a lot of companies use it as a sales tactic. To be truly green, it should include certain labels on the product: Energy Star, GreenSeal, UL Environment, Forest Stewardship Council, GREENGUARD, or Good Housekeeping Green Seal.
Can I save just by turning the lights off when I leave the room? It starts with the bulb. If you still have incandescent bulbs, changing them out will help you save in the long run. Not only will they help save on your utility bills, but they will also last longer over time.
What about my HVAC system? Can I really save money by controlling the temperature? Yes, you can. If you don’t have a smart thermostat, make that one of your first investments. You should only condition your air to the proper temperature when you are at home. By turning the furnace down a few degrees while you’re at work or sleeping, the savings can be dramatic.
Why go green? One person can’t save the world. Yes, they can. If you demand a greener product, you’re changing the world by voting with your wallet. By selecting any product – from a light bulb to your furnace – and demanding that it is as energy efficient as possible, you’re helping inspire change in others and impacting the world. The results quickly escalate around the world.
How will you go green today?