To celebrate Earth Day, try these six tips for incorporating “green” design into your next remodeling project.
Preparation—Before beginning a project, perform an “existing analysis” of your home. Gather information on water, gas, and electricity usage, and do an energy audit to pinpoint daily habits such as leaving lights turned on when a room is not in use.
Lighting—Replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient LED or compact fluorescent (CFL) lighting. If possible, take advantage of both natural lighting and shading to reduce energy consumption from heating and cooling a home.
Materials—Opt for paints and finishes with low or zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are harmful to the environment and one’s health. Choose designs that incorporate recycled materials, such as countertops made from recycled glass, or flooring made from repurposed wood.
Appliances—Swap in Energy Star-qualified appliances that use less energy, such as refrigerators and dishwashers.
Plumbing—Consider low-flow shower heads/faucets and dual-flush toilets to conserve water.
Insulation and Ventilation—An energy-efficient home requires both proper insulation and ventilation. Seal windows, doors, and pipes, but also ensure sufficient ventilation to allow water vapor to pass through and prevent mold.
April 18, 2011
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