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Energy-Efficient Upgrades Pay For Themselves

Energy-efficient upgrades and sustainable design are growing in popularity for very good reason. Homeowners are realizing that making smart design and green upgrade choices saves money. Switching to more energy-efficient products and green design requires an initial investment, but it pays for itself in long-lasting energy savings.

Green Energy

Choose a green energy source, such as solar or wind power. To find and compare green energy retailers in Texas for example, you can visit www.texasenergycompanies.net.

Energy Efficient Appliances

For nearly any appliance, you can think of, there are more energy efficient models now available. Some cost a little more than other appliances but they quickly pay for themselves by lowering your energy bill.

The EPA has made it easy for consumers to buy wisely. When shopping for new appliances, look for those that are ENERGY STAR certified. The EPA offers this certificate to appliances only after the model has gone through strict testing for energy efficiency. Look for this on furnaces, air conditioners – both window units and central air units – water heaters, clothes washers, dishwashers, refrigerators and more.

Energy Efficient Construction and Renovation

Even if you have installed energy-efficient appliances, your home can lose a lot of energy through poor design and construction. Inefficient windows, air leakage around windows and doors, inefficient insulation all lead to higher energy bills and a greater negative environmental impact.

Replacing old windows with new, energy-efficient windows will keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Although the initial cost of these windows can be a little high, the energy they will save can greatly reduce your utility bill.

By using caulk and weather stripping to seal gaps around doors, windows and ductwork you can thwart a great deal of energy loss.

Incorporate natural lighting into your design by adding skylights. These beautify a space while saving energy.

Smart Landscaping

Smart landscaping provides shade, does not contaminate the soil and does not require a lot of water. Consider replacing a standard lawn, which requires a lot of water and upkeep to look good, with ground covers or a rock garden.

Buy a rain barrel to collect water for your plants. You can also conserve water by planting drought-resistant plants that require little watering. Contact your county extension office or local garden retailers to learn about suitable plants for your area.

To receive more protection from the glaring hot sun, Plant fast-growing shade trees in your yard.

Making these design and construction upgrades can make your home an energy-saving paradise. The sooner you start making these changes, the sooner you will start saving.

How To Avoid Formaldehyde In Interior Design Products

When you are redecorating your home, you should avoid products that contain formaldehyde. These unpleasant odors are considered by some people to be unsafe. Choose water-based paints and finishes to be on the safe side. Water-based paints offer low odor and go on smooth and rich. These products are popular because they also dry quickly. Varnish used to be a popular way to finish a countertop or floor. There are now water-based top coats that are not flammable. This makes them a popular choice for people who don’t want dangerous fumes in their Read more…

How To Choose Green Interior Design Materials

You’re ready to make some updates to your home and you’d like to go green with your new purchases. Get out your reading glasses and be prepared to do a little research to ensure that your choices are made from renewable, sustainable or recycled products.

Floor Coverings

Look for wood that is harvested from managed forests or is composed of sustainable materials. Cork, bamboo and eucalyptus wood are all good examples of sustainable hard floor coverings.

Floor tiles that are made of recycled plastics, rubber or Read more…

What Is Sustainable Construction

The word ‘sustainability’ gets tossed around a lot when talking about construction, but what does it mean, exactly?

While there’s no one clear definition of sustainability, in general the word describes a process of construction that tries in various ways to reduce as many construction-related environmental impacts as possible.

Construction of any type takes a large toll on the environment, including the use of natural resources, energy use, and construction waste. Luckily, many in the construction field are looking at new ways of doing things that are less harmful to the planet.

Some of the many Read more…

What Are The Advantages Of Sustainable Construction Materials

More and more construction and project managers are looking towards sustainable construction materials to provide advantages to their projects in cost and time savings. Sustainability has become a catch-phrase in the industry with everything from material choice to design being affected. While many people will assume that these “greener” choices have to do with a long term environmental concern; their advantage is very real and immediate to the building company.

Sustainable construction materials are typically local materials. This can mean that they are produced from local resources or, are recycled resources from the job itself. Either way, the Read more…

How Sustainable Materials Add Value To Home Prices

Although the housing industry is slowly recovering, in many parts of the country the market is still sluggish. One way to increase the value of a home is by using sustainable materials. Both new home construction and remodeling projects can incorporate earth-friendly materials.

There is a growing interest in creating safer healthier homes. Unlike traditional building materials, sustainable products don’t emit toxic volatile organic compounds. Indoor air quality is improved when natural minimally-treated wood and other materials are used.

Utility bills can be reduced by Read more…