A sustainable home not only helps the environment but also saves you money.
The threat of global warming is becoming more serious. With this comes the increasing momentum of the sustainable design movement. It is an accessible solution where individuals can contribute to a cleaner future.
A sustainable design allows you to cut the costs of running your home. It does this by optimizing energy and water use, among other resources. A sustainable home also means a healthier environment for yourself and your family.
If you’re interested in making a home that’s eco-friendly and cost-efficient, read on! Here are the top ways to create a sustainable home.
New Construction vs Retrofitting
A new building means you’ll be able to include the latest technologies and approaches. Building a sustainable home from scratch allows you to optimize the design completely. This ranges from waste management and resource efficiency to long-term durability.
However, building new structures costs the environment, not to mention your pocket. You’ll need to consider the costs of moving, location, and other life disruptions.
A house doesn’t need to be new to be efficient. Retrofitted green buildings also deliver sure results with minimal cost. Retrofitting your current home may be the more cost-effective route for sustainability.
Sustainable HVAC Systems and Energy-Efficient Appliances
Optimizing your home’s HVAC system is a big step towards sustainability. A sustainable design HVAC system gives years of clean comfort and low energy costs.
Geothermal heat pumps are a technology that uses heat from the earth. It converts it into energy used for powering HVAC systems.
Heat pumps installed underground near a building absorb geothermal heat. They can work to heat the home in the winter and cool it in the summer.
Smart thermostats are also another way to make your HVAC systems efficient. As part of home automation, they can auto-adjust themselves. You can also connect them to your smartphones or tablets and use these as remote controls.
Appliances are next to HVAC systems in energy consumption. Imagine them with 2 prices: the cost of buying and the operating costs.
Energy-efficient alternatives allow you to cut the second price. Consider energy-efficient refrigerators, dishwashers, and stoves/ovens.
Passive Solar Design
Besides a full solar power system, you can also have a passive solar design. This uses natural energy from sunlight to help in cooling or heating living spaces.
A passive solar design does not use mechanical or electric equipment. Instead, it relies on building materials to absorb, reflect, or transmit solar energy.
The architecture of living spaces aids the flow of sun-heated air without fans. This reduces the energy needed to heat or cool your home.
Living Walls or Roofs
Living walls and green roofs make use of plants’ natural ability to filter out ambient toxins and improve air quality.
A living wall system gives a growing environment on interior surfaces for plants. Green walls can purify and humidify the air.
They can also reduce volatile organic compounds. This means your home’s walls themselves promote a clean and healthy environment.
This can also improve your and your family’s mental well-being. Being surrounded by greenery has several positive effects on the body and moods. Besides cleaner air, you’ll experience enhanced comfort and creativity.
Meanwhile, a living roof incorporates greenery. They’re made from living vegetation with a water-retaining layer.
The vegetation includes grasses, shrubs, and flowers. They add energy-efficiency, eco-friendliness, as well as beauty to your home.
Reclaimed and Recycled Building Materials
This makes use of scrap that would otherwise go to a landfill. However, don’t think that recycled and reused means poorer quality. Recycled composite materials are as durable as other regular ones.
Consider recycled roof and wall materials, tiling and mosaic, or insulation and doors. You can even avail of recycled steel beams.
Using rainwater collectors is a simple yet effective way to cut your water bills. One way to set up a rainwater collection system is with a rain barrel or tank. Place them under the roof to collect the rain flowing down through your roof gutter system.
There are several methods to filter and clean the collected rainwater. Common techniques include chlorination, UV light, or ozone. You’ll then be able to use the water for drinking.
Even without filtering it, you can already use it for things like gardening. Rainwater collection systems are easy to build using cheap local materials. Household systems are ideal in areas with an average rainfall of more than 200mm per year.
After a dry season, the first flush of rainwater will have dust, bird droppings, and other waste. Allow this first flush to run to waste.
Installing a solar panel system is one of the best and most accessible ways to create a sustainable home.
As a renewable energy source, it produces zero pollutants. You’ll be making a large reduction in your carbon footprint.
You’ll also generate your own electricity, allowing you to be energy independent. Solar can make drastic cuts to your energy costs. You can also exchange your extra energy with the power grid through net metering.
Solar panels also have an average lifespan of 25-30 years. This means you’ll have renewable and cheap energy for decades in the future. This also secures you from the volatile and ever-rising costs of electricity.
Solar panels have seen increased efficiency and dropping prices. Installing them now is more favorable than ever.
Create a Sustainable Home for the Environment and Your Family
Sustainable homes are good for the environment, your health and are cost-efficient. You don’t have to build one from the ground up either. With retrofitting, you can optimize your existing home and make it sustainable.
Energy-efficient systems like solar can cut your expenses for decades to come. Green interior design also helps in creating a healthier home environment.
Altair Solar can help you get started in creating a sustainable home. Contact us today, and we can walk you through the process of energy independence!