Many of us have heard about climate change in the news but it’s hard to believe it will eventually start to affect us on a personal level. Despite what we might think climate change will and in ways has already begun to affect our lives. It’s tempting to want to bury our heads in the sand, but a more proactive method is to examine our consumption and how we can address and reduce our footprint.
The homes we live in are a major source of impact on the environment. Melissa Rappaport Schifman, author of Building a Sustainable Home: Practical Green Design Choices for Your Health, Wealth, and Soul explains, “When it comes to climate change, most people don’t know that buildings are responsible for 39 percent of the carbon emissions that lead to global warming…. Our homes are probably our biggest carbon footprints.”
What is a Green Home?
A green home exchanges toxic building material for natural materials with the ability to decompose. In addition, a green home can favor energy conservation and less environmentally impactive power sources to offset carbon footprint.” Schiffman explains “A more sustainable home is healthier and more comfortable for your family. It costs less to operate and has a higher resale value; it uses resources more responsibly – working towards a better planet for future generations.” The appeal is not only on the reduction to your electricity bill, and to the resale value of your home but the lasting investment in the planet for current and future generations. Here are a few tips to help make your home “green”!
Invest in Insulation and New Windows
An energy-efficient home is a greener home. This means making sure that the work of your heating and cooling system doesn’t go to waste, by escaping out of outdated thin windows and cracks in the older infrastructure of your home. Replacement windows may be an initial investment, but one for which you’ll see immediate returns through the energy you’ll save in heating and cooling costs. In the end, while you are seeing a reduction in energy bills, you’ll also enjoy more comfort indoors.
Just in case you’re looking to sell your home anytime soon, the installation of energy-efficient windows is reported on average to net a return on investment of around 80 percent! Similarly, Insulation is one of those home features many people don’t put much thought into until it becomes a problem. However, worn-out insulation becomes a major focus when harsh heat hits us in the desert. Green options for insulation upgrades include icynene, made from castor oil, Aerogel, made of 90% air, and even sheep’s wool or denim.
Turn down the thermostat
Once you’ve made sure that your cool and heat aren’t escaping your home, you can turn down the AC or heat with greater confidence. Ceiling fans and even box fans can contribute to feeling cooler in your home without having to blast the AC during the hottest months of the year. For each degree you reduce the thermostat, you save about 3% of your monthly energy bill.
Use Energy Star bulb
Energy Star bulbs are a new generation of light bulbs, shining brighter, last longer, and reducing the amount of energy that’s required to power them by replacing the classic incandescent bulb. It is estimated that if every American home replaced just one light bulb with an Energy Star bulb collectively we would save enough energy to light 3 million homes for one year. Similarly, replacing just one bulb has the potential to save more than 600 million in annual energy costs – enough to lower greenhouse gasses to an equivalent emission level of over 800,000 cars.
Lower your water heating cost
Everyone loves a long hot shower. Every now and then it is okay to splurge but if this becomes an everyday practice it can take a toll on your energy bill and your carbon footprint. Invest in low flow fixtures in your showers and sinks, generally, a 20-dollar investment each which can translate into twenty-five to sixty percent in energy savings – and an estimated 200 dollars annually on your water bill.
Invest in CC Sunscreens
Sun Screens, often referred to as Solar Screens and Shade Screens, fit over your windows and can reduce 90% of harmful UV light into your home as well as efficiently cool your home during the hot season in the Sonoran desert. Enjoy a cooler home with enhanced privacy and experience a reduction in your energy bill. Our Sunscreens pay for themselves in under two years! To find out more contact us for an estimate today.