Whether building a new house from the ground up or remodeling an existing home, adding green features just makes good sense. Not only are they often more energy efficient and money-saving, they help preserve and protect natural resources and can offer homes unique beauty. Here are the Top 10 Green Home Features to consider:
Native Landscaping — Work with a gardener or landscaper who specializes in working with plants native to the area. The yard will not only look beautiful, but require less water and be easier to maintain.
Satellite Controlled Sprinklers — No more watering the lawn during a rainstorm. Satellite controlled sprinklers are synced to weather satellites, so they only go on when they’re needed. Pretty cool!
LED and CFL Lighting — Though more expensive initially, these green lighting options will save you money in the long run by using less energy, producing less heat, and lasting longer.
Dual-Pane Windows — Dual-pane windows offer added security, energy efficiency and help protect the contents of your home from the effects of UV rays. There are even climate zone specific windows available.
High-Efficiency Appliances and Accessories — Look for water- and energy-saving washing machines, water heaters and dishwashers, as well as low-flow toilets, faucets and showerheads (Good news! Low flow no longer means low water pressure).
Solar Panels — As the price and accessibility of solar panels continue to improve, it’s a green option worth considering, particularly in sun-drenched climates.
Energy Star HVAC System — Staying comfortable year ‘round will be easier — and less expensive — with an Energy Star rated HVAC system.
Programmable Thermostat — This goes hand-in-hand with your efficient HVAC system. Look for one that allows maximum flexibility for programming different times of the day, and days of the week.
Sustainable Materials — New choices in green home materials are emerging all the time. Two of the most popular interior choices are bamboo flooring as an alternative to wood, and recycled glass countertops instead of non-renewable granite. Ask your builder or contractor about other sustainable building material options.
Proper Insulation — The single biggest factor in helping to keep a home comfortable and energy efficient. One popular eco-friendly insulation option is blown-in cellulose, which works its way into every nook and cranny. It’s non-toxic, too.