Green Homes 101
Green Homes 101

Being “green” or environmentally friendly may have been a trend a generation or two ago, but today it is a critical factor in helping to protect the planet. What exactly does it mean, especially in the context of a home? A green home is one that has the minimum possible negative impact on its surroundings and the environment. The definition of what is a green home may vary, but in essence, it is a home that uses less energy, water and other natural resources and creates the least possible waste and does this while also being a healthy place in which people may reside.

Homes being built today usually incorporate the green factor in the design and construction. In the cases of older homes, it is generally possible to incorporate new technologies to make them greener.
Going Green – The Basics
When planning green home, keep the following factors in mind;
• Insulate the home to reduce the energy required for heating and cooling
• Use environmentally friendly materials. These will minimize the use of hazardous chemicals, some of which could linger on after the home is occupied. There will always be construction waste, but in this case, the toxicity generated will be the minimum.
• Maximize the use of natural light to reduce electricity consumption. Tubular daylighting devices (TDDs) or daylight systems as they are also known bring daylight into even the most interior parts of a home so that the use of electricity is minimized.
• Install energy efficient appliances to further reduce power consumption.
• Install washing machines, dishwashers, etc. that use less water to bring down water usage.
• Consider fitting solar panels to heat water and generate electricity. Not only will this further reduce 
utility bills, but surplus power can also be sold to power companies and turn the home into a profit center.
Cutting Corners = Cutting the Green
People often try to keep their construction or renovations costs within budget by cutting corners, especially on the green aspects of the project. For example, instead of going in for the best in TDDs, they may choose the cheapest option, even though the price differential is not that much.The assumption is that daylight does not change so as long as it gets into the house, it’s okay. Sadly, that is to the case. Firstly, cheap TDDS will not carry the maximum amount of daylight indoors so electricity may still have to be used to supplement the lighting in the room. Then comes the issue of installation – a reputed brand will be designed for quick and easy installation. Installing a low quality one maybe much more complicated and cost far more in terms of the amount of work required. After that, there is the problem of reliability and durability. With a reputed brand, you are sure of many years of trouble-free service. With low quality TDDs, you don’t know when problems will arise and how much the repairs will cost.
When creating a green home, do not compromise on quality – it will only cost more in the long run and subject you to needless repair and replacement hassles in the future. As with TDDs, go for the best and really enjoy your trouble free and comfortable green home. In many cases, such as daylighting systems, the cost of buying the best is not as much as you may think.

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