less resources than a regular home. There are a variety of ways a home can be green. Some homes are considered “green” just by the location they are in! There are a multitude of benefits to having an environmentally-friendly home, including saving money on bills and doing your bit for the environment.
Positioning and direction the home is facing
West-facing homes tend to get a lot hotter in summer because of the afternoon sun. In such a house, more electricity may be used in keeping the house cool. Specifically choosing a south or east facing home will reduce your home’s carbon footprint, simply by keeping out the hottest sun of the day.
Having proper insulation can also enhance the environmental friendliness of your home. Proper insulation in the wall acts like a barrier, preventing heat passing in and out of the house¹. Insulating the walls of your home has the double benefit of keeping the heat inside during the winter, and keeping the heat out during the summer. It is a useful way to regulate your home’s temperature across all seasons.
Solar panels both minimise a home’s electricity usage and save the home owner a lot of money. In many countries, electricity makes up most of the bill payments, and having solar panels can reduce this cost to almost nothing. Whilst the initial expense of installing solar panels is large, over time it will recoup the cost and then begin to save the home owner money². In Australia and some other countries, if your solar panels generate more electricity than your home uses, it is fed back into the grid and you are paid for it by the government.
Double glazed windows
Double glazing is a technique used in some homes which works much like insulation, except on the windows. It is known to prevent heat coming in or going, and so has the effect of keeping the house cooler in summer and warmer in winter³. Much like other methods of making your home more green, double glazed windows do involve a significant initial expense. However, this expense will pay for itself over time by reducing heating and cooling costs⁴.
Grey water system
Having a grey water system involves a plumbing installation that takes water from alternative sources for reuse around the home and garden. Some people install hoses from their bathtub to go straight onto the garden. Others have their own tank which catches rainwater. The benefits of a greywater system are twofold. Firstly, it reduces household water bills, and secondly, it reduces the strain on the water supply⁵.
LED stands for light emitting diode. It is a type of light that uses significantly less electricity than other lights. They are both extremely efficient and very long lasting. Amazingly, LED lights can reduce energy consumption by 80 – 90 % and last around 100,000 hours⁶. Like other green home methods already mentioned, they initially cost more to purchase, but will reap dividends for years to come.
It is worth considering ways you can green up your home. Some cost a lot, some don’t, but all are a worthy addition to the home of any environmentally-conscious person.