5 Elements of a Green Home
At NC Solar Now, we are committed to helping our planet and encouraging others to “Go Green.” We understand that our planet is precious and that homeowners want to do their part to help Mother Earth. The public concern over climate change has also been growing over the past few years and the government is taking notice.
The Green New Deal (GND) is a congressional resolution that lays out a plan for tackling climate change. Its goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. And even though the GND has not been put into action yet, we know that some sort of climate change legislation will be coming down the pipeline soon.
So what does that mean for you as a homeowner? New home construction could start to look very different in the not-so-distant future. Homes would be eco-friendly and energy efficient. Five elements of a home that could have these “green” changes would be solar panels, floors, insulation, windows and frames, and landscaping.
Solar Power is one of the easiest ways for your home to “go green!” There are many benefits to solar panels but the most important element is that solar energy is a truly renewableenergy source.
Solar power systems derive clean, pure energy from the sun. Installing solar panels on your home helps combat greenhouse gas emissions and reduces our collective dependence on fossil fuels.
Traditional flooring materials made from non-renewable or synthetic materials such as hardwood, vinyl or traditional carpet can have a negative impact on the environment. Flooring in “green” homes will be sustainable and eco-friendly. The best sustainable option for flooring in your home is wood. However, not all wood is considered “green”! That’s an odd concept to grasp but when you look at it from a renewable resources standpoint, cutting down trees defeats the purpose of going green. So instead of using oak and maple, a “green” alternative would be to use bamboo, reclaimed wood,cork, linoleum, and/or wool carpet.
Insulation & Thermal Shield
Keeping energy inside the home is important for a green home. The best way to do this is by using the appropriate insulation and radiant heat barriers in your attic. Insulating your attic with Thermal Shield will reflect up to 97 percent of incoming radiation. This allows you, the homeowner, to run the AC system less and lower the power bill. In order to avoid chemical insulation, you can choose a greener option, such as soy foam. It’s a safe, sustainable, plant-based option that acts the same as conventional insulation.
Windows and frames
Windows are another important feature that can be optimized to help keep energy inside the home. If you have windows that leak or that are single-glazed, then it is likely that you are losing energy. Installing double-glazed windows will keep the heat in during the winter and keep the heat out in the summer. This will also help cut energy bills when less AC is being used. When thinking about window installation it is important to remember the window frame. Wooden window frames are greener and cheaper than PVC or metal frames.
How can a green yard and landscaping NOT be “green”? Well, lawns account for 40 million acres of land in the United States. They are responsible for greenhouse gas emissions and harmful pesticide run-off that enter the surrounding environment creating limited biodiversity. Not to mention that in order to have that beautiful green yard, you will need to use a lot of water!
Lawns in the future may use the landscape architecture practice, xeriscaping. This is the practice of designing landscapes to reduce or eliminate the need for irrigation. This means xeriscaped landscapes need little to no water beyond what the natural climate provides.
Lawns in the future might also have “victory gardens” – gardens for food production or reforestation. Combining victory gardens with xeriscaping would save a massive amount of water by eliminating irrigation needs. It would also prevent the release of greenhouse gases and pesticides from lawn maintenance into the environment. Here in Raleigh, we are already championing green landscaping methods such as rain gardens. The city of Raleigh also has a program to provide funds for projects to capture and clean rainwater.
For More Information
At NC SOLAR NOW, we are North Carolina’s Most Trusted solar panel installer and embrace the philosophy that solar is for everyone! We’ll be by your side from your first free virtual consult through our warranty period and beyond. Visit us online at NC SOLAR NOW, send us a message, or call us at 919-833-9096.