Eco-design isn’t just good for the environment; it’s good for your wallet. Green home design uses renewable resources that conserve water and energy, don’t harm the environment and ultimately end up saving you money. The following green home design ideas reduce your carbon footprint, while increasing your home’s value and the size of your bank account.
Use eco-friendly doors and windows
While a front door with a window adds light to an entryway, it also allows warmth and insulation to escape. Opt for a front door without windows and make sure it is made of eco-friendly wood, a recyclable material that is more energy-efficient than other materials.
Typically, homes lose approximately 30 percent of heat and air-conditioning energy a month due to windows that are not ecologically designed. Look for windows that are Energy Star-rated for your climate zone. The new stimulus bill offers a $1,500 tax credit to homeowners who upgrade to Energy Star-qualified windows, doors and skylights.
Choose environmentally friendly siding
Opt for wood, aluminum or stucco siding as a green home design option. Avoid PVC vinyl siding as it releases toxins and is not biodegradable or reusable.
Select natural gas fireplaces
Use green roofing materials
Look for an eco-friendly roof that is Energy Star-rated and made from recycled resources. One such ecological design option is a roof made of aluminum metal, a material that is naturally heat-resistant and can be perpetually reused.
Heat and air-condition your home using renewable energy
Installing solar panels is a popular green home design idea that both reduces energy consumption and creates energy for use. While solar panels are initially expensive to install, they increase the resale value of your home and decrease the amount of your monthly electric bill.
Another energy-efficient method for heating and air-conditioning is natural gas. To make sure your heating and air conditioning units are as green as they can be, look for the Energy Star label.
Try grass flooring
Bamboo is cropping up as the most popular material in ecological design. It is as durable as oak, but because it is actually a grass, it is sustainable, renewable and quick to grow. Choose bamboo flooring as a green home design option instead of traditional hardwood flooring.
Heat your water with a tankless system or solar energy
Color your walls with natural paints
Green interiors start with paint that is free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Natural paints made of plant oils, extracts and minerals are eco-friendly and safe. Also look for low-VOC or zero-VOC paint.
Green your plumbing
Avoid PVC, a plastic that contains harmful chemicals, and opt instead for clay as a green home design option for underground pipes. Zinc, galvanized steel and aluminum are green alternatives for piping above ground.
Purchase furniture made from renewable or recyclable materials
Green interior design ideas include purchasing furniture made of bamboo, rattan, teak and recycled wood. Buy organic cotton bedding, sheets made of hemp and curtains made of recycled polyester.