Building Long-term Energy Savings Into Your Home....While new homes are 100 percent more energy efficient today than those built three decades ago, most people are not familiar with how to actually design energy savings into the infrastructure of their home. Here are a few ways to save energy in your home: * Windows and doors: Today's architecture takes advantage of increased window space and elaborate entry systems. This style enhancement certainly adds to the appeal of a home, but it increases the importance of having energy-efficient windows and doors. On average, a household spends nearly 50 percent of its annual energy costs in heating and cooling. You can reduce this expense by up to 15 percent by using energy-efficient windows and doors, which help decrease the transfer of heat. Start by looking for products that have the Energy Star label. This label identifies products that meet the strict energy-efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. * Construction materials: Wood or vinyl (for windows) and steel (for doors) offer high energy efficiency. For windows, dual-pane insulating glass units and low-emissivity glass also increase the products' energy efficiency. For steel doors, look for a polystyrene core, which helps the door retain its energy-saving properties longer than steel doors with a polyurethane core. Rest assured, however, that you will not have to forgo style and beauty when seeking energy efficiency. Many manufacturers, such as Jeld-Wen Windows and Doors, offer a variety of Energy Star-qualified products that are attractive, durable and provide superior performance. In fact, upgrading windows and doors is a great way to build energy savings into your current home. * Insulating your home: In addition to diminishing heat transfer through windows and doors, you can ensure even temperatures in the home by selecting proper insulation. Well-insulated homes can save up to 30 percent on heating and cooling costs. Pay attention to the R-values used to rate the energy efficiency of insulation - a higher R-value indicates a better ability to resist heat flow, meaning that it is more energy efficient. * Heating and cooling engines: Installing oversized heating or cooling equipment is a common practice to provide customers with immediate results. However, oversized equipment is not necessary if your home is designed to conserve energy; it will only add to the growth of your energy bill. Visit a local home improvement center to learn more about heating and cooling options.
Global Warming and Building Green
Global Warming and Building Green....Building green is one of the solutions to global warming that many people do not think about. Building green is designing and constructing buildings with the environment in mind. It is these practices that can have an impact on stopping global warming. Houses give off a high percentage of a country's total carbon dioxide emissions. In the United States, the figure is about 38%. Since carbon dioxide is one of the greenhouse gases, houses contribute strongly to global warming. One way to cut the greenhouse emissions of houses, and therefore help stop global warming, is to minimize the energy use needed to sustain comfortable living in a house. There are several ways to do this. One way is to be careful about what building materials are used. Some building materials can be from quickly renewable sources. These include bamboo and straw. Also, building materials can be used that originates near the building site. This cuts down on transportation, and so cuts down on emissions of greenhouse gases and global warming. One example is stone houses built with local stone. Buildings are also often built using recycled materials. Wood can be used from an older home that has been torn down. This will prevent the need to cut down other trees. Since the deforestation of the land contributes to global warming, this will help the situation. Heating and cooling have a big effect on the amount of global warming caused by a house. Some ways to help this are very simple. One is to design the house to sit on the lot so that sunlight will come in through the windows and warm the house. It can also be oriented so that breezes will blow through the windows more naturally for cooling. In this way, passive solar energy can be used to heat and cool the house. This will cut down on the greenhouse emissions from a house. Global warming will be lessened. Insulation is important to maximize on the cool or heat that is in the house. With good insulation, you will need a less intense heat or cooling source. The main heating and cooling source in most green houses will be solar panels, wind power, or hydropower. Any of these sources will power a house with minimal effects on global warming. At the same time, these sources of energy will sustain a household in a comfortable style. There are several organizations in the US that aid in the cause of stopping global warming by encouraging green building. One non-profit organization makes it their business to foster green building methods in both houses and commercial buildings. This group of people from the building industry is a part of the Green Building Initiative. The state of Washington has required builders of buildings larger than 5000 square feet to use green building practices. Their law was enacted in 2005. It should help to keep a cap on global warming. Green building is important for a number of reasons. One just happens to be that it can reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases. If green building can help stop global warming, perhaps it is time for everyone to build green.