Are we going overboard on “Green”?

Recently a client who was doing some improvements to his property asked me asked me how important “Green” was in deciding what it was he would do.

 Overboard on Green—is it possible?  Of course, it’s just like everything else we do.

Here are a few suggestions about making an existing house as “green” and more economical to run. 

 If you are thinking about putting in wood floors, buy materials when possible that are locally harvested and that are more easily replenished or fast-growing types of wood.

Look at the life cycle of the material you will use and consider a material that minimizes the impact to the environment like bamboo. 

 Almost everyone wants to reduce their operating costs over time, and this is especially important as people are staying in their homes for a longer period of time.

Here are a few things you can do:

 Have your insulation checked out—you can add insulation where it is missing or sparse.

Look at your heating ducts and make sure that none of them have separated or are crushed.  Often in our home inspections crushed ducting is called out and that means that your heat or air conditioning has been escaping into attic space instead of being delivered to the house itself.

 Make sure your windows closely tightly with no air gaps.  If you have old single paned windows, especially those with aluminum frames, change them out with energy efficient dual paned/glazed windows as you get the funds to do so..  Again make sure there are no air gaps.

 Should you need to replace an appliance, you have an opportunity to replace your old appliance with one that has a high Energy Star rating.  We all know about efficient low-flush toilets that are required in many communities, as well as the credits that are sometimes available when replacing an old refrigerator with a new one that is much more energy efficient and less costly to run. 

 There are lots of websites where you can get information about becoming “Green”, energy and cost efficient.  Here are a couple I especially liked:  http://tinyurl.com/djtpq5 and http://tinyurl.com/6rl9hd.

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