How to make your home green
Submitted by Robert Post, founder of Post Remodeling & Handyman Services
Many of us are attracted to the idea of "greening" our homes, but few have the opportunity to build a sustainable home from scratch and take advantage of the latest methods and materials. How do we bring our older homes into the new millennium and up to current energy standards?
Get an energy assessment by a seasoned, certified energy auditor. The leading certifiers are Building Performance Institute (BPI) and Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET). The report will offer a thorough analysis and a prioritized list of conservation measures, effectiveness, return on investment or a savings to investment ratio. This is essential and will guide you in greening your home.
Avoid the temptation to employ attractive tactics like a solar array or bamboo floors. Commit to the report’s recommendations. Usually the rudimentary work includes behind-the-scenes measures like air sealing and insulating. While this work is not exciting, it will usually last the life of your home and have a relatively quick return on investment. Some of the work can be self-performed if you are reasonably skilled. Your safety is paramount, as is adherence to building codes, so due diligence and patience are required.
After the work has been completed, it is time to have fun employing more advanced measures like solar electric or hot water, geothermal, rain gardens or harvesting, LED or passive lighting, home energy monitoring, advanced ventilation systems, passive solar or other cutting edge tactics.
There is a sound methodology to use when greening your home. It requires discipline and commitment. The results pay you back with greater comfort, lower utility bills, bolstered home value and a sense that you have accomplished something meaningful.
Post founded Post Remodeling & Handyman Services in 2003. Prior to 2003, he had been home building and remodeling for 13 years with award-winning residential construction companies. He is a BPI certified building analyst and an EPA certified lead-safe remodeler. He is the subject matter expert and host of the “Greenovating” video series and is published in the “Journal of Light Construction.”
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