Here’s To Being At Home… On Eco-Friendly Terms!

There is no question about it. “Going Green” is in. No matter where you are or what you do, you have probably heard the buzz on global warming, conservation, or at least the words, “reduce, re-use, re-cycle”. As neutral a topic as the weather, most people are interested in at least discussing anything eco-friendly. In fact, nine out of ten Americans are interested enough to choose a more energy efficient home over a lesser one, yet eight out of ten Americans said no one talked about energy efficiency during the buying process, according to a survey by energypulse.org. Two out of three Americans surveyed were also willing to pay a premium for homes that have solar systems installed. So for your next party conversation or your next real-estate foray, listed below are the most basic of eco-friendly terms to be a savvy real estate buyer or just somebody “in the know”:A green home: A green home is designed to conserve the environment – whether it is energy, water, building materials and land. Equipped with one or more renewable energy systems, a green home uses alternative resources for heating and cooling – solar electric, solar hot water, geothermal, bio mass or any combination of these.Green remodeling: Green remodeling is an upgrade where the goal for builders and architects is to use as much as the older structure and materials as possible. A green renovation can cost 5 to 20 percent more than a normal one, however, it also means that there will be reduced energy costs and reduced maintenance costs durability.Greenhouse gases: Greenhouse gases such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone allow sunlight to enter the atmosphere freely, and trap the heat in the atmosphere instead of reflecting it back towards space. This causes temperatures to rise and form the atmosphere known as the Greenhouse effect.

Energy star appliances: Every one knows that energy star appliances save energy, but it is a little known fact that it saves as much as 20% annually of your energy costs. These appliances help you get the most out of the products you purchase and also meet all the efficiency guidelines set to prevent greenhouse gas emissions.

Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL): Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) is the one-step of going green that is the easiest to do. These may seem three times as expensive compared to incandescent bulbs but last approximately ten times as long and use one-fifth of the energy.

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panels or Solar Heating: Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panels or Solar Heating refers to the technology for harnessing solar power or usable energy from sunlight for practical applications from heating to electrical power generation, usually good for domestic and light industrial applications. Passive Solar Design: Passive solar building design involves the modeling, selection and use of new technologies to maintain the building environment at a desired temperature in a way that minimizes the use of energy.

Xeriscape gardening: Xeriscaping gardening is where plants are specially selected to suit their environment, creating a landscape that makes the most of watering. Plants are grouped by their water needs, while mulch and drought tolerant plants are integrated to conserve water usage.

Low-emittance (Low-E) windows: L-E windows are coated with thin metal or metallic oxide layers, which are almost invisible. These coatings reflect radiant heat originating from indoors back inside, keeping heat inside in the winter, and infrared radiation from the sun away, keeping it cooler inside in the summer.

Geothermal heating/cooling: Geothermal heating/cooling is a method of heating and cooling a building, using the earth’s temperature. Pipes are drilled deep into the earth, where temperature is around 55 or 60 degrees. Water, antifreeze or other transfer fluids are circulated and a heat pump uses these as a heat source in winter and a heat sink in summer.

Now that you’re at home on eco-friendly terms, here are a few points again that you have probably gathered. If you are looking for a green home, it will always appear to be more expensive compared to others. However, it is designed to save your energy costs over several years besides giving you bragging rights. If you are adding green elements to your home, it is a value-added upgrade. You will be able to add to your asking price too since there is no question that “going green” is the movement of our times.

Bob Lipply sells Tampa Bay Real Estate and frequently consults with builders regarding energy cost saving initiatives. Kay’s article can be very useful when considering remodeling projects for Pinellas County Homes. You can find eco-friendly new construction today in the Pasco County Real Estate market.