Building and renovating for eco-friendly homes
Replace old windows with energy-efficient windows.
If your house is older, your windows probably allow air to seep in. Single-paned windows don’t insulate as well as newer models. You can save up to $465 a year by replacing old single-pane windows with energy-efficient ones.
Install a skylight.
When chosen wisely, a skylight can provide beautiful natural light to your home while reducing your energy consumption. It’s important to consider your home’s position in order to maximize your skylight’s benefits. Consult a designer or architect.
An eco-friendly skylight is more than a hole cut in the roof with some glass in it. Many energy-efficient skylights exist on the market, but they should always be professionally installed to make sure that they are safe and efficient.
Shade trees can reduce the amount of energy you spend to cool your house on hot summer days. If your property doesn’t already have shade trees, this is a step that will take some time before you see the full benefit.
In addition to providing shade, trees absorb huge amounts of carbon dioxide and release oxygen. A single tree can produce enough oxygen for four people in a single day.
If you’re building a new construction home, try to work around existing trees. You could even incorporate them into your house design, such as building a deck under a huge shady oak. Place deciduous trees (trees that shed their leaves annually) near the south and west sides of your home. This will help them block harsh afternoon sunlight in the summer, but let sunlight reach your home during the winter.