Build an Eco-Friendly Home: 13 Creative Steps to Go Green


Tips on How to Build an Eco-Friendly Home

Build an eco-friendly home to support the environment. There has been an increase in the popularity of environmental issues across all parts of our lives, which also applies to home construction.

Taking the green option when constructing your new home will reduce your carbon footprint and could reduce your living expenses too.

Constructing an eco-friendly home does take a bit more planning, but the results can give you the sustainable home of your dreams. Your new home can be energy efficient and save money on energy bills. We look at 8 things you can do to build a more eco-friendly home.

Choosing Eco-Friendly Building Materials when you build an eco-friendly home

Build an Eco-Friendly HomeChoosing materials in the construction that are sustainable building materials certainly helps improve the environmental credentials when you build an eco-friendly home.

Recycling materials is also an excellent option that should help reduce the cost of the build and have a positive environmental impact. One excellent suggestion is to consider building a shipping container house because of the impact on the environment by utilizing shipping containers as a structure.

It is a good idea for home builders to pick eco-friendly building materials, as these green features are considered upgrades with a home. When buying new construction houses, it is a good opportunity to include eco-friendly building materials in the design process.

New construction home buying is a viable option when buying a home. Many buyers will go directly to the builder when considering purchasing new construction.

It is often possible to remodel homes that are fixer-uppers using recycled materials, for example. If you remodel, be sure to recycle items such as insulation, beams, and bricks.

When recycling isn’t possible, eco-friendly materials can be used. This will mean making sure that the wood used in the home has had as little processing with chemicals or heat as possible.

Using wood from sustainable sources is also something you will likely want to check. Utilizing eco-friendly building materials will create a green home.

Creating an Energy-Efficient Home

Creating an energy-efficient home will reduce energy consumption while still creating a comfortable living area. Choosing to fit solar panels or even wind turbines to power your property partially will reduce energy usage from traditional sources.

You can also fit energy-saving features, like light sensors, to save power. Reusing old electrical appliances will keep your costs down and reduce the environmental impact of your new home.

use Solar Panels when you build an eco-friendly home

Solar companies will tell you that these solar panels increase a home’s value; however, there can be complications with selling the home if the panels are leased. There are different reasons why solar energy is so advantageous for a homeowner. Solar panels have become a trendy option for generating power for the home.

There are financial benefits to utilizing solar panels, such as savings through lowering the electricity bill. Other benefits include the fact that people are trying to reduce their carbon footprint and being green. They prefer not to rely on the grid for energy needs.

Solar panels are photovoltaic cells and convert the sun’s light and energy into electricity. One advantage of solar panels is that the panels provide you with guaranteed power as long as the sun is shining. There are some drawbacks too. Utilizing solar panels is a creative way to add equity to the home.

Buying Energy-Efficient Appliances

Newer electronic appliances tend to be more energy-efficient than older ones. Check the energy consumption rating of the device. Though buying new appliances will increase your costs, the reduced energy efficiency use will gradually recoup some of the extra expense. New appliances do also have the advantage of adding value to your home when you sell.

Energy-efficient appliances include Energy Star, which is designed to help you save money and resources.

Washing machines and dishwashers utilize significantly less water which helps to save the planet. The appliances are more efficient and are energy savings. Keep in mind that dishwashers would be included if selling. However, it is always a good idea to include what you want in the purchase agreement.

Smart Thermostats

The biggest reason to upgrade to a smart thermostat is for energy cost savings. This is a pretty easy way to save money. The thermostat will maintain the temperature of your home when you build an eco-friendly home. When utilizing a smart thermostat, it’s easy to schedule your HVAC to run less while you’re out for the day and ultimately reduces energy usage.

Smart programmable thermostats are connected with the wireless internet. Some apps can be utilized on your smartphone to program and maintain the temperature of the home. This allows the home to maintain a consistent temperature versus having an air conditioner work hard to cool the home back down. This will save energy costs.

If you have a vacation home, it is good to have smart home technology, including a thermostat.

Your thermostat can program alerts to let you know if the interior temperature has changed significantly, so you can monitor whether or not your HVAC is working properly and make adjustments as needed.

Another benefit of a smart thermostat is that they are easy to install and program.  All you need to do is turn off the power to the existing thermostat and remove the old thermostat.

Connect the new smart thermostat and follow the programming instructions. Connect the wires to your new thermostat, install the new thermostat faceplate, restore power, and follow programming instructions as prompted.

Efficient Lighting

Make sure LED bulbs are fitted throughout the home as canned lighting. They are considered fixtures in real estate. LED lamps use far less power than traditional bulbs and need replacing less frequently too.

Eco-Friendly Home Features

Choosing to use eco-friendly technologies in your home construction is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

Reducing your carbon footprint is good news for the environment. Choosing to have underfloor heating installed instead of heating ducts will add value to your home, along with making it more sustainable.

Eco-Friendly Toilets

Traditional toilets use more than 100 gallons of water on average each year. You also spend money on cleaning products that may be harmful to the environment. There is also the cost of toilet paper which is expensive.

You may consider utilizing a composting toilet.  It will reduce your water usage, cut back on cleaning products, and save you money.

If you don’t want to go as far as a composting toilet, there are some toilets available with a dual flush system, so you can select to use less water when appropriate.

Reducing Water Usage

Making better use of water in the home will reduce the amount you use. While you can save money on your water bills by being more careful when you flush the toilet or run the dishwasher, you can also select more efficient appliances.

When you are choosing a dishwasher or other appliances, some may use more water than others. Check the product specifications before you buy.

Tankless Water Heaters

A great way to conserve resources is to convert your existing water heater to a tankless model.

A tankless water heater is an upgrade for any home. Tankless water heats will last longer, use less energy, offer endless hot water on demand, and reduce utility bills. They have reduced maintenance, increased energy efficiency, lower utility bills, and more.

Tankless water heaters will heat the water directly without utilizing a storage tank. The water heaters heat the water when the water travels through a pipe. Tankless water heaters deliver a consistent supply of hot water, and basically, it is hot water on demand.

Energy-Efficient Windows

These windows prevent your heated or cooled air from escaping from your home. Heat will generally rise and will escape through loose windows or through the roof.

Energy-efficient windows will help to reduce heat loss. Most energy-efficient windows are dual paned or triple-paned, depending on the location.

If you reside in an older home, upgrading your windows will add value to the home and will be more energy efficient. Use sustainable materials when you decide to remodel or build an eco-friendly home. Energy-efficient windows provide increased insulation and will reduce your home’s energy usage.

At the same time, they help to make your home more comfortable. Windows do have a tint on them to reduce the sun heating the interior of the home. Many windows or glass have Low E or low emissivity tint to reduce the amount of infrared light.

Growing Your Own Food in Your Backyard

If you plan your backyard with raised beds or a planting area for vegetables, you can even grow your own food. This is a great eco-friendly method that saves you money and provides nutritious, healthy food for your family throughout the year.

When growing your own food, you can utilize raised flower beds and fill them with compost.

If you plant certain vegetables next to each other, it can really help. For example, basil planted next to tomatoes will help fend off aphids. Homes that have a green roof will add to the proper insulation of the home.

When tending to the yard, be sure to update the front yard as well and utilize drought-resistant plants that require less water.

Selling an Eco-Friendly Home

Having some of all of these items discussed in this article will sell the home faster. Having a home that is energy efficient is very desirable.

Moving into a new home with lower utility bills is a definite selling point. You may be in the process of deciding what to fix before selling your home, and if possible, it is a good idea to make changes with an eco-friendly mindset.

Final Thoughts

Committing to a sustainable design and eco-home benefits the environment and will reduce your living expenses. It is not only the design and resources used to build an eco-friendly home.

How you live in it impacts your carbon footprint and the potential harm to the environment. There are many benefits to living in a green home, including the benefit to the planet but also to the homeowner with the utility bills.

About the Author

The article “Build an Eco-Friendly Home | 13 Creative Steps to Go Green” was written by Sharon Paxson, one of the best Newport Beach Real Estate agents. With experience since 2005, representing buyers, sellers, and landlords. We welcome the opportunity to share our expertise with you and guide you through your real estate transaction.