This post is written for anyone who doesn’t live in a hermetically sealed, LEED Platinum, net-zero, passive solar house built with fair trade materials. Basically, it’s for all of us. Our company has greened tons of homes and wanted to pass along the biggest things you can do to green your house. I am defining a green house as one that is:
Healthier/Safer/Less toxic to live in for you, your family, your kids and your pets.
Less expensive to run, costs less in utility bills every month.
There are some added things in here for people who live in California (where I do) but the info can be used by anyone.
1. Painting: Always use zero-VOC paint. Almost all brands pitch their paint as low or no-VOC paint however that’s usually before you add the color tint to it. The tint is where most VOC’s are located. I always recommend Olympic Zero-Voc paint because it’s zero-VOC even after the color tint has been added. It’s what I used in our house, they have it at Lowes and it’s inexpensive. Here’s a link:http://www.olympic.com/products/paints/23/olympic-premium-interior-paint
2. If you live in California: To get a majority of basic energy efficiency work done, check out the Energy Upgrade California program. You can get up to $4000 back from SDGE and $500 from the county. Here’s the link:https://energyupgradeca.org/overview
3. If you DON’T live in California: Check out DSIREUSA.ORG for a list of rebates and incentives to make your home more energy efficient.
4. HVAC: If possible get your HVAC duct work checked out and cleaned. In California Energy Upgrade California covers this I believe. If you’re in San Diego, call Guthrie and Sons (they are a local green HVAC company-speak to Matt-619-571-3563 and tell him I referred you). I’ve used them before and they are cool, affordable and very good at what they do. Their link:http://guthrieandsons.com/
5. Carpet: If you are replacing any carpet, consider using Mohawk Smart Strand. It’s looks/feels like regular carpet but is made from corn sugar and off-gasses less. You can get it at Lowes/Home Depot and it’s priced the same as regular carpet. Link: http://www.mohawkflooring.com/flooring-products/carpet/smartstrand.aspx
6. Kids health: Make sure their rooms are Zero-VOC painted if possible, keep all electronics 6 ft away from their heads/heart when they are sleeping (to reduce impact from electromagnetic rays), try not to position their beds directly under a vent (HVAC register) and add a plant or two to their rooms to filter the air. Here’s a list of best plants to filter air, compiled by NASA.
7. Install a water heater blanket: Available at Lowes or Home Depot, inexpensive and can cut down water heating bills. Here’s a link.
8. Add foam outlet gaskets to all exterior wall outlets. Reduces air infiltration, lost heating and AC costs.
9. Add foam pipe insulation to your hot water pipes. This will reduce heat loss and conserve water.
10. Add faucet aerators to conserve water. Simple to do, inexpensive and can save up to 50% of water use. Check out this video- the guy’s accent is awesome.
That’s it, hope this is helpful.