Trying to reduce your environmental footprint? Consider integrating these green design principles into your home.
Net Zero: The idea is to balance the energy your home uses with an equal amount of renewable energy created. Not to be confused with living off the grid, net-zero homes may use energy from the grid one day and then sell an equal amount back the next.
- Solar Power – Find out if solar power makes sense for your home with this solar cost/savings calculator.
- Solar Hot Water – Upgrade your hot water tank to a solar system for considerably less than solar power.
- Real-Time Monitoring – Install a smart energy monitoring system that lets you optimize your energy savings.
Energy Efficiency: Net zero works by minimizing the energy requirements of the home. This is done by eliminating costly energy leaks and switching to high-efficiency systems.
- High-Efficiency Heating – Upgrade your heating or cooling system to a high-efficiency system.
- Energy-Efficient Windows – Install energy-efficient windows to minimize heat losses or gains.
- Insulation – Upgrade insulation to support your heating and cooling system.
Water Conservation: Strictly speaking, conserving water does not contribute to your net-zero profile, but it does follow the same principle of minimizing environmental impact by reducing consumption.
- Low-Flow Water – Install low-flow showerheads and faucets, and switch to dual-flush toilets.
- Rainwater Collection – Conserve water by harvesting rainwater for use in the garden.
- Xeriscaping – Minimize your water requirements by planting drought-tolerant plants.