by Steven Vance
What is a sustainable house? A sustainable house is a home which is a healthy environment for everyone in the household (even your pets) which is free of the synthetic, often toxic building materials which are often used in home construction. A sustainable house is less aggravating to those with allergies and safer than a traditional home to live in.
A Sustainable House is Healthy:
A sustainable house is not only good for the environment, but good for your indoor air quality. There are many preservatives that are used in furniture and building materials that contain formaldehyde, which has been shown to cause cancer, nose and throat irritation, wheezing and coughing, fatigue, skin rash and other severe allergic reactions. It is used in fabrics, furniture and often in plywood.
A sustainable house is made with organic products and has furniture made with non-toxic treatments and organic fabrics. In the last 30 years, asthma has more than doubled in most countries, which is largely due to the way that our homes are built and furnished. The result is that the air quality in our own homes is in many cases as much as 100 times more toxic than the air outside – even if you live in an area which is polluted.
A Sustainable House is Energy Efficient and Saves You Money:
The newer models of heating systems, water heaters and other appliances are far more energy efficient than are the older models which are still in use in many homes. Compact fluorescent bulbs use 80% energy than do older incandescent bulbs, making them a popular choice for homeowners. A lot of homeowners are choosing to make their homes not only sustainable but also energy efficient by insulating and sealing windows and doors, along with installing programmable thermostats.
There are other easy steps you can take towards making your home a sustainable house such as installing low flow showerheads, insulating your water heater and making a habit of changing your furnace filters regularly. Insulating your attic well can also reduce your energy usage – and your energy bills!
A Sustainable House Uses Green Products:
With interest in green building on the rise, green building products are much more readily available. There are non-toxic wood finishes and paints – and there are even options for sustainable wood out there. One particularly popular sustainable wood choice is bamboo flooring. These green building products are not only sustainable but also attractive, increasing the value of your sustainable house. You can also find carpets which are made from natural materials like wool or carpets made from recycled materials.
A Sustainable House Uses Solar Energy For Additional Light And Heating:
Any house can become a sustainable house by using the sun’s power to save on heating and light. Even without solar panels, you can use skylights and windows to increase the light and warmth of your home, especially during the daytime.
Installing tinting on your windows in the warmer months can also reduce your cooling costs. You can find organic window treatments which can keep energy costs down and make your house a sustainable house.
There are simple steps you can take to make your house a more sustainable house and save a lot of money on your energy bills in the bargain, even as you help to protect the environment.
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