[ecis2016.org] Interested in a more eco-friendly home? You will have to use a combination of structural, lifestyle and gadget changes to achieve the most beneficial and cost-effective results
Every now and then, home owners may need to make modifications to their properties. Such occasions could be an ideal time to incorporate eco-friendly changes that conserve water and improve energy efficiency. There are a number of traditional and contemporary methods that can be used to achieve this.
You are reading: Transform your home into a ‘green’ space
Ensure proper insulation and ventilation
While the use of glass windows may enhance the visual appeal and thereby, the resale and rental value of your property, they also hinder the efficient working of heating and cooling systems.
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One can counter this, by using eco-friendly products, such as cotton garments, plant-based and recycled cloth-based materials, for insulation. “The use of natural cooling methods, reduces energy losses and thereby, the expenses on electricity,” says Delhi-based architect, Ashutosh Kapoor. One should also seal the gaps around windows and doors, to enhance the efficiency of heating and air conditioning units. It will also help, to restrict the entry of mosquitoes, ants and rodents, Kapoor adds. False ceilings, cavity walls and lofts also work well, to insulate your house and keep the temperature balanced.
[ecis2016.org] Is your dream home really a ‘green’ home?
Monitor your cooling system
You can significantly reduce the load on your air-conditioners, by ensuring that it is serviced regularly. Air-conditioners consume the highest amount of energy, among all home appliances. Hence, while purchasing one, opt for models that are energy efficient. “An efficient AC will help you save money that you will otherwise pay on the increased electricity bills, in case you buy a normal AC,” explains a research associate at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), requesting anonymity.
Use alternative sources of power, such as solar cells
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If you have an independent property or if you can use the roof in your apartment, you can install solar panels, which can be used to heat water and power light bulbs in the common areas. A variety of photovoltaic panels are available in the market. Some can also be placed on window panes, in balconies, or mounted on columns, etc., where there is enough sunlight, suggests Kapoor.
Use energy saving appliances
Energy saving appliances and devices, such as light emitting diodes or compact fluorescent lamps, can be used to reduce energy consumption. Choose appliances that have a higher energy star rating. The additional cost spent on these appliances, can be recovered through the savings on electricity bills.
Keep plants in your house
A house, with a roof that is covered with shrubs and trees, will be cooler than a simple concrete house. To achieve this, one can make use of effective landscaping and by keeping earthen pots with plants that provide shade and plants that absorb extra moisture during humid months. Always choose from native vegetation, specific to your area.
If you have an independent house, you can prepare underground storage tanks for harvesting rainwater for later use. You can also conserve water, by installing aerators to faucets, changing to low-flow showerheads and by using bathing or shower water for flushing toilets.
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