There has been tremendous publicity during the past five years about going ‘green’ and though everyone would like to contribute his or her bit to safeguard our earth, it is generally very tough or absolutely impossible for them to justify the prohibitively high costs involved in maintaining ‘green’ or environmentally friendly living.
In the last few years, there has been some change in perceptions in the building industry about the concept of ‘going green’. Going green is not merely building a home using eco-friendly building materials. These materials used to be manufactured in limited quantities making them very expensive.
Going green concept should, in fact to be viewed in larger and practical context. Although some companies in the construction industry had earlier tried to adopt eco-friendly green technologies, they were found to be very difficult to implement and there is no conventional market for these types of environmentally friendly products and in due course, they just vanished.
For majority of companies, ‘going green’ was merely a marketing gimmick In most of the instances, companies merely went on an advertising spree declaring the policies they had initiated only to create a positive impression in the minds of those who have been leading go green movement.
However, these companies hesitated to take aggressive steps needed to support eco-friendly system as it was not a feasible option for them in view of high costs involved and producing eco-friendly products mean drastic cut in their profit margins.
Nevertheless, as the green movement picked up, there was an awareness among people and industries about pollution free environment and they changed their mindset towards conserving natural resources.
Eventually the proper solutions have started coming up on conservation of natural resources as well as potential cost savings. One area of energy conservation relates to generation and consumption of electricity. More than 70% of the electricity generated in the United States is from power plants run on fossil fuel, particularly coal.
In order to decrease the requirement for fossil fuels and emissions of gases arising from burning these fuels, one should find methods of cutting down on the consumption of electricity. This also contributes to lowering of power costs.
The simplest and most useful method of reducing costs of heating is through proper insulation of the home. An effective insulation keeps hot air inside the home during winter and protects the home preventing hot air from entering inside the home in summer. Most of the houses over five years old are generally not properly insulated.
Sometimes even new homes are not properly insulated. The insulation needs will change depending upon the area of the country in which one lives. There is a suggested ‘R-value’ for each geographical location of the country and it varies with the type of climate of the area. For example, R-value of the insulation required goes up if the weather in the area is colder.
R-Value indicates the amount of heat transfer. The higher is its value; the lower is the heat transfer. It is better to begin checking insulation from attic. There will be a spectacular effect on heating and cooling bills, if attic is properly insulated. It is not costly to get a contractor to check whether the home is properly insulated and conforms to the ‘code’.
In many cases, ‘blown in insulation’ is the simplest and most efficient method of insulating the attic. It can be done as a DIY job by hiring the required equipment to blow in insulation without engaging the services of a contractor. Home warehouse stores like Lowes and Home Depot rent blowers and sell the blown in insulation.
Covering hot water heater with insulation material is another method to cut down on power bills. These are some of the aspects one can take care to convert one’s home into ‘green’ and also save money . These measures are most effective to facilitate conservation of our natural wealth for future generations.