We live in an era where sustainability, eco-friendly living, and green initiatives are par for the course. It feels like every week a new company or pop culture icon gives a talk outlining a new plan to save the planet from ourselves.
Terms like "carbon footprint" and "embodied energy" are used so often and in relation to so many different things that it can be easy to lose perspective. The truth is, terminology aside, humans use a lot of energy in our everyday lives. While this fact has led many environmentally conscious consumers to seek out different types of transportation. There are many changes we can make right in our homes to reduce waste as well.
We asked some of our local businesses here in Williamson County what they were doing to conserve energy & become more efficient. Here are some excellent sustainable home design trends and ideas that you’re going to want to have in mind as 2020 continues to unfold. All of them are worthy of consideration.
“Geothermal is an option that several clients have asked us about. Currently the payback does not seem to be advantageous to a new home client under 10,000 square feet. However, if a client is considering year-round pool use and the pool heater that is required for that, geo-thermal becomes a plausible part of an efficient mechanical design.” - AH, Grove Park Director of Sales & Marketing
“If you’re looking to make an Eco-friendly change to your home, consider replacing older windows with an ENERGY STAR Certified window. Pella has partnered with ENERGY STAR since 1999 and have many options that meet or exceed ENERGY STAR certification in all 50 states. Benefits of ENERGY STAR certified doors and windows are as follows: Helps lower utility costs, helps enhance your homes comfort and helps protect the environment.” - Pella Windows & Doors of Tennessee
“Local building codes have been adopted that all-but require the use of LED light fixtures in today’s homes. The key for the homeowner is to ensure that LED lights are being used to supply the spectrum of light and functional use that a homeowner will want. LED lights can range from a blue-white light to a warm glow that looks much like the less efficient incandescent light. Likewise, specific electronic features have to be in place for an LED to be dimmable.” - AH, Grove Park Director of Sales & Marketing
"Polywood is a window treatment to replace blinds or shades. It was designed as an insulating system with weatherstripping on the sides to seal when closed. Louver gaps are very tight and the Polywood material is very dense to block outside temperature that typically flows through soft window treatments like shades or draperies." - Professional, Sunburst Shutters and Window Fashions
“A healthy crawl space is critical to an eco-friendly home. Much of the fresh air that comes into a home enters (by design) through the crawl space. Spray-foam insulation in the walls, ceilings, and attic focus fresh air ‘drafts’ into the crawl space. Many homes today are built with sealed & conditioned crawl spaces and air filtration and humidity control is more important as insulation continues to advance.” - AH, Grove Park Director of Sales & Marketing
“With the incorporation of low impact stormwater requirements at the local municipality level, bioswales and rain gardens are two of the most common strategies for capturing water runoff on-site and allowing it to percolate back into the ground while also filtering out sediment and other pollutants.” - Jason Crunk, Grove Park Land Company, Landscape Architect
Other Tips on how to go Greener in your Home
+ Wash laundry in cold water instead of hot.
+ Turn off lights when you leave the room.
+ Plant a simple backyard garden.
+ Fix leaky faucets.
+ Make your own household cleaners.
+ Lower the temperature on your hot water heater.
+ Unplug unused chargers and appliances.