Three Green Remodeling Trends Here to Stay
In the beginning, green remodeling was considered to be anything that was made that conserved energy, was from renewable materials, or recycled and reused. But as people became more interested, involved, and educated, the standards for what could qualify as green remodeling, were raised. For example, a company that represented their countertop as being “green” for it used recycled glass, had that claim rejected when it was discovered they were shipping glass all the way to China to get broken into little pieces, then shipping it back. When low-flow toilets were first introduced, what good was less water per gallon flush if one had to flush it three times to clear the bowl? Thank goodness now quality efficiency toilets work!
There are three green remodeling trends that will not go out of style, and can make a good investment in the home.
- Healthier Home—As buildings have become more air tight to help with heating and cooling efficiency, what is in the living space has become more important. People do not want to be breathing toxic chemicals called VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that can be found in paint, furniture finishes, and flooring. VOCs can cause dizziness, headaches, and respiratory distress. Specify the use of a quality paint and No to Low VOC finish and glue on cabinetry or wood floors, and choose carpeting with low VOCs for home improvement projects for green remodeling.
- Aging in Place—More people would rather remodel than move, and most people want to stay living independently in their home as long as they can. It is wise to plan for the potential and inevitability of changes in vision, strength, and mobility when you are remodeling, than having to remodel again later to meet those needs. The basics include a no threshold entry into the home, wider doorways, and having universally accessible bathroom.
- Smart Technology—The number of appliances that are able to be operated via a mobile device are increasing and can provide significant savings on utility costs, and convenience too. You can change thermostat temperature setting to be more comfortable by the time you get home. There are also appliances that have the ability to self-adjust to be more efficient. An example of one is a refrigerator that adjusts to peak usage time, and even generate a shopping list. There are appliances that can do both—like a hybrid water heater that will either heat water on demand for low flow use, or for high demand for showering that can save a family $400 a year. As the number of stand by appliances increase, you may want to utilize a dashboard that can turn off idling appliances.
There are continual technological improvements that improve efficiency and lower energy consumption. Energy Star Rating standards have risen accordingly, keeping a high bar for appliance providers to reach to be competitive. When it is time for home remodeling, make it a green remodeling project!
Happy Green Remodeling!
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