I’m Marla, the Green Home Coach. Thank you for joining me today for another chapter of my book, Living Green Effortlessly: Simple Choices for a Better Home.
Simplifying has been high on my list right now, and my book can help you make some simple choices for a better outcome!
With the help of my book, we will be covering another set of systems and features of your home to help you make the best of them, either as they are or if you plan to upgrade them.
In this episode, we will be covering Chapter Three: Energy Efficient. How Can You Be Comfortable and Get the Most for Your Energy Dollars? I know that is something we are all trying to do, so be sure to stay tuned for more!
Where do you start when you want to start greening your home?
You should start with whatever is affecting your comfort right now. If you are cold, some of the systems that come into play are the building envelope, the heating and ventilation system, the windows, the window coverings, and even the ceiling fan.
This chapter is about the systems that make up your home and the resources to help you get the most out of those systems. I hope to open your eyes to a whole new way of thinking about your home.
Why direction matters in your rooms and with your home
The room that I work in is the furthest in the house from the heating and cool air from my air-conditioning unit. That means that I don’t get quite enough warmth in here in the colder months. So I sometimes need to get some additional warmth from a little heater. That shows me that there are some things that I also need to do to improve things in my home!
Windows are an important part of our homes. They give us views, warmth, and ventilation. If the sun is shining on your house, use it for heat and light wherever possible. That is where the direction that the front of your home faces, or its orientation, comes into play.
The rooms that face north
The rooms that face north will get the least amount of natural light. They will be colder and darker, so you need to keep the shades open to bring in as much natural light as possible.
Ensure that your north-facing rooms are very well sealed, have good lighting, and use light colors to decorate because they will reflect the light and make the darker areas in your home look lighter and brighter.
The east and west windows
The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, so those windows tend to get a glare. You can shade the windows with blinds or other window coverings to keep things cool in the summer. And a dense, dark floor will soak up some of the heat from the winter sun and release it back into your home to help keep it warm in the colder months.
Outside solar screen window covering
I found a solar screen window covering. It goes on the outside of the window to take the glare off of my east window. It works very well, and I can still see the beautiful view right through it!
The south side of your home will get the most sun at any time of the year, so you will need to shade as much as you can on the south side of your home in the summertime. Overhangs on your roof will be a solution if you are building or remodeling. Or you could use solar screens, awnings, trees, or trellises with plants growing on them to make some shade for an existing home.
Easy to maintain windows
It is a good idea to buy the best quality windows that your budget will allow. Easy to maintain has become very important, as well as durability. Be sure to use Energy Star windows when you are replacing or building. You can go to the Energy Star website for more information.
Tightly-woven bamboo screens, placed on the outside of your windows in the summer, can stop up to 75% of the sun’s heat from reaching your windows.
Windows are important for natural light
Let the daylight in through as many of your windows, skylights, and sun tubes as possible. Daylight is the combination of sunlight, light diffused by the earth’s atmosphere, and light reflected from the ground or other surfaces. Remember that the higher the source of light, the deeper into the room it will go.
Windows that slide sideways or up and down do not usually seal as well as casement windows.
LED lights last for a long time, they do not cost a lot, and there are also many different colors to choose from. And LED lights have great dimming capabilities.
There are many choices that you can make for your heating system. Any improvement that you make to your heating will save you money. The most important thing is to ensure that you have good insulation and air sealing and your heating and cooling unit has been sized correctly for your home.
You can use ceiling fans to keep your air-conditioning needs in check.
Great, programmable thermostats are available today. So, take advantage of them because they will save you both energy and money.
Buy the most energy-efficient appliances that your budget will allow.
My website Green Home Coach
Book: Living Green Effortlessly
Facebook Group: Love Your Everyday Green Home
Energy Efficient Window Treatments