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Save Thousands
with a Green Home

by Kimberly Ward

A green home can be built for no more than regular construction,
and has greater market value when it is completed.

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A "green home" is a home that is highly energy efficient, has an excellent indoor environment, and is built to exceed local building code. Sounds expensive. Right? Absolutely not! It's a myth that building a green home is more expensive that conventional construction. Using an experienced green home builder, it can be very affordable to build and can save a homeowner thousands in energy costs annually. Add to that the fact that the homeowner could qualify for thousands in tax incentives.
A green home can be built for no more than regular construction, and has greater market value when it is completed. But it's important to hire a builder that has built green homes before. A builder that has retrofitted existing homes has no experience with the type of building techniques that make green homes more affordable. In addition, an experienced green home builder can help educate the potential homeowner about green techniques, their options, and energy efficiency.
While some green home features can be expensive and retrofitting existing homes can be quite high, building a green home from scratch is very affordable. Your experienced green home builder knows that getting advice from LEED's engineers and reorganizing the building process to save time, energy, and waste are key steps to starting the project off right. Generally speaking, the green home elements are not expensive and since they are installed as the house is built, with no demolition of existing concrete foundations, the cost of installation is kept lower.
In case you have been wondering what green homes look like, they look just like conventional homes (except for the solar panels) and are quieter and cleaner than conventional homes. Green home features are maintenance friendly and work just like conventional home features.
The beginning of a green home is a set of plans that starts with a conventional floor plan and elevations. Then an experienced green home builder will modify the systems of the house to accommodate green home features and energy saving devices: a geothermal system rather than air conditioning; in-floor heating rather than a conventional natural gas forced air system; a grey water recapture system; energy efficient windows, doors, appliances, and water heater; and high quality, high "R" rated insulation.
The best part is that these systems work very differently from their conventional counterparts, yet are invisible to the homeowner and their guests. And the cladding and shingles on the outside of the home look no different than a conventional home, making it blend in to its neighborhood seamlessly.
The home will be quieter and cleaner without the dust and noise of conventional forced air heating. And the energy cost savings are substantial, depending on your particular situation. Comparing an affordable green home to a conventional home with conventional natural gas forced air heating and central air-conditioning, typical homeowner annual bills of nearly $3,000 per year could be lowered to $700 or less--a savings of $2,100 per year. These figures are for illustrative purposes only. Your actual savings depends on the size of the home, the number of people you have living in your home, your electricity usage, and the green options you select.
Besides the construction, what you put in your home is also important. Energy Star appliances sip electricity rather than guzzling it, but are similar or identical to your current appliances. Cabinets and trim can be identical to conventional houses but made with recycled material or earth-friendly woods for a more eco-friendly home. Using untreated chemical-free wool carpeting and natural paint, stains and sealers can prevent the typical toxic outgassing common in conventional new homes.
With tax incentives and energy savings in the thousands, plus greater market value, building and living in a green home can be an affordable option for everyone.

Reprinted with permission from www.articlesbase.com  

Related Info:
Global Warming: Myths and Facts
Toxins In Your Home
The Ecological Footprint
The Bells of Mindfulness
Al Gore's Campaign to Solve the Climate Crisis
Say No to Corn Ethanol & Yes to Plug-in Hybrids

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