What are the key fac­tors to mak­ing your home green?

Connecticut Post (Sunday) - - Real Estate - Rob Carter

Peo­ple of­ten say they wish they could live in a green home but it is too ex­pen­sive to buy a new home and in­stall it with all those fea­tures that make it green. This could not be fur­ther from the truth.

Any home can be green if you are will­ing to make the choice and make green changes rather than just buy what is con­ve­nient or ones that give short term sav­ings. You don’t need to wait for a new home to go green, but you can start to­day in the home you live in now.

Be­low are a few things home­own­ers can take into con­sider- ation:

Ma­te­ri­als that go into mak­ing the home

Use ma­te­ri­als more wisely, use sal­vaged ma­te­ri­als, repur­pose things and use ma­te­ri­als that last longer.

One as­pect of be­ing green that many peo­ple over­look is the sim­plest, you are bet­ter off buy­ing one of some­thing that lasts 20 years than buy­ing two that each last about 10 years.

The build­ing en­ve­lope

This in­cludes in­su­la­tion, win­dows, sid­ing, caulk­ing and air fil­ters that let the air in or out. A green home is very tight. You want the air to en­ter and exit your home un­der your con­trol and fil­tered prop­erly.

Heat­ing and cool­ing

En­ergy star ap­pli­ances make this much sim­pler, when you buy en­ergy star ap­pli­ances you know how much en­ergy each ap­pli­ance will use.

Pro­gram­able ther­mostats are also great, why heat and cool your home more than needed? Pro­gram­able ther­mostats have come a long way and now you can even con­trol it by your phone.

Light­ing op­ti­miza­tion

The eas­i­est way to make a home greener is to re­place the light­bulbs.

LED bulbs are the most en­ergy ef­fi­cient and can last be­tween 20,000 to 50,000 hours, which Con­sumer Re­ports says fig­ures out to 18- 46 years if you only have them on three hours a day.

By in­stalling the cor­rect type of light­bulbs, you can save as much as 20 per­cent of your elec­tri­cal bill.

Rob Carter, Wil­liam Raveis Real Es­tate, ( 203) 654- 0140, rob. carter@ raveis. com

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