What Makes A Green Home

green-home-south-africaWhile more and more citizens in South Africa are taking an interest in a green home, there are many who seem to be confused as to what the term actually means.

Making your home more environmentally friendly means different things to different people. It can be difficult for a consumer to decide on what a green home is all about. This is especially true when it comes time to build a home that is eco-friendly.

maximize energy efficiency

A prospective homebuilder should be aware of all of the necessary standards. This includes a significant increase in insulation in order to maximize energy efficiency in your home. Insulating a home to the bare minimum requirements will provide adequate efficiency, but the more insulation you use the better. The floors and foundation must also include increased insulation for a green home.

Double Glazed Windows and Solar Film

In most homes, the ceilings, floors and walls are typically insulated. In a green home, the windows are insulated as well. Windows with double panes and solar film are the best choice for home-owners who wish to have a green home in South Africa.

green-home-toiletsLow Water Flow Toilets

Having a green home goes deeper than simple insulation or window installation. In order to minimize the wasting of water that runs rampant in many homes, low water flow toilets must be installed. It is also possible to purchase toilets that are equipped with two different options for flushing, one for solid waste and one for liquid waste. Liquid waste does not require the same amount of water, so the second flushing option is far more conservative.

Low Water Flow Shower Heads

A green home in South Africa is also typically equipped with low water flow shower heads, in addition to eco-conscious dishwashers and washing machines. By doing so, households cut back on their waste of water and there is no need to sacrifice functionality. Energy saver refrigerators and air conditioners are also necessary, as well as any other appliances the household may require.

green-home-lightingLED Lighting Systems

Any and all light fixtures should have compact fluorescent lights installed and LED lighting must be used in a home wherever applicable in order for it to meet the green home standards. Replace all your old globes with LED lighting and watch how much money you will save! As with everything, the initial cost might be a little hefty but you will make it all back and continue to save. Even something as simple as the paint job can undo all of the progress you’ve made.

Painting Your Home

Paints that are high in VOC (volatile organic compounds) are commonly used and contain harmful chemicals. Look for paints that are lower in VOCs. Lighter colors contain less of them, so choose a white or an off-white for your walls, as opposed to a trendier color. Reflective roof paint has also been seen as quite effective lately.

The use of Natural Fabrics

Using more natural fabrics throughout the home will also increase its environmental friendliness. Cotton and wool are typically used in green home for the window and furniture dressings.

Ask About A Green Home And Its Features

Whether you are building a home or looking to buy, there is no shame in asking about its “green” features. Knowing what to look for when attempting to build or purchase a house, a green home is half of the battle. The other half is implementing these features so that they meet environmental standards.