When it comes to living green, we all do our best. We have reusable bags for shopping, some of us have alternative methods to transportation rather than driving, and most people have taken to recycling as often as possible. But when we say living green, how many of us are referring to our London ON houses or our Etobicoke condo, where we live most often? Not many. I think it's safe to say that most people do not even consider how their homes run when it comes to green living.
Since the majority of us spend at least a third of our lives at home, green housing is an integral step in correcting the environment. Unfortunately, not everyone knows quite where to start. Recycling our waste, turning off unused lights and appliances, and conserving water are some of the lifestyle changes we can apply, but where do you begin when trying to renovate your home to a green standard? It affects everything, from using green paint to decorate with words in a child's room to replacing appliances.
The first and most effective place to start is lighting. A lot of energy (and money) can be saved by installing compact fluorescent light bulbs around the house. The same goes installing energy efficient fridges, hot water heaters, and air conditioners. Most people still react negatively to these ideas, however, for one reason: cost. Why pay double what you would for regular appliances and renovations? It's a hard concept to grasp but you will end up saving significantly in the long run.
Though you may end up paying just as much for green renovations as you did for your real estate, and you may not see a return on your investment for years, think of this: if energy costs double in the next five to ten years, what you end up paying then could buy you a solar energy system now. So, you really have to think of it as a long-term investment.
It is also important to consider how heating and cooling systems work in your home. If you have systems that are out of date or not properly installed it could result in leaks. If you have a leaky cooling system then it is not working at its maximum potential and you therefore have to turn it up and waste energy that you don't need to. Performing an energy audit before you purchase that house for sale is the best way to detect any faulty systems and have them replaced.
Even real estate agent companies have started to be aware of environmentally friendly needs by providing courses to educate their agents. Various Toronto real estate blogs indicate that agents learn about how to sell green products and how to develop and take advantage of government financing. So, if you are considering buying a home maybe it's a good idea to pick a real estate agent who has educated themselves with green housing. It will save you lot of money in the long run!