When it comes to home improvement, many cost-conscious homeowners think about all of the “green” they will spend. Today, however, they also are able to think about a different kind of green – “green” building.
With soaring energy prices and states adopting regulations that prohibit products that emit harmful fumes, environmentally friendly building has become a hot topic. In fact, organizations such as the U.S. Green Building Council have been formed to establish criteria for incorporating green products and materials into homes.
Here are a few green products or projects to consider.
* Leaky ducts windows and door can account for 30 percent or more of wasted energy. Caulking around your doors, windows, moldings, baseboards and vents is an easy and inexpensive project. Choose a high-quality product that complies with regulations governing volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, which are ozone-damaging pollutants.
* Are you ready to replace your siding? When choosing your siding material, consider the insulation value and the amount of maintenance it requires. Natural cedar siding, for instance, may seem to be a “green” choice, but it has a low insulation value and requires regular painting; thus, it may not be the best choice.
Insulated vinyl siding, such as Solid Core Siding, is an energy efficient solution. It features a foam backing and provides better insulation than wood, fiber cement or traditional vinyl siding.
* One of the most obvious ways to make any home more environmentally friendly is to use less electricity. The biggest electricity-eaters are appliances and lighting. Buy Energy Star appliances and switch incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs to quickly reduce electricity demand.