An inside look at Chicago real estate

More Ways Homeowners Are Saving the Green Stuff

Mark.Miles By
Mark Miles
   | Green Real Estate

If you read my last entry, you know solar power paneling has become a more viable and affordable energy-saving option for homeowners in recent years. New modifications and the use of photovoltaic cells have brought the cost down to a more attainable range. It is still an initially pricey installation (we’re talking $30,000 or $40,000), but the solar panels basically pay for themselves in reduced utility bills after a few years. Still, if electricity generating solar panels are outside your budget, there are lots of other green home improvement options that can help you save energy, resources and even your health.

Environmentally conscious companies all over the country are coming up with new eco-friendly appliances, systems and products every day. For example, if you have a pool you know the cost of heating it can be fairly steep, unless you use untraditional methods such as the latest plastic tube water heating coils, which will save pool owners hundreds every season. And speaking of water, there are lots of different plumbing fixtures you can install in your residence to restrict the water flow and reduce water bills, plus home appliances like washing machines and toilets that conserve the amount of water expended with each use.

There are also choices you can make on building materials and finishes that are more environmentally-friendly than others. If you have a wood project on the back burner, do a little research into the type of boards you’re buying before you start nailing away. Certain lumber companies offer completely sustainable goods that are specifically harvested not to impinge on the natural forest or wildlife. One way to know you’re getting such a product is to look for the green FSC logo (the Forest Stewardship Council’s mark), which indicates the timber complies with the organization’s forest protection requirements.

In addition to leaving less of an impact on the earth, many of these innovations are actually healthier alternatives for you and your family. Find out how in the next entry of my “going green” series.