The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Breaking News

Real Estate News

April 18, 2012

Green Home Trends: From Baby Steps to Extreme Updates

- — Recycling is one thing, but a composting toilet? That's when you know you're taking the going-green trend to its, um, "natural" conclusion.

While many home owners and builders are beginning to make changes to homes to incorporate eco-friendly products and materials, these are just the bud of the going-green trend. To really get the low-down on what the seriously green-minded homeowners can do to help the cause, we've rounded up a list of fixes that can be done in a house, whether it was built in 1912 or 2012.

Update your bulbs

You're going to have to change out your standard incandescent bulbs eventually. This year marked the first stage of phasing out 100-watt incandescent bulbs under the CLEAN Energy Act, but 70-, 60- and 40-watt bulbs are next on the chopping block. Switching to compact fluorescent lights (CFL) or LEDs not only conserves significant electricity, but significant savings as well — more than $57 over the life of the CFL, one report found.

Energy-star appliances

One of the simplest ways to upgrade your home in a green way is to purchase an energy-saving appliance. The best bet is to find one that earns the government's "Energy Star" rating. The appliances are designed to reduce greenhouse emissions as well as your energy usage over time. Many products can mean tax rebates for your green efforts. This Alameda home for sale (below) includes all energy-saving appliances in the kitchen.

 

Reuse rain water

The simplest place to reuse rain water? In your garden. By installing an affordable rain barrel that catches runoff from your roof or gutters, you can save enough rain to water your lawn or growing spring garden.

Get geothermal

Even if your home state is plagued by cold winters or blistering hot summers, did you know that below the frost line the ground stays about the same temperature year-round? By tapping into this, you can cool or heat your home in a very eco-friendly way. This isn't a way to create electricity, but rather reduce the amount of energy you use to maintain your home's temperature. Installing a geothermal system isn't cheap (estimates range from $11,000 to $30,000 for a 2,000-sq ft home), but with tax incentives and significant energy bill reductions, the savings are incredible. If you plan on being in your home for a long time, it could be worth it and perhaps add to your home's re-sale value.

Text Only
Real Estate News
Featured Ads
Promotions
Poll

Who should the Houston Texans take with the first pick of the 2014 National Football League draft?

Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel
South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney
Central Florida QB Blake Bortles
Auburn OT Greg Robinson
Buffalo OLB Khalil Mack
Clemson WR Sammy Watkins
Texas A&M WR Mike Evans
     View Results
Facebook
Must Read
Photos


See more photos and purchase prints here.

AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide