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Green Homes: Budget & Environmentally Conscious

With Texas summer heat in full blast, having a ‘green’ home that is energy efficient becomes a hot topic. As the temperature climbs, so does the electric bill. One of the most common arguments against energy efficient home decisions is the higher cost of ‘green’ choices but years of innovation has reduced these costs. Even when a green option costs more up front, many of these alternatives result in high savings over time making green homes easier on your budget and the environment.

One of the most prevalent suggestions is the switch from incandescent bulbs to CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps).  As overstated as this argument is, I still struggle to reach for the more expensive bulbs on the shelf. However, an article by greenhomeguide.com convinced me to make the switch by showing that the energy a bulb uses is far more expensive than the bulbs themselves. This same article reported that over the course of 10,000 hours, each CFL bulb will use only $22 worth of electricity compared with over $80 in electric bills for incandescent bulbs. This comparison has me rethinking my next Target trip.

Speaking of light, outdated windows are a major challenge in energy efficiency. Single pane windows allow for a significant transfer of heat into your home forcing you to choose between hot natural light or closed blinds in an attempt to regulate the temperature. While last century’s original windows may offer a vintage style, the statement on your monthly credit card is far less “in”.

On a more natural note, the shade from mature trees increases your curb appeal and while working double to insulate your home from the sun’s hot rays. This can help reduce the overall temperature of your home if the foliage is close enough to cast shade over parts of the house.

All of these tips are easy to incorporate into any new custom home, particularly in the case of insulation and a proper HVAC unit. This allows you to reap the savings benefits of a lower bill and avoid the hassle of removing walls to re-insulate your home or bring in experts to evaluate the efficiency of your HVAC unit. Incurring this cost upfront may seem painful but is preferable to the alternative of high electric bills caused by an overworked or outdated HVAC unit that is never capable of fully battling the Texas heat.

The facts are in, a green home can conserve both natural and financial resources .