From pre-build considerations to strategies for existing homes, here’s how to make your dwelling more eco friendly. These tips are brought to you by Green Mountain Energy, providers of 100 percent clean energy since 1997, with a welcome reminder to be certain the power you do use is renewable.
Bake It In
Austin-based architect Matt Fajkus encourages his clients to build energy efficiency into the design process by focusing on solar orientation, breeze-flow, and roof geometry. “We site structures to minimize heat gain while providing ample openings for natural light,” says Fajkus.
Windows Are Key
Charles Culp, professor of architecture at Texas’s A&M University, designed his own home with abundant windows on the south side, which provide year-round daylighting and free heat in winter. If replacing windows, look for products with a low U-Value (a measurement of thermal transmittance).
Pull the Plug
Dallas-based interior designer Vennesa Torres, founder of V Mode de Vie, recommends that homeowners begin by replacing older appliances such as washers, dryers, and refrigerators with models bearing the Energy Star symbol.
Check out the recent Dwell.com article for tips on energy efficiency.