Home building in Bend has taken big steps toward going “green” whether it be individual “eco-friendly” homes or in the case of Northwest Crossing, an entire subdivision where homes are all Earth Advantage certified. But even if you aren’t ready to buy a new green home in Bend, there are several simple ways you can incorporate “green” ideas into your own home in order to reduce energy consumption and your own carbon footprint. 1) Insulate – With heating and cooling accounting for 50% of your home’s energy consumption, make sure you have proper insulation and your heating ducts and windows are sealed tight. 2) Appliances – When replacing appliances, look for the ENERGY STAR label which offer significant energy savings without compromising performance. 3) Lighting – Upgrade lighting to LED or CFL bulbs. The prices keep coming down and the long term energy savings can be substantial. 4) Fixtures – Purchasing low flow faucets, toilets, and showerheads not only cut down on water usage, but on water bills as well. 5) HVAC – If your HVAC system is getting old it is likely not very energy efficient. Along with properly sealed ductwork, a new energy efficient furnace can really cut down on your monthly energy bills. 6) Thermostat – Along with a new HVAC system, a programmable thermostat can cut down on your monthly bill by not wasting energy when you don’t need it. 7) Renewable Materials – For just about any project around the home from painting a room to re-roofing the house, there are a variety of green building materials such as reclaimed lumber, recycled plastics or glass, low VOC paint, or natural products such as cork, bamboo, and linoleum which are made of natural, renewable materials.
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