Our Top Tips: How to GREEN-UP Your Home's Interior
Irwin Weiner ASID - There's little excuse ... well, maybe inertia ... for not jumping on the GREEN bandwagon with your home design and decor. If you want to think ahead and plan for your family and planet's overall health and wellness, GREEN is the answer. We've come up with a list of eleven tips on how to go more eco-friendly around the house.
- Engineered quartz countertops made with recycled materials are scratch resistant, stain resistant, scorch resistant, chemical resistant, mold and mildew resistant, and stronger than natural stone or other solid surface materials. Use them on countertops throughout the house, including kitchens, bathrooms, dining rooms, and mud rooms.
- Always use highly rated Energy Star appliances to save energy.
- Air purifiers and humidifiers ensure optimal indoor air quality regardless of the weather. An ERV (energy recovery ventilator) works with the purifier and humidifier to make sure fresh outdoor air circulates year-round and indoor air is kept fresh and clean.
- Traditional vacuum cleaners actually pollute indoor air. A central vacuum system is 5 times more powerful than handhelds, eliminates 100% of the dirt it comes in contact with, and reduces allergy systems up to 60%.
- A variant speed, multi-stage, super high-efficiency furnace can be coupled with a heat-pump air conditioner to offer efficient, optimal comfort in the house while saving energy.
- Low and no-VOC paints, stains, carpets, engineered woods, and adhesives help your family breathe easier and live healthier lives.
- Natural wool fiber carpets are plush, renewable resources; many are available in a 50/50 blend of wool and synthetic fibers for maximum durability. Install carpets on a VOC-free, soy-based memory foam pad to keep it green.
- Hot water recirculation loops allow heated water to circulate to your bathrooms for instant hot water, saving gallons of water per year spent waiting for the water to heat up. The loop is on a timer to run only when needed.
- Motion sensors and door-activated switches can be installed in key areas so lights and fans shut off when the area or room isn’t being used.
- Lutron automated shade systems (see photo above - Lutron's Graphic Eye system) allow solar control and privacy at the push of a button. This is great for large windows that can let in lots of sun for passive solar heating in the winter. The shades can close in the summer to keep the house cooler. Lutron also makes window coverings to fit into their automated systems, including a nifty range of venetian blinds that can lift and tilt in unison. (Wow.)
- Reclaimed hardwood salvaged from other building projects can be used for renovations on floors and architectural features like wall panels and coffered ceilings.