Posted on 11/12/2012
If you've talked to your clients about going green before, they've likely been excited at the prospect. After all, who wouldn't want to save money on utilities while helping out the planet? So now that you've go their attention, why not get down to specifics? How can they go green in their homes, shrink their carbon footprints and save a little money in the bank account? Consider this primer to help you out and remind you of the essentials.
An energy-efficient kitchen
First thing's first - if you were to look at a map of where most of your clients' energy is spent on a monthly basis, it'd undoubtedly be the kitchens. Between the refrigerator and the dishwasher, these two fixtures are major offenders to energy conservation. Encourage your client to seek out Energy Star certified products with high efficiency ratings. Furthermore, they can purchase dishwashers that drastically reduce water waste. The same goes for sinks and faucets. Water's just as much a commodity as fossil fuels, after all.
Energy-efficient temperature control
Temperature control can be a huge drain on your clients' money, especially during the harsher seasons like mid-winter or the dog days of summer. The first step in temperature control should be making sure that a home is properly insulated and sealed. No matter the season, if there are leaks going in or out of a home, the desired indoor air isn't sticking around. This waste is entirely avoidable with a little vigilance and sealant. Or you can pursue energy-efficient windows, which are specially designed to avoid drafts and can even help your client earn federal tax credits!
Another way to make sure your clients have excellent and energy-efficient temperature control is to invest in radiant floor heating. Radiant floor heat is a green and eco-friendly way to keep your home cozy and warm, but one of its major advantages over forced hot air heating systems is actually a health matter. While central heat uses dusty vents to warm your home, radiant heat is reliant only on all natural convection currents that don't jeopardize air quality by filling it with dust and other allergens. Radiant floor heating is sure to give your clients the green advantage they're looking for.
On the other side of radiant heat, your clients will also want to be properly outfitted for staying cool during the summer. Everyone with an air conditioning unit knows what a drain these can be on electricity, but with the right model, the AC can be just as energy-efficient as radiant heat. Have you clients look into picking up units with higher seasonal energy efficiency ratios (SEER). Energy Star qualified models must score 15 percent or more, but significantly higher numbers exist too!
An energy-efficient laundry room
Just like the kitchen, your client's laundry room can guzzle up a ton of electricity. Between the dryer and your washer, there's a lot of waste going on. Investing in energy-efficient and water-conserving models means that your clients are saving money on the electric and water bills. You may also want to remind them that the greenest way to dry their clothes is definitely going all natural. A drying rack in the winter and a clothesline in the summer will do wonders for the environment.
Beyond fixtures and furnishings, the materials of a home itself can be green. From sustainable wood species like bamboo in the floorboards to salvaging or refurbishing old furniture, there's plenty your clients can do to keep their home sustainable. Encourage them to flex their creative muscles and get interested in upcycling and other green movements, too.
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