How to Spot a Green Home

top 12 items of a truly Green Home

Do You Know How To Spot a Green Home?

First, a True Green Home  Doesn’t Rely on Colors Alone. Obviously this is an easy answer to those who cannot imagine a figurative sense of these words.

Especially, if a house of the color green showed up on your brain when you read the main title of this page.

Second, not always what looks green actually is! 

In fact these days things are marketed as green but it turns out that green is only the color choices of the item. The point of theses sentences is: DONT GET FOOLED!

For your own good, keep reading and learn what kind of questions to ask when you are trying to spot what is really green and what is just fluff.

Not that easy to spot a green home:

The question is, do you know how to spot a green home? Are you looking for a green home? 

To be clear, and make sure we are speaking the same language here, I mean, not the color, the efficient, zero-waste kind of home.

Or, from another angle, are you looking for materials from self-sustainable sources and do not leave a big Carbon footprint?

But to be straight to the point, how do you know if a home is truly green? 

Because nowadays, you could be only a victim of a marketing ploy. In this case, what should you look for if you want to make sure to have a sustainable home?

A lot of companies make claims based on studies that they paid for themselves! What a big pile of crock! Moreover, the results are not released for the public in its entirety because they kill the studies that backfired and only keep those that sustain their claims.

In addition, these claims are the furthest from making any product green. So you have to be smart.

We have the top 12 items to be included on a true green home:

In a simple sentence, a truly green home will have less impact on your health.

But most importantly, a green home will also costs less to operate and obviously will have smaller environmental impact as well.

Finally all you need to know, can be found  in these 10 top items listed here are some examples to look for when you try to spot a green home:

1- Location of a green home:

• Green homes or neighborhoods, must not be built on environmentally sensitive sites, like prime farmland, wetlands and endangered species habitats.

• The greenest development sites are “in-fill” properties like former parking lots, paved areas, rail yards, shopping malls and factories.

• To have green home, look for compact development areas, where the average housing density is six units per acre or less.

• Your home should also be within easy walking distance of public transportation.

• The best homes keeping a low carbon footprint, needs to be near bus lines, light rail, and subway systems.

• To spot a green home you need to notice the opportunities that you have so you can leave your car at home.

• A green home should also be within walking distance of parks, schools, and stores.

• The location should allow many errands you can carry out on a bicycle, because that’s healthier for you and the environment.

2-Size of a green home:

• No matter how many green building elements go into your home, a 6,000-square-foot green home still consumes much more natural resources than a 600-square-foot green home.

• A larger home will also require more heating, air conditioning and lighting; therefore, if you really want a sustainable home, you have to choose a smaller home.

3-Building Design of a green home:

• The home should be oriented on its site to bring abundant natural daylight into the interior.

• Devices should be implemented in order to reduce lighting requirements and to take advantage of any prevailing breezes.

Windows, skylights, light monitors, light shelves and other strategies should be used to bring daylight to the interior of the house.

• The exterior should have shading devices, like sunshades, canopies, green screens and – best of all – trees.

• These devices should be placed particularly on the southern and western facades.

• Also they should be placed over windows and doors, to block hot summer sun.

• Dual-glaze windows reduce heat gain in summer and heat loss during cold winter months, specially if there is inert gases in between panes.

• To spot a truly green home, just look up, the roof should be a light-colored, heat-reflecting Energy Star roof.

• Or even better, a green (landscaped) roof, to reduce heat absorption into the structure.

4-Green Building Materials for a true green home:

• A green home has to be constructed or renovated with healthy, non-toxic building materials and furnishings.

• All materials and furnishings should be low- and zero-VOC (volatile organic compound) including paints and sealants.

• A green home needs to be made with non-toxic materials, like straw-board for the sub-flooring and recycled “blue-jeans” cotton insulation.

• Wood-based features should come from rapidly renewable sources like bamboo, but if tropical hardwoods are used, they must be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

• And most importantly, a truly green home uses salvaged materials like kitchen tiles and materials with significant recycled content.

5-Insulation for a greener home:

• A non-toxic insulation, derived from materials like soybean or cotton, with a high R (heat resistance) factor in a home’s walls and roof is imperative in a green home. 

• It is so much, so because it will efficiently help prevent cool air leakage in the summer and warm air leakage in the winter.

6-Windows and Doors for a green home:

• Windows and exterior doors should have ENERGY STAR® ratings, and they should seal their openings tightly to avoid heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter.

7-Energy Efficiency in a true green home:

• A green home has energy-efficient lighting, heating, cooling and water-heating systems. Appliances should have ENERGY STAR® ratings. 

One can also say that the best option is to have appliances that do not rely on power, if that power is not produced by the house itself!

8-Renewable Energy for a green home:

• The greenest homes should generate some, if not all, of its own energy with technologies like photovoltaic systems.

Even better, a true green home should harness the underground temperatures, using what we call it geo-thermal systems, to maintain comfortable temperatures inside the dwelling no matter how cold or how hot it is outside.

Most importantly, the energy removed from the environment should be clean, and offered in abundance in nature. Some other good examples are harnessing the power provided by wind driven devices, or using the natural movement of bodies of water to collect and distribute the energy created to the needs of the home in question.

9-Water Efficiency in a green home:

• A green home has a water-conserving irrigation system and water-efficient kitchen and bathroom fixtures, including a gray water system and water storage tanks.

• Look for a rainwater collection and storage system, particularly in drier regions where water is increasingly scarce and expensive.

•Basically, the water has to be used, cleaned and returned to the environment by penetrating the ground and ending up super clean back in the water table. 

Note on water conservancy and use:

To be frank, water doesn’t simply disappear. Unless you chose to live in the middle of the Mohave desert, or in the salts of death valley, shortage of water for human consume is due to inefficiency of your local government.

The fact is, there is plenty of water in the World. Its also good to note that there are ways to extract that water safely, use it and send it back to nature, without affecting the fine balance of the environment.

There is no need to mention that the water that we ingest, the water that we bathe, the water that we wash our cars, the water that we flush down the toilet, all go back to the environment in one way or another, it is our job to clean the water that we use and send back to nature.

As an example of failure, if your local government, makes you pay for sewer services, they are collecting the water that otherwise, would be treated in your septic system and sent back to be filtered by earth, and just sending it to no-mans land… for the sewer fees… they may be doing it wrong.

How to Spot a Green Home in Los Angeles

The Ultimate Handyman helps you installing automatic valves, underground wet sensors and timers to control water waste. Planning and implementation is where the success reside.

10-Indoor Environmental Quality for green homes:

• In a truly green home, natural daylight should reach at least 75% of the home’s interior.

• Natural ventilation (via building orientation, operable windows, fans, wind chimneys and other strategies) should bring plentiful fresh air inside the house.

• The HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system should filter all incoming air and vent stale air outside and it is how you spot a truly green home.

• The garage should not have any air handling equipment or return ducts, and it should have an exhaust fan.

11-Landscaping in a green home:

• Vine-covered green screens, large canopy trees and other landscaping should shade exterior walls, the driveway, patios and other “hardscape” to minimize heat islands.

• Yards should be landscaped with drought-tolerant plants rather than water-guzzling plants and grass in most regions.

How to Spot a Green Home in Los Angeles

We can build a green home from the ground up or we can assess and improve the greenness of your home. Call Today for a free consultation on how we can help you to greenefy your property.

We provide professional installation and Maintenance for any style and models.

Do you sell the photovoltaic system to a local resident in the Greater Los Angeles or anywhere in Southern California, USA? 

If you ship it to the customer, we can install it in the name of your company and keep track of an annual maintenance schedule. We install the system but they are your customers locally.

When your clients contact you for service and regular maintenance, we service them for you.

We work for big manufacturers adding value to real green products.

Companies have responsibilities, which is to keep your products and systems working properly during warranty and your customers happy for many more years after warranty, for that all you have to do is call us.

Obviously we will need you to send us your manuals and replacement parts. We can also troubleshoot, clean the panels for top efficiency and check all connections and weak links on photovoltaic systems.

Thus, your system will work like a well oiled machine and all you have to do is to open a retainer account with us.

Deposit for retainer accounts are of levels starting at $1,000 and are available for you to use for up to 2 years! By calling us and sending us to work on the systems that you sold. – Check out our rates and corporate accounts guidelines.

For all areas and zip codes where we provide constructions services, additions and remodels.  

Go to our YouTube channel, and make a comment there, asking your question and what you want to see in a video format explanation. We are producing videos to replace all the text that we write here!

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