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What’s it Really Like to Live in an Eco-Home?

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: September 7, 2012 | Categories: Environment, Green, Guest Posts, Home and Garden

Image4EcoFriendlyGP What’s it Really Like to Live in an Eco Home?

The idea of living in an eco-home might seem daunting.  The first few eco-housing areas to be built certainly had a lot of problems with mold, rot and erosion, as well as poor ventilation, and solar panels that didn’t generate as much power as homeowners would like.  However, developers have learned a lot from those first buildings, and modern homes are generally much better designed and easier to live in.

Ecoparks and Communities

Many modern eco-homes are part of environmentally friendly communities, where likeminded people live together and pool resources for things beyond reducing their gas, electricity and water usage.  These communities may have a food co-op, or even carpool, to reduce their electricity usage even further.

This sort of arrangement can be incredibly beneficial if you are interested in saving as much energy as possible, but if you prefer not to have to attend resident’s meetings and other sessions with your neighbors then you may want to look for a converted home that isn’t part of a community.

How Much Can You Save?

Eco-friendly homes can offer substantial savings.  If you find a home that has geothermal heating, you can cut more than 60% off your gas bills.  Solar panels can offer substantial savings on your electricity bills (especially if you live in an area that sees a lot of direct sunlight, although modern panels can generate some power just from ambient daylight).  Water reclamation units can save you more than 25 gallons of water per day, which can be a substantial saving for a household with a water meter.

Many modern builds come complete with a set of Energy Efficiency A rated appliances.  These, combined with insulation, double or triple glazing, and other eco-friendly features, can offer even more savings.

Well-designed eco friendly homes are not just energy efficient, they’re also easy to live in.  Their green features should “just work”, so there’s no need to micro manage systems and appliances.

Making Your House an Eco Home

If you can’t afford to move house, or simply don’t want to go through the hassle of relocating at the moment, you can add a lot of eco-friendly features to your existing home.  The most obvious additions are double glazing, a modern heating system, and cavity wall insulation, however there are other things that you can do to reduce your carbon footprint.

If you need more living space, consider loft conversions instead of home extensions – loft conversions make use of the existing space in your home, allowing you to leave your garden untouched.  Adding insulation to the loft while the work is being done will make your home more energy efficient too.

Next time you renovate your home, consider adding a water-efficient shower and a low-flow toilet.  In addition, when you come to replace appliances (something that will happen naturally over time), opt for the most energy efficient items you can afford.  Don’t rush out and replace all of your white goods tomorrow, especially if they’re still working well, but do make a point of opting for the greenest goods you can when you are replacing broken products.

This post was written by James Harper on behalf of Buckley Loft Conversions who can help you make the most of your own home which is an eco alternative to building a new one. Find out more here.


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17 Responses to What’s it Really Like to Live in an Eco-Home?

  1. Being a city girl, I can still put in eco-efficiency into my home..

  2. I wish I could have chosen more eco-friendly products in our new home.

  3. heather hrpcha says:

    next move im going to go more to this eco-friendly and spread the word around to others to give it a try..

  4. Jennifer Mae Hiles says:

    Great tips! I like the idea of using the loft as opposed to building on. We actually started that…er…should I say my husband started it. He began my tearing down half of the wood ceiling (we have a small log cabin) and then decided it wasn’t the right time to do it!!! So we proceeded to replace what he tore down… needless to say, it will never be the same! Now we almost have to do it eventually!

  5. I don’t think I could go completely free/off-the-grid when it comes to a home, but we do try our best to be as environmentally and economically minded as possible with our choices.

  6. I’d love to be greener. We’re putting in a new furnace this year and we’re definitely looking at more efficient options and replacing 1970’s windows.

  7. Kelly says:

    I would love to live more off the grid. Hopefully our next house will be much more eco-friendly.

  8. My dream is to have an eco-friendly dream home. Living an edo-friendly life is important to me.

  9. Leilani says:

    If I ever win the lottery and can finally afford to buy a house, I plan to make mine completely eco-friendly. I’d love to have my house run completely off solar power.

  10. Kathleen says:

    We really need to make some changes to be more eco-friendly.

  11. Penelope says:

    Hmm, good ideas for my new home.

  12. Theresa says:

    Great post! I love that more people are going eco-friendly.

  13. serena adkins says:

    Living in an eco home is probably one of the healthier ways of living now a days. Thanks for the info!

  14. Doreen Musson says:

    If I was younger, this would be the way to go!

  15. Toni says:

    That’s interesting. I would love to live in a more ECO-friendly house. Would love solar panels

  16. Lillea says:

    I’m hoping that solar panels will be cheaper and easier to install over time.

  17. Mike Davis says:

    the tips are interesting– but it will take some time and extra money to be able change it all

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