Green house plans:
What makes a house plan "green"?

The term "green house plans" has become very popular these days. But what does this really mean? Here are a few things to look for in green house plans.

One the most important things to consider with a set of any house plans is your overall goal for your new house. Some people do not mind a design that perhaps is not the esthetically pleasing in favor of ultra efficiency.

Others need to deal with homeowner associations ("HOAs") that have strict requirements in regard to a home's look and design.

The choice is very individual and personal. It is quite important that the homeowner carefully researches the cost/return of green house plans. For example, many whole house solar systems are priced between $20,000-$30,000.

Unfortunately, the efficiency of these systems means that the homeowner will not be able to recoup the cost of this system for many years to come. Other technologies such as wind power and hydro power are also not to a development point where they can provide more than adequate returns on investment. Wind power also brings into concern zoning regulations that can impact the project.

However, green can also mean minimizing your requirements on resources. This is typically achievable at affordable rates and can make a big difference on the global picture.

Incorporating these technologies into a new or existing home is best done by coordinating with a local installer.

Passive solar principles can be incorporated into the design of the home. This includes the placement of windows and orientation of your home. By orienting your home to either capture the most amount of light in the windows in cold climates, or shading the windows and structure in a hot climate, you can drastically reduce your heating and cooling bills. You can also help reduce your cooling bills by situating your outdoor HVAC unit in the shade.

Selecting the optimum building materials is another way to ensure efficient green house plans. Insulation is an inexpensive way to improve your energy consumption. This will help in either a hot or cold climate. Windows and doors are another area where there can be significant savings. The use of good quality window shades can help reduce heat loss at night in cold climates, while significantly reducing the amount of heat coming through the windows in warm climates.

Reducing water consumption is another area where low cost technology can make a big difference. In many areas, there is an abundance of rain. The ability to capture rainwater greatly reduces the need for household water. Rainwater can be captured and stored in inexpensive holding tanks that are fed from your home's gutters. This water can be used for all landscaping purposes as well as many outdoor chores.

Water consumption can also be drastically reduced by the use of efficient plumbing fixtures. The use of lower-flow fixtures can provide homeowners with a very sufficient flow of water to accomplish tasks, while saving on excessive consumption.

Electric consumption can also be improved. Energy efficient appliances such as stoves, refrigerators, and especially clothes dryers really add up savings quickly. Another real saver is a tankless water heater. This unit heats water on demand and does not need to use energy to maintain a tank of hot water.

These are just a few inexpensive technologies that can really make a significant difference in making your home more efficient. These simple technologies, if implemented in more homes, could make green house plans have a huge impact on keeping our planet green.

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