NH Green Homes: Advantages of Going Green in Your Home, 
What is a "Green Home?"
 According to the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders), the design, construction, and operation of this “focuses on energy and water efficiency, resource efficient constructing design and materials, indoor environmental quality, and must take the home’s overall impact regarding the environment into account.” 
We hear the questions relating to the water bubbler, in the coffee shop, and during the holiday family parties. Our neighbors are curious about,…we even might find ourselves seeking to pay attention and comprehend a tad bit more clearly when Good Morning America is featuring the Green Home tips as part of their early AM segment. What number of us fully realize the effect, however, or have on hand the knowledge that may allow us to to achieve a much greater perception on the Green Home boom? There are a lot advantages to constructing or renovating utilizing a Green methodology, there are as well quick changes one could make to jumpstart that process on a small budget.
First off, you have to know your resources. There are a few major players in the area of Green developing and architecture which will help to answer any questions in regards to the strategy. Those resources are:
US Green Engineering CouncilNational Association of Home BuildersBuild Green NH (NH specific)
Second, you should comprehend the “WHY.” Why should one be considering Green constructing and home improvements? What is in it for the homeowner? How is this likely to improve their position? There are some different reasons.
The move to a more energy efficient home, one which allows for a more lasting lifestyle, will inevitably be more attractive from a resale viewpoint, and hence will help to increase market value in the home.Another major factor to consider is the cost reduction when improving your total household efficiency. If your parents could save money every month on their total energy costs, it would help them to maintain a more comfortable lifestyle as they method retirement age.One more thing to high five about is the energy tax credits that are available. There are Federal, State, and local tax incentives for energy efficient improvements made to the home. For a list of NH tax credits and incentives, visit the NH Office of Energy and Planning.Lastly, you need to understand that making adjustments to a lifestyle and improvements to help reduce your carbon footprint, does not have to break the bank. There are numerous ways in which you may begin the energy improvement process as part of their home on a minimal budget. Here is a list of items to help get started:
Target your home’s envelope (walls, attics, windows, and doors) - The easiest and quickest way to determine how to best improve the heat flow in the home is to schedule an energy audit. There are numerous energy auditors in the state of NH, or in your local community, that can assist with this. It is inexpensive and very telling.
Replace old furnaces If the furnace was built before 1992, it is probably wasting 35 percent of the fuel it uses. As per the USGBC, the ACEEE (American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy) recommends early replacement with a condensing furnace with annual efficiency of at least 90 percent. This type of furnace wastes no more than 10 percent of the natural gas you buy, and may save you as much as 27 percent on your heating bill.
Improve Efficiency of the Hot Water System There are a few ways to accomplish this. First of all, turn down the temperature setting regarding the hot water heater to 120 degrees. Second, insulate the hot water pipes to minimize cooling in between uses. Lastly, use low-flow fixtures for your faucets and shower heads.
Install Motion Sensor lighting This will help to ensure lights are turned off in between uses. Small children often times forget to turn the lights off when leaving a room, and this is a way to nip that in the bud.
Install Energy Star approved appliances If it is time to replace the existing washer and dryer, opt for the Energy Star rated version as the replacement. Same goes for the refrigerator. Additionally, if you are buying a new refrigerator, reconsider your decision to leave the old one plugged in downstairs as a “second” cold storage box. This is very costly, and most often times not the best option. Lastly, if the old refrigerator is still working well there is no plan to replace it in the immediate future, one thing you can do is clean the coils. If they are coated with dust, they cannot transfer heat efficiently, so it takes more energy to cool your food.
The long and short of the Green Home boom…is that it is really not long and short. There are plenty of ways in which improvements can be made, and it can be a gradual strategy if necessary…but either way, it should be something we are all considering and working to implement into our everyday lives. The most important step in all of this is to begin researching. Visit the USGBC website, and read through a few of the articles. Familiarize yourself with the basics, and the rest will come in time.
Knowledge is for starters, and the correct questions will follow.