Choosing eco-friendly home products that meet eco-friendly, green home standards can greatly improve energy efficiency and provide you with water conservation benefits that will save you lots of money.
Plus, choosing nontoxic green home improvement products such as paints, sealers, glues, caulking and more can make your house a safer, healthier place for you and your family.
In order to choose the most beneficial products for a new green home design, or to improve your existing home with eco-friendly products, you must first understand the generally accepted definitions for eco-friendly products established by various regulating agencies.
Keep in mind, however, that not all “eco-friendly” products are just right for you or our family…especially when it comes to health standards for building products.
What may be “safe” levels of a particular chemical additive, to say paints or glues, may NOT be a healthy level for someone suffering from allergies, asthma or chemical sensitivities.
So bear this caution in mind whenever shopping for green building materials or healthy house products.
Eco-friendly Home Products Definitions
With that said, here are the important eco-friendly product definitions that you should know before you begin to build or remodel a home.
• Energy Efficiency – Energy efficiency is using less energy to provide the same level of performance. A good way to do this, for example, is to install a programmable thermostat, which can regulate your home’s temperature in both winter and summer automatically, whether you’re at home or away.
It can save you lots of money every month on your energy bill. Upgrading your home with energy efficient products is an easy, efficient way to go green.
• Water Efficiency – Installing more water-efficient products in place of older products is an easy way to reduce your water usage and improve water efficiency for your household.
A low-flow showerhead, toilet dual-flush conversion kit or a WaterSense standard faucet aerator can greatly reduce the amount of water you use and save you lots of money on your water bill.
The program is designed to award the Energy Star label to products that meet the guidelines for energy efficiency set by the EPA and U.S. Department of Energy.
These products are designed to save you money without sacrificing the efficiency and quality that consumers require.
For example, the WaterSense label indicates water-efficient faucets will use no more than 1.5gpm, reducing the standard flow by more than 30%.
A high-efficiency toilet with the WaterSense label will use 1.28 gallons or less of water per flush.
• No VOC and Lo VOC – No VOC (and Lo VOC) are terms generally used to describe materials that emit no (zero) or low (less than minimum acceptable regulatory standards) rates of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC).
New technologies have replaced harmful solvents with water-based, less toxic solutions that can lead to healthier home and industrial building products.
Understanding these eco-friendly home products definitions can help you evaluate your green building or remodeling project needs much more thoroughly.
Again, always determine your own personal building needs according to health and efficiency first. Then, choose the appropriate eco-friendly products that are the most helpful to meeting your goals.