Green Tips for Healthier, More Comfortable Homes
Improving energy efficiency isn't the only goal of a green remodel. Green remodeling philosophies place just as much importance on improving the overall comfort of your home and making sure your home is as healthy as possible as reducing your utility bills. Here are some suggestions from Johnston to help you come out on top in both departments.
Good Insulation = Comfort—Don't let dreams of huge energy savings cloud the fact that a well-insulated home is a more comfortable home. By eliminating sources of heat loss, heat gain, and drafts, a high quality insulation job will make for a warmer home in the winter, a cooler home in the summer, and more consistent, even temperatures year round.
Soundproofing—Soundproofing is a nice side benefit of insulating your home. In fact, a good test of whether your home needs an upgrade in the insulation department is to sit in your living room with the windows closed and listen for the neighbors. If you can hear them loud and clear, your insulation probably isn't up to par. SIPs, spray foams, and cellulose insulation provide better soundproofing.
Avoid Fiberglass Insulation—In addition to releasing glass fibers into the air that can cause skin irritation, respiratory problems, and in cases of long term exposure, cancer, most fiberglass insulation also contains a urea-formaldehyde binder (believed to be hazardous to your health) to reduce airborne fibers and retain the insulation's shape and thickness.