The Earth provides natural resources that humans have used to make living more comfortable. Coal and gas are used to generate electricity and heat homes. Water is used for bathing and cooking, as well as for non-essential activities such as washing vehicles. As the planet’s population grows, the use of natural resources grows as well.
At some point, there may not be any natural resources left in some regions. In fact, the drought in California has made this evident. This concern has caused many people to want to reduce their impact on the environment. If you are going green, here are three systems you may want to consider installing in your home.
Solar Power Energy
When you think about solar power, you probably envision an entire roof of solar panels, right? Well, with advancements in technology, you can have solar power energy for your home and nobody would even know it. There are new solar power energy units that are designed to blend into your home. They are called building-integrated photovoltaics.
These are solar cells that are combined with other building materials, such as asphalt roofing, metal and some types of cement. Therefore, even if you live in a neighborhood with a nightmarish homeowner’s association that doesn’t allow anything that could make your home stand out, you can still utilize solar power energy.
If your house doesn’t get an adequate amount of sunlight, use solar energy to supplement the electricity you get from your power company. If you get an abundant supply of sunlight, you may be able to sell some of the energy you generated back to the power grid.
Gray Water Recovery
Water is a hot commodity in some areas, especially in California where there is a drought. During the drought, many homeowners are prohibited from watering their lawns or washing their vehicles, because there simply isn’t enough water. If saving water is one of your concerns or you live in an area that experiences droughts on a frequent basis, install a gray water recovery system.
A gray water recovery system recycles water that you already used in your shower, washing machine and dishwasher. The recycled water can irrigate your lawn, be used to flush toilets, and wash your vehicles. Gray water is water that is unclean and cannot be used for human consumption or bathing.
You can hire a mechanical contractor to install a recovery system with a filtration system to clean the water before it is reused. These systems generally have a holding tank that is located outside, or underneath the house in the basement or crawl space. If the water is unfiltered, it will not be able to stay in the holding tank for a long period of time. To avoid this problem, most homeowners with these systems set timers that automatically release the contents of the holding tanks into an irrigation system.
Install a geothermal heating system instead of a gas-operated furnace, a wood-burning fireplace, or electric baseboards. A geothermal heating system has a heat pump and refrigerant-filled coils that are installed underground. As the refrigerant loops through the underground coils, it picks up the heat from the ground.
At the condenser, the liquid is compressed and this causes the heat to increase. When the thermostat kicks the fan on it forces air over the heated coils and into the heating duct. This system does need electricity to operate the mechanical parts of the system, such as the fan and condenser.
If you are going green and looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint and your impact on the environment, install these types of systems. You may see a reduction in your energy costs if you do, which is an additional benefit to going green.