Sure, you'll save energy and money when you go green, but how much do you know about what it costs to make the switch? Test your knowledge and take our Super Savers: The True Cost of Green Construction Materials quiz!
A green building is environmentally responsible and doesn't hog resources. It's designed to use energy, water and other resources efficiently; protect the health of those living or working inside it; and reduce waste, pollution and environmental degradation.
Sometimes yes, you can simply compare the cost of green windows to the traditionally used ones. But other times, you can't. For example: Maybe that pricier green insulation means you can install a smaller, cheaper heating/cooling system, resulting in an overall savings.
Look for doors, cabinets, glass and metal to salvage and reuse, as they offer some of the best savings and retain their quality.
Greenwashing is the practice of misleading consumers about a product's environmental benefits or a company's environmental practices. When selecting building materials, make sure you or your builder know which products are legitimately green.
According to a 2010 study by TerraChoice, 31.7 percent of DIY building/construction products carried legitimate eco-labels, an increase from previous years. Unfortunately, the percentage of legitimate eco-labels for all other products, such as household cleaners, declined.
If a construction material carries an EcoLogo, Energy Star, GREENGUARD or UL Environment label, it's trustworthy.
Originated in Nebraska in the 1880s, straw-bale construction today mainly uses leftover rice stems.
No one window is suitable for every location. A fixed-pane window is inexpensive and airtight, for example, but it's designed for rooms where you want more sunlight, but not ventilation.
Recycled shingles are among the most popular roofing products. Made from recycled waste materials (plastic, rubber, wood fiber), they often carry 50-year warranties, and some have fire ratings that can lower your insurance premiums.
There's a common misconception that if you lower your home's temperature for several hours, your furnace has to work so hard to warm the air that it negates any energy savings you'd achieved in the first place. But the lower the interior temperature, the slower the heat loss. So, lowering your home's temperature in the winter always saves money.