Radiant in Residential

2 simple ways to make your home more eco-friendly

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 12:57

Innovative products, sustainable building materials and energy-efficient appliances are all well-known ways for homeowners to decrease their carbon footprint, but there are two simple solutions they may not know about that could have long-lasting financial and environmental effects. When you begin your home renovations, consider integrating these small changes on the opposite ends of your house. 

Install radiant heat flooring

If you have decided to renovate the floors in your home, consider installing radiant heat underneath floorboards to provide your space with the best quality heating that exists on the market. Through the use of underfloor heating technology, this product works by emitting warm waves right under your feet. Heat does not rise and circulate at random as it usually would with traditional systems, meaning all rooms in a house receive equal, warm temperatures.

According to Energy.gov, there are many environmental advantages to switching to radiant heat. First, individuals with allergies are less likely to be agitated by dust and dirt that circulates in an area. Pollutants and harmful materials may not be spread throughout as air remains stagnant in rooms with this technology. Next, these systems require significantly less electricity than their counterparts due to the use of water to warm the floor and the fact that underfloor heat does not need to work as hard to increase room temperature. 

Paint your roof white

Roofs that are painted black typically have been coated with tar, which absorbs a large amount of energy during summer months, according to the White Roof Project. This can cause a home or building to store pockets of heat, causing uncomfortably hot conditions both inside and out. By painting roofs white, energy is much less likely to be stored and companies or individuals could potentially save millions on yearly energy costs. This home renovation costs very little, but reaps many rewards.

A study recently examined the effects of white, black and green roofs across different buildings in America. What they found was that white roofs were much more efficient than their green and black counterparts. Black roofs were immediately condemned for their high energy costs and public health detriments, but green roofs were seen as an acceptable alternative. They, however, require high installation and maintenance fees, which researchers found outweigh their environmental benefits. Additionally, it states that white roofs cool the globe three times more efficiently than green roofs.