Hi, Alegre from Ember Living here today talk about how to green your home improvements. As with all things, you can have the greatest impact on your home improvements if you start at the planning stage. Two websites that are great for when you're doing your planning are the Energy Star website and the US Green Building Council's website. They'll give you a lot of ideas on things you should think about when you're planning your home improvement. For instance, it's really important to think about what step you do at what time in terms of encouraging a green home improvement.
So you don't want to paint until the last minute, because if you paint before you sand your floors, all of that sand dust is going to get stuck in your new paint. You tend to want to paint last. Another thing you want to think about is when you're doing your sanding and your painting or whatever, you want to make sure that your HVAC system, your heating and air conditioning system, you want to make sure that the ducts are sealed off so that you're not getting all of that dust and stuff in there. It's much easier to keep the dust out than to clean those ducts out later after the fact. So planning is key. Another thing you can do is you can hire someone who is LEED accredited.
LEED stands for Leadership in Environmental and Energy-efficient Design and a LEED accredited professional, meaning an interior designer or an architect or a contractor, will have more experience into how to make your home improvement eco-friendly and non-toxic. Finally, there is a new system of profession called a home performance contractor, and what a home performance contractor can do is come into your house and tell you where you have opportunities for improving the effectiveness of energy efficiency in your house. So they will figure out: where do you have insulation, do you need more insulation, do you need a different type of insulation, where do you have leakage in your house, how can we plug the leaks?
A home performance contractor can come to you with a holistic plan for making your house the most energy-efficient possible. And also tell you the ways that you can get the most bang for your buck. So maybe you need to spend more money here and less money there and you're going to get the best bang for your buck. They can also help you figure out what municipality or federal rebates and tax credits and incentives are available to you so that you can get money back when you're doing these sorts of improvements to your home. For more information and tips like these, visit my website: EmberLiving.com.