Inviting Home - architectural products, home furnishings and home lighting


Green Design - Energy Conservation

The most comfortable interior temperature for human body ranges from 66 to 78°F. For the most parts of the USA natural temperature ranging from below freezing to 100°F or more. The vast difference between natural temperature and temperature that are necessary for comfortable interior living explains high fuel and energy consumption for home heating and cooling.

What Can You Do To Keep Out The Cold

There are a lot of things you can do to implement green design and conserve the energy in your home.

Increasing Insulation

Insulation protects interior of your home from outside temperature (cold or heat) and is important factor of home energy conservation. Insulation minimizes heat transfer by trapping layers of still air. This air can be held in a void, or in the spaces of a lightweight airy material. The best insulators are those that contain the most air. Of these, the safest are wood, wool, cotton, and shredded paper. Dense materials, such as stone, are the worst insulators.

wainscoting

Walls

Historically, a variety of methods that increase thermal performances of the house were used to create a comfortable indoor living. In cold climates walls often were build from thick logs creating a warm homes. Wooden paneling along with rugs, and tapestries on the walls have long been used not just as an interior decorations but to increase warmth and stabilize temperature inside the home. Materials like that have kept traditional homes warm and inviting for centuries, providing endless wall decor opportunities. From elaborate mahogany paneling and large hand-crafted tapestries in luxury estates to the simpler wall hangings and paneling in more modest homes this methods of energy conservation are clearly still very popular today. Another elegant and simple way to increase thermal performance of the house is by installing wainscoting.

By adding an insulating backing you will increase effectiveness of wall hangings or paneling. You should always remember to do not pack the insulation material too tightly. By doing so you will allow room for air movement that eliminates problem with condensation.



green design - windows

Windows

Though most people usually keep the windows that come with their house for fear of exorbitant hassles and cost if they change them. The process is really not that taxing nor expensive as long as you keep the original openings the same size. If you are unhappy with the look or performance of your windows you defiantly should look into your options. There are a lot of double-paneled energy efficient windows with insulating glass are available on today's market. This windows come in variety of styles and sizes and prevent heat escaping through windows.

Window frames.
Wood window frames with clear glass are the most traditional. While window frames can be either wood or aluminum, wood insulates better. We should pay attention to the energy efficiency level of our windows. Manufacturers should guarantee efficiency. (see also solar energy)

Light-colored window frames are more often used in traditional houses. A white frame tends to bring your eye back into the space more than a darker color. Ideally, your window frames will be the same color as all the other architectural elements in the room - crown molding, door trim, panel chair-rail molding, and baseboard. White reflects light, whereas a dark color or stain absorbs it. Bronze-toned aluminum window frames are often used in modern spaces. Many believe the dark color allows your eye to expand outward, allowing the frame to recede into the distance visually, almost as though it were an unframed picture.

dreen design and window treatments

Window Treatments

Window treatments as well provide insulation and, as with wall hangings, the thicker the material the better. To increase installation abilities of window treatments you can sew weights into the hems so that the curtains stay in place and keep out drafts more efficiently. If you have radiators below your windows, keep curtains short above the radiator, or long but on the sides of the radiator. You can also place a shelf above the radiator to deflect heat into the room.

Curtains can also be hung over doors to keep drafts out. Insulated blinds help to limit cold radiation from windows at night. On other hands, in sunny and hot climates, you will need shades or some form of sun-block in order to keep cool air inside. Every year new products are formulated that allow you to enjoy your views and sunlight without baking in the heat, squinting from glare, or having your fabrics and rugs fade too much. Drawn shades or curtains during the day can create a sad atmosphere.

Internal shutters are another way to insulate windows. New shutters that fit in shutter boxes to match traditional woodwork are costly. But simpler shutters that can be hinged in the window frame or that slide on runners across the window are just as efficient. Adding insulation to shutters will make them even more effective.

Keep your windows clean, by doing so you provide a maximum amount of sunlight to get inside your home. Even if your window looks into an alleyway or directly into neighbor's house, make the most of your windows and try to keep the glass clean. Dirty windows are depressing and create a negative energy. If you are purchasing a new window units, always inquire about cleaning access so you don't have to rely on professional experts for hard-to-reach windows.

green floors

Floors

Floors are designed primarily to be walked on and to provide a foundation for furnishings, therefore floors should be made from or covered with durable, stain-resistant and energy efficient materials.That is important to prevent heat loss from floors.The easiest way to Wood floors has both resilient and non-resilient properties; it is considered the most popular and versatile of all flooring materials. Wood flooring is warn in winter, cool in summer, and smooth and lustrous all year round. A variety of options are available when specifying green flooring materials that help protect the environment.

Heat often lost through traditional raised ground floors that have air voids underneath. You can reduce the effect of drafty floorboards with a carpet laid over a thick pad. The second measure that can prevent a significant amount of draft is a quality baseboard and shoe molding. There are a lot of baseboards that are made from environmentally friendly materials are available; some of them have a shoe molding built right in (Miami baseboard as an example shown on the featured picture).

Air voids were a feature of a healthy form of construction designed to keep floor joists out of the damp earth and provide valuable ventilation to prevent or remove mold and dampness. For this reason, when insulating such floors to prevent heat loss into the air space, it is important to maintain ventilation from one side of the house to another. If the space under the floor is large enough to crawl into, you can staple or pin insulation to the underside of the floor. Use a semi-rigid or batt-type insulation material, with a minimum thickness of 4 inches.

If you cannot crawl under the floor, the only way to achieve good insulation is to lift the floorboards and drape netting over the floor beams (or joists) to contain the insulation. Alternatively, use a rigid insulation and rest this on battens nailed to each side of the joists. Do not make the mistake of laying plastic sheeting under the floor in the hope that this will prevent dampness - it will merely cause condensation and will affect an indoor air quality. Dampness is best removed by ventilation.

Increasing Thermal Performances

In Green Design orientation and basic constriction of the house largely impacts the thermal performances of the home. Even though in most cases orientation and basic construction are already given denominators you still can significantly reduce fuel and energy costs while creating a comfortable home environment:

- Reduce the heating in your home by couple degrees. You will not only reduce your heating bill but you will feel better as well.

- Energy demands can be reduced by increasing insulation in your home.

- Retain as much energy as possible by sealing your home, but you also have to be sure that your home is adequately ventilated as well.

- Control your heat consumption, co you use it where and when it's needed.

- Use the most efficient fuel, heat source, and method of heat distribution available.

- Take advantage from the free heat from the sun. By letting sun in you will not only increase a thermal performances of your home, in addition your home will look more attractive and bright, filled with rejuvenating energy.

Keep your home warm by minimizing the loss of warm air through drafts. There are two ways of doing this:

1. Seal gaps around doors and windows with rubber gaskets or or nylon brush weather stripping;

2. Make a vestibule at each external door. These can make attractive entrance areas that are also useful for storing coats and shoes or displaying plants.

When sealing your home, make sure that you create adequate ventilation to keep the internal air healthy. The ideal is a warm house that stays at a reasonably constant temperature and has adequate and controllable levels of ventilation—a principle described by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as "seal tight, ventilate right".

 
GREEN DESIGN