Does green renovating really make a difference? EnviroCitizen.org's answer to this question is, "Yes". The average, conventional 2,000 square foot home emits about 27,500 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually. By completing green renovations, you could reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by as much as half! Considering the fact that the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere in 2005 measured at 379 parts per million (ppm) (compared to 280 ppm in 1850), reducing your carbon footprint is a big deal.
Suppose you replace just one incandescent bulb with a compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb. An incandescent bulb costs about $1.00 and lasts about 1,000 hours. A CFL bulb costs $5.00 and lasts about 10,000 hours. You would need to buy 10 incandescent bulbs to replace 1 CFL bulb, so the cost of CFL bulbs is half the cost of incandescent bulbs over time! The CFL bulb is also more efficient, so a 28-watt CLF bulb provides the same amount of light as a 100-watt incandescent bulb. Throughout the 10,000 hours of a CFL bulb, the energy would cost about $32 (if your electricity costs about $0.12/kWh), compared to $120 for an incandescent bulb. Now imagine if you replaced every incandescent bulb in your home with CFL bulbs!
Another example of how green renovations can make a difference is to take a look at heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Considering the fact that your HVAC system accounts for almost half of your utility bill, it makes sense to get the most energy-efficient system available. You can determine the efficiency of your new HVAC system with a few numbers. The first is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). SEER ratings range from thirteen to 23. An HVAC system is considered efficient when its SEER rating is above 14. You also need to look at the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). The EER rating tops off in the low 20's, and a rating of 19 or 20 is great, though Energy Star requires that the minimum EEF be at least 11. All of these numbers translate into lower operating costs. Energy Star claims that an energy efficient HVAC system will yield about $200 in annual savings (which is about equal to the additional price of an energy efficient system).
When it comes to green renovations, it's all about energy efficiency. The idea is that, even if you have a very energy efficient HVAC system, it won't matter if your home isn't insulated well. If your windows are allowing heat to escape during the winter, you won't be practicing energy efficiency. So, you need to insulate, as well. That way, your energy-efficient HVAC system will actually be energy efficient. Another thing to consider when it comes to green renovations is your personal health. Green homes have better indoor air quality, so you can literally breathe easier.
So in short, green renovations really do make a difference! EnviroCitizen.org has found that they make a difference in your bank account, your personal health and your carbon footprint.