Here’s Why Homeowners Should Go Green for Energy Efficiency
When driving through urban areas, tourists and commuters might notice something incredibly interesting about the buildings. Some now feature rooftop gardens and even exterior walls might include plants.
Greenery isn’t just for beauty and décor. Those plants can remove heat from buildings, help the environment and even aid energy efficiency. The green trend isn’t just for cityscapes; here’s why homeowners should go green for energy efficiency:
- Remove heat
- Reduce noise
- Help the environment
- Boost curb appeal
Greenery Removes Heat
Plants engage in photosynthesis. They use the power of the sun to convert water to oxygen and carbon dioxide into glucose. Through this process, plants absorb heat from the environment, remove carbon dioxide and fill the air with oxygen.
One way that homeowners can embrace energy efficiency with greenery is via a green roof. The roof is planted with different types of greenery. In some urban areas, a green roof also could include a city garden.
The plants absorb the heat and help the building stay cooler. For homes, a cooler roof could take the pressure off the HVAC. The plants also take the brunt of the cold, too.
Greenery Helps Reduce Noise
Greenery along an exterior wall or atop the roof can act as additional insulation. By absorbing heat, the greenery, again, helps the HVAC to work more efficiently. However, it also can insulate against noise.
Those plants can help cushion the home from exterior noise and provide a bit more sound insulation. This benefit is probably most appreciated for city dwellers.
Greenery Benefits the Environment
Every home leaves an impact on the environment. Everyday energy use helps deepen the home’s carbon footprint. However, greenery can help to lessen the home’s impact on the environment.
Green rooftops and even green walls add oxygen into the environment. Through photosynthesis, carbon dioxide is removed from the air and converted into glucose. More greenery boosts the positive environmental impacts.
Homeowners don’t have to install a full green roof to reap the benefits, though. Homeowners can plant greenery outside of windows via plant boxes. Create a green exterior for the home with the help of a landscape architect.
Even a home garden can help the environment. Choose plants native to the climate and mix in vegetables or fruits to reap increased sustainability and self sufficiency.
Greenery Adds Curb Appeal
A green roof or greenery that bedecks the exterior of the home can amplify curb appeal. Window boxes with flowers or greenery also create a beautiful accent to windows.
Use greenery and plants to accent the beauty of the home. Consider outlining the walkway to the front door with shrubs or greenery. For homeowners that choose a green roof, create a beautiful and unique rooftop design. Embrace the beauty of nature to complement the exterior of the home.
Are Green Roofs Expensive?
Homeowners who want to go green might wonder if installing a green roof is expensive. According to HomeAdvisor, homeowners might expect to pay about $10 to $30 per square foot for a green roof. The total cost of the project could range from $12,000 to $40,000.
If that range seems incredibly broad, homeowners need to keep in mind that the price could depend on the size of the roof and the design of the project. Some green roof designs could be more elaborate. In addition, a roof for a larger home would be more expensive, too.
How Much Can Green Roofs Save?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a green roof could help reduce yearly energy costs by about $0.23 per square foot (of the roof). The benefit of these roofs, per the EPA, is to reduce the heat island effect. This is typically seen in urban areas or in places without much greenery or vegetation.
Those who don’t want to add greenery to their rooftop also could choose to install a ‘cool roof.’ Instead of plants or greenery, a cool roof is designed with materials that help reduce heat.
Is a cool roof less expensive to install than a green roof? According to the site Fixr, cool roof installation costs from $7,500 to $30,000. The site notes that the average cost is $10,000. While a cool roof could be a more affordable option for homeowners, the final installation cost could depend on the square footage of the roof and the materials for the roof.
Go Green, Plant a Tree
Some homeowners aren’t in the market for a new roof of any type. They also might not be comfortable bedecking the exterior of the home with greenery. However, going green also could be as simple as planting a few new trees.
Greenery is beneficial for the environment, and, depending on where those trees are planted, they could be beneficial for the home, too. A tree can add shade and help relieve the home from the sun’s heat.
For greenery to be beneficial on the roof or near the home, homeowners need to properly maintain plants and trees. Before installing a green roof or adding greenery to the exterior of the home, homeowners should research the maintenance needs and cost.
While going green can be beneficial for the home and the environment, dead or rotting plants and trees might be more of a nuisance than a benefit for homeowners.