As a Real Estate Agent and an owner of Real Estate in Ulster County I see more and more emphasis being placed on properties being energy efficient. Ever see those beautiful ENERGY STAR qualified and LEED® Certified homes in real estate magazines or ads and dream about owning one, having that satisfaction of feeling you’re lessening the environmental impact on society, contributing to our planets longevity, lowering our countries dependence on foreign energy sources, etc.? Contrary to popular belief, going Green isn’t just for wealthy individuals and homeowners. All of us are capable of taking small steps to help in those worthwhile endeavors!
New and custom-built homes and buildings have the advantage of being able to incorporate green features into their design and construction. There are more and more “GREEN” homes available in Ulster County. We have, and have had, homes incorporating GREEN features available for purchase in Gardiner, High Falls, New Paltz, Olive, Stone Ridge and Woodstock. In fact there are Energy Efficient Homes popping up in all of Ulster County (Dutchess, Greene and Orange Counties as well). However, a majority of us own, or will own, a pre-existing home or building. So, here are some relatively Low-Cost ways to unleash your property’s Green potential;
• Use CFL or LED lightbulbs - CFL bulbs use approximately 25% of the energy Incandescent bulbs use and can last up to 8 times as long (or more)!!
• Install Low-Flow Showerheads and Faucet Aerators - High-Efficiency Showerheads can provide up to 40% water savings (1.5 gpm vs. 2.5 gpm)
• Insulate your Hot Water Heater
• Weatherstrip and Caulk doors and windows
• Install a Programmable Thermostat
• Paint with Low- or No-VOC Paint – Some paints and carpets used in home construction emit toxic gases, including volatile organic compounds (VOC’s).
• Replace your Filters regularly – Improves Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and helps maximize your HVAC systems energy efficiency.
• Plant Trees and Native Plants – Helps prevent runoff requiring less irrigation and provides natural pest control.
• Collect Rainwater to water plants
• Start a Compost Pile – Reduces materials sent to landfills.
The fact of the matter is this; if all of us do what we’re capable of, practically and financially, we can collectively make a tremendous impact towards making our world a cleaner, better place to live!
Edwin J. Maldonado has been awarded the GREEN Designation by the National Association of REALTORS®