As energy prices across the nation continue to rise, new construction depends on affordable materials and energy-efficient building systems in order to save homeowners money. Those with existing homes can consider new windows or new flooring in order to lower their utility costs and cash in on the saving of having a more energy friendly house to call home. Many energy efficient flooring materials within the home are also eco-friendly, meaning that the production of the substance was created in a less environmentally impactful manner. By choosing one of these flooring options you’re not only saving money but decreasing your ecological footprint as well.
Vinyl and Hardwood
Vinyl flooring is an energy efficient, eco-friendly, and more affordable alternative to many types of ground cover used in your home. Vinyl options are nearly endless, and it is able to be manufactured in a variety of colors, shapes and textures. This gives vinyl the ability to mimic other types of flooring, such as stone or hardwood, and it can be just as attractive as the more expensive options. Vinyl is usually made with recycled materials, and once it has served its purpose it can be recycled back into its next stage of life. It is cheap to produce, and does not require an intensive harvesting of the earth’s natural resources.
Hardwood is another popular flooring choice for many homeowners, as it is long-lasting and comes in a variety of textures, grains, and colors. While specialty woods including cedar, oak, and cherry are expensive, and often made from old-growth trees, recently there’s been an increase of bamboo used in flooring. Bamboo is the largest member of the grass family and is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet. It is hearty, can be grown in a variety of climates, and once dried makes an attractive, pliable wood useful for many things, including flooring. Wood and vinyl floors can help make a home more energy efficient by cooling down the space more effectively during the summer months, requiring less air conditioning.
Carpet and Other Flooring
Carpet is in a majority of American households, and is often added for a soft, comfortable flooring, more suitable for a bedroom or living room than tile may be. The addition of carpet, and the pads beneath it, helps insulate your home and decrease your energy bill during the colder months. Carpet is also affordable and comes in a variety of colors, patterns and piles. Carpet is also relatively easy to clean or replace.
Other types of flooring commonly used in homes can include tile, stone, cork, cement, and rubber. Most of the time, the homeowner selects the most attractive and affordable option for the moment. However, selecting a more eco-friendly and energy efficient type of flooring will save your family money in the long run.