Bigger is not necessarily better. Effective floor plans use less building materials and less energy is used. An open, adaptable, multi-use space is ideal that can change with your personal needs.
- Furniture made from low-emission, natural materials - wool rugs, sofas and chairs made of untreated cotton with hardwood frames.
- Wiring your home so that the light can be individually controlled lets you illuminate specific areas of a room independently. Lighting the whole room wastes electricity.
- Using automatic timers and dimmers save electricity.
- CFL bulbs use 75% less energy than the incandescent variety. Make sure your burnt out CFLs are disposed of properly as they contain mercury.
- Large windows let in natural light and give your home a more spacious appearance. South-facing windows allow for substantial heating from the sun. Exterior shades can prevent summer overheating.
- Frame material, special coatings, the number of panes of glass, gas between panes and spacer materials all contribute to energy efficiency of windows.