“Green” homes are not just important by fears of Global Warming. “Green” homes save significant amounts of money. Cold is deadly, much more deadly than heat. Insulation is the most important thing you can look for when buying a home today. Global Warming or Global Cooling, this is the most cost effective way to stay comfortable and control the costs of cooling or heating. Add insulation if what you have is not adequate. Dual, or even Triple paned windows are also important, along with blinds on the windows that can be closed and trap air against the windows, or opened to let heat in or out. Outside air ventilation is very effective at heating and cooling a home if there are wide outside temperature swings. Cool nighttime air can be brought in and kept inside during the day. Warm daytime air can be brought in and kept inside during the night. Emergency power may be wise where freezing temperatures occur. Most central heating and cooling systems will not work at all without some electricity. It seems that Commercial Utility power is either at risk, or poised to become very expensive. Clouds are the primary cause of cold weather. Clouds make solar power inefficient. Wind power requires a lot of space and a very large investment using today’s huge wind generators. Smaller wind generators will most likely become available when Solar Power cannot be reliable. Wind generators require maintenance. Have you seen how many dead windmills there are in any given windmill farm? A diesel or gas or propane powered generator may be a good investment. Those fuels will never go away. It is even possible to use the gas that is piped to your home to run a generator to provide electricity for fans lighting, appliances and microwave ovens. Have an electrician add a way to switch to alternate energy sources in case Utility power is interrupted. This switching can even be automatic.
Prepare your home for temperature extremes, or buy one that is already prepared. Be very interested in dual paned windows and insulated floors, walls ceilings and garage doors. Make sure gaps around windows and doors are sealed when they are closed. Use low wattage lighting to save electricity that will be needed for heating or cooling. Look for energy efficient appliances, because electricity and gas utilities will get more and more expensive over time. Use water efficient fixtures because water will get more expensive over time. Droughts are making water conservation a serious financial concern. Buy a “Green” Home, or make one out of one that is not “Green”, and save lots of “Green”.