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Green Home Improvement

ISBN: 978-0-87629-093-4
320 pages
August 2008
Green Home Improvement (0876290934) cover image
In a tight economy, this book offers clear financial benefits: Helps homeowners immediately cut their utility bills. Fits with the trend toward smaller home improvements most of the projects require only a modest investment. Gives readers an edge when they sell their homes buyers are especially looking for energy-efficiency, but they're also tuned into green health and environmental concerns.

The books projects range from quick, easy, low- or no-cost tasks like insulating a water heater, sealing foundation cracks, or painting with insulating paint to bigger-ticket items such as installing a new energy-efficient heating system, windows, or green flooring.

For each project, readers will learn: the steps required; material and installation options; what the improvement will cost; payback in savings on utility bills; health, comfort, and environmental benefits.

More than 65 Go Green tips highlighted throughout the book give readers ideas for quick, easy, and often low- or no-cost things they can do, right away, to make their homes and lifestyles greener.

Projects include: Green flooring & paint options Environmentally friendly cabinetry & countertops Whole-house insulation & weather-stripping High-efficiency heating & cooling Water conservation Efficient lighting, appliances & plumbing fixtures including Energy Star and WaterSense models Solar electric and water heating systems Eco-friendly roofing & siding Energy-efficient windows, doors & skylights Green materials for patios, walkways & driveways Landscaping & irrigation for water conservation and energy.

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Acknowledgments.

About the Author.

About the Reviewers.

Introduction.

Part One: Green Home Improvement Projects.

Green Flooring, Walls, Countertops & Cabinets.

1. Cork Flooring.

2. Bamboo Flooring.

3. Reclaimed Wood Flooring.

4. All-Natural Linoleum Flooring.

5. Laminate Flooring.

6. Recycled-Content Tile.

7. Recycled-Content Carpet.

8. All-Natural Wool Carpet.

9. Healthy Paints, Stains & Finishes.

10. Green Cabinetry.

Heating & Cooling Your Home Efficiently.

11. Home Energy Audit.

12. Caulking & Weather Stripping.

13. Insulating Your Home.

14. Insulate While You Paint.

15. Programmable Thermostat.

16. Insulated Shades & Curtains.

17. Solar Hot-Air Collector.

18. Energy-Efficient Furnace.

19. Energy-Efficient Boiler.

20. Heat Pump & Solar Hot Water.

21. Wood Stove.

22. Pellet Stove.

23. Fireplace Insert.

24. Radiant Barrier.

25. High-Efficiency Cooling Systems.

26. Ceiling & Solar Attic Fans.

27. Whole-House Fan.

28. Radon Test & Mitigation.

29. Energy-Recovery Ventilator.

Conserving Water.

30. Flushing Your Water Heater.

31. Water Heater Blanket & Pipe Insulation.

32. Adjusting Water Heater Temperature.

33. Water Heater Anode Rod Replacement.

34. Tankless Water Heater.

35. Solar Hot-Water System.

36. Faucet Aerators.

37. Water-Efficient Showerheads.

38. Water-Efficient Toilets.

Cutting Electrical Usage.

39. Eliminating Phantom Loads.

40. Energy-Efficient Lighting.

41. Energy-Efficient Appliances & Electronics.

42. Solar Electricity.

43. Purchasing Green Power.

44. Timers & Motion Sensor Light Switches.

Green Roofs, Siding, Doors & Windows.

45. Tubular Skylights.

46. Environmentally Friendly Roofing.

47. Fiber-Cement Siding.

48. Repairing Broken Windows.

49. Storm Windows.

50. Energy-Efficient Windows.

51. Storm Doors.

52. Door Sweeps.

53. Gutters & Downspouts.

54. Grading & Drainage.

Green Paving, Landscaping & Pools.

55. Green Patios, Walkways & Driveways.

56. Composite Decks & Porches.

57. Recycled Plastic/Composite Fencing.

58. Outdoor Solar Lighting.

59. Composting.

60. Infiltration Basins for Trees & Shrubs.

61. Rainwater Collection Barrels.

62. Energy-Efficient Landscaping.

63. Drip Irrigation System.

64. Rain & Soil Moisture Sensors.

65. Solar Pool Heater & Cover.

Part Two: Building a New Green Home.

Part Three: Appendix.

Safety Tips.

Glossary.

Resource Guide.

Index.

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Dan Chiras, PhD, is a well-known green building expert who advises homeowners, architects, builders, and developers throughout the U.S. and Canada. He has published 24 books and hundreds of articles, and presented lectures and workshops to universities, the general public, and organizations including the U.S. Green Building Council and American Institute of Architects. Dan designed his own green home, featured in numerous magazines and on NBC's "Nightly News."
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