Building a house from the ground up gave us a lot of time to think about and plan for incorporating the best green technologies in the market. From our wood siding and drywall choices to furniture, tile, and lighting, , sustainability was a top priority during the design and construction process. However, we understand that when you’ve already purchased a house, it probably was not built specifically with green features in mind, which means if you want to live more “sustainably”, you might be thinking about ways to adapt or replace the features in your home.
Good news! Enable is equipped with a number of features that could also be used in existing homes, without requiring an entire remodel. Here are some ideas for ways to make your home a more energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly, and healthier place to live – on a scale as large as you want.
- Solar panels. In our blog about sustainability, we tackled the myth that solar panels are eye-sores. As you have seen with Enable, solar panels today can look much like normal roofing materials and last just as long. If your roof is due for a replacement or repair, consider doing it with solar panels. Our roof-integrated solar panels allow Enable to be net positive – the house produces more energy than it consumes – which eliminates energy bills!
- Heat pump. According to Energy Star, maintaining a home’s indoor temperature can use up to half of your home’s energy, meaning green tech is a great way to dramatically reduce your energy bill – and carbon footprint! In a typical home, separate systems are used for heating and cooling. Enable will use an air-source heat pump to heat – including water – cool, and control the relative humidity of the home, which helps make Enable 90% more efficient than the average home in our community.
- Rain barrels. Outdoor water use, like watering plants, is a major factor in your home’s overall water usage. That’s why Enable waters its plants using rainwater caught by barrels connected to roof gutters. Installing a rainwater catchment system at your home can enable you to easily water all your plants after even just a ⅛” rainfall, entirely eliminating the need to use purified water from the house.
- WaterSense appliances. If you’re not making any major design changes in your house, upgrading to WaterSense appliances is an easy way to reduce your water usage. WaterSense is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program designed to encourage water efficiency. Enable’s WaterSense labeled showerheads and toilets allow our appliances to collectively use ~30% less water than those in a standard, code-compliant house.
- Energy Star appliances. Buying appliances certified by Energy Star, an EPA/DOE program that rates appliances for energy use, is another easy and effective way to transform your home into a more energy-efficient space. Enable’s appliances, such as our dishwasher, our washing machine, and our refrigerator, are supplied by Beko, the 2017 Energy Star Partner of the Year.
- Smart home features. One of the best ways to conserve energy is to find out where you’re using the most power. Enable uses the Wiser Energy Center, which monitors the amount of energy is being used by each outlet, and can send this data right to your smartphone. Using other smart home devices, like those which can program your thermostats and lighting or monitor the air quality of your home, are other easy-to-install home improvement solutions.
- PURETi. Enable is one of the first residential homes to use PURETi, a water-based (NSF and NIOSH approved) spray coating that is photocatalytic and is applied to windows and exterior surfaces of the house. When light energizes a PURETi treated window, wall or solar panel; oxygen and water in the air (humidity) are activated to instantly break down organic grime on the surface and pollution in the air thus transforming treated surfaces into light activated, self-cleaning air purifiers through a proven and well studied technology known as photocatalysis - the safe reversal of photosynthesis.