Q: I am a single woman with a 12 year old son looking to purchase a home. I keep reading the term "Buying green." What does that mean and should I be doing it?
Way to go! Not only does going green make you healthier, but it also can greatly reduce your energy costs. There are several factors to consider. First is the cost to convert to an energy efficient home. While over time it pays for itself, there is that initial outlay of cost that can be hefty. For example, you could install solar panels on your roof. While that is expensive, many states grant tax credits for home owners who do this kind of work.
You can also look for energy efficient appliances in your kitchen that consume less power and less water. Most new air conditioners have energy efficiency settings so they switch off when a certain temperature is reached. You can use non-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints, which are free of formaldehyde and other harmful chemicals. And of course, you can change the light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs. Depending on how green you want to be, you can make changes both large and small to your home.