"Green" home savings featured at Homearama

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by Sandra Parker

WVEC.com

Posted on June 2, 2011 at 6:00 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 2 at 6:05 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH -- At Homearama in Virginia Beach, there are a lot of beautiful homes.  But if you look past all the beautiful decor, you're likely to see something that is even more attractive to most homeowners - cost saving technology. 

Builder Jeff Ainslie has several items in his home "The Rockwell" including a super low-flow toilet that has two flushing options.  According to Ainslie, "a normal toilet uses about three gallons per flush.  A low-flow toilet uses about 1.6.  But this toilet uses about 1.2 on a large flush and about three-quarters of a gallon on a smaller flush."

He says the toilet also reduces the impact on the environment because you have less waste water to treat.  And when it comes to a water heater, Ainslie researched the tankless water heater and found it to be a big cost saver.  He says it will "heat water instantly when you need the water versus keeping a water tank heated 24/7 when you typically only use water three or four hours a day."

The attic is another place you'll find savings.  What may look like a labyrinth of duct work according to Ainslie is a great way to keep air flowing throughout the house and keep too much cash from flowing out of your pockets.

"If we built this house ten years ago to code, heating and cooling costs would be about $120 to $130 dollars a month," said Ainslie.  "And your efficiency of your HVAC equipment would only be about two-thirds of what it is today."

He says today with all the "green technology" in place, heating and cooling this 4080 square foot house  will cost between $35 and $40 a month."

Before you rush out and purchase things that claim to be the latest and greatest green technology for you home, Ainslie suggests you do your homework first and ask some questions like "Is it really going to be a benefit to them or is it just going to be a buzz word that doesn't provide a return on investment?"

Something else to consider when going green in Virginia Beach - the city has a program that if your house meets certain green criteria, it will lower the tax rate on the home. Ainslie says for his home at Homearama that would be a savings of $75 a month.

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