Here are some common terms you may find in the energy conservation and green remodeling industry.
Sealing of holes and cracks throughout a home, to help reduce uncontrollable air movement. These can be sealed with spray foams, caulking, or weather stripping, depending on the area of your home.
Also known as: air leakage, stopping air leakage, moisture control, reducing air leakage, home envelope sealing, sealing the shell of your home, sealing air leaks
compact fluorescent bulb (CFL)
A small fluorescent bulb that will fit inside a standard light bulb socket. These use 3-4 times less energy, and can last up to 10 times longer than a standard incandescent bulb. More costly than incandescent bulbs, but will save money in the long-term.
Also known as: CFL, Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb, energy efficient bulbs, low-energy light bulbs, energy saving lights
double glazed window
Two and sometimes three window panes are used to cut heat transfer of a building’s envelope. The panes are separated by air or another type of gas.
Also known as: Insulated glazing, double glazing, triple glazing, double glazed window panes, insulated glass units, heat insulating windows, heat transfer reducing windows
A toilet with 2 settings for flushing. It uses more water for solid waste removal, and less water for liquid waste removal.
Also known as: water conserving toilets, low flow toilets, dual-flush technology
energy efficient lighting
Lighting designed to utilize sources of light that are more energy efficient. This can include use of daylight or diffused light, solar lamps, motion detection lighting (occupation sensor). Another energy efficient type of lighting is LED, light emitting diodes.
Also known as: sustainable lighting, energy efficient light sources, day lighting,
Designed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help consumers conserve energy while saving money on common household and commercial products.
Also known as: energy efficient products
A term that commonly refers to heat transfer within a building, with a boundary separating interior and exterior spaces. This can include a building’s foundation, roof, doors, windows, and walls. The three main functions of the building envelope is to support mechanical loads, control flow of energy, and finish.
Also known as: building enclosure, outer shell, thermal envelope (area between an insulated attic and the roof),
Commonly found at the tip of an indoor faucet. It helps save water by spreading a stream of water into smaller droplets. It can also be used to increase the perception of water pressure.
Also known as: tap aerator
This type of insulation is usually sprayed with the use of a gun. Two types of spray foams are polyurethane foam and isocyanate foam, both of which expand after application. Foam can be sprayed into attics, crawl spaces, unfinished walls, finished walls, interior siding. Foam insulation can serve as a semi-permeable vapor barrier, block airflow by sealing off leaks, and is ideal for hard to reach places.
Also known as: thermal insulation, building insulation materials, heat transfer reducing insulation, spray foam insulation, polyurethane foam, isocyanate foam.
A chemical (CH20) that has an obvious smell, is flammable and colorless, taking up either a gas or a liquid form. It is a preservative but is also highly toxic and is believed to be carcinogenic.
Also known as: VOC, Volatile Organic compound, CH20,
green kitchen remodel
Use of energy efficient and sustainable products in your kitchen remodel, using sustainable kitchen cabinets, eco-friendly flooring, green countertops (recycled materials), energy efficient appliances, energy efficient lighting, water purifiers, and more.
Also known as: eco-friendly kitchen remodeling, environmentally friendly kitchen remodeling
Increasing a building’s energy efficiency and reducing the impact of these buildings on the environment and human health. It utilizes new concepts for construction, design, resource conservation, maintenance, and removal of materials.
Also known as: sustainable building, environmental building, green building
LED light bulbs
A light-emitting diode which uses a semiconductor to create light. They can vary in brightness and now consist of infrared, ultraviolet, and visible light wavelengths. Often used to replace incandescent and neon lighting, and are even beginning to replace CFL lights.
A rating standard set forth by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for high performance, sustainable buildings. It stresses the importance of energy efficiency, environmental quality, sustainable development, and resource conservation such as water savings.
Also known as: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
Reduces suppressive radiating heat flow through windows, but still allows sufficient daylight. Often designed with “sputtered” or high-solar-gain or pryolytic coatings.
Also known as: low emittance windows, low emissivity windows
low-flow shower heads
Provides more efficient water usage when you shower. You should select a low-flow shower head with a flow rate of less than 2.5 gpm water pressure.
Also known as: aerating shower heads, laminar-flow shower heads, water-saving shower heads
A low-flow or low-flush toilet uses significantly less water than a traditional full flush toilet. The low-flow toilets use about 1.6 gallons of water per flush, compared to 3.5 gallons of water for a standard flush toilet. This will save on your water bill.
Also known as: low-flush toilets, water-saving toilets
passive solar heating
Utilizes sunlight in a passive manor, without active mechanical systems, by turning sunlight into heat. They use very little energy to produce this solar heat.
Also known as: passive solar building design, solar heating, solar space heating, passive solar home heating, passive solar heating panels, passive solar furnace
Helps to regulate the temperature in your home as well as energy consumption for heating and cooling. You are establishing a system for automatically reducing the heating and cooling costs of your home at times you don’t need as much.
Energy sources that utilize sources such as sunlight, wind, rain and other natural sources. It is a broad range of sources that are continually available. They can include geothermal heat, hydroelectricity, solar heating, wind power, solar thermal power stations, that seek to reduce pollution and climate change.
Also known as: alternative energy, sustainable energy, renewable energy sources, natural energy sources
The use of heat generated from the radiant light of the sun. Solar energy encompasses many areas from generating heat to electricity production. They use either passive solar or active solar technologies.
Also known as: solar heating, solar thermal electricity, solar architecture, solar photovoltaic systems (PV system) through use of solar panels.
Comprised of photovoltaic cells (PV cells) can be used to generate electricity by capturing the sun’s energy. Usually a number of solar panels are necessary to produce enough energy to replace traditional sources of electricity.
Also known as: solar module, photovoltaic module, photovoltaic panel
solar water heating
Utilizes a storage tank which is installed directly above the roof’s solar collectors. They may include a circulating pump to assist water or heat transfer in moving from tanks to collectors. Solar water heating be used for residential water heating and commercial water heating.
Also known as: solar hot water
Someone that is hired by a construction company or other contractor to complete a portion of the job requested. Potentially, the general contractor can save money on a job by subcontracting out some work.
Typically built on the most sun facing side of a home. Newer technology has allowed to construct heat resisting energy efficient sun rooms.
Also known as: sun porch, sun lounge, solarium
The understanding for responsibility of implementing a long-term goal to use environmentally friendly resources. Sustainability is the ability to endure.
Also known as: environmentally sustainable, environmental sustainability, sustainable design, sustainable construction, sustainable resources
volatile organic compound (VOC)
Organic chemicals commonly found in building materials that are hazardous upon exposure. Some of these chemicals that are emitted, are as much as 10 times higher when found indoors compared to outdoors. Can include paints, lacquers, paint thinners, pesticides, cleaning supplies, building materials, office equipment, and furnishings.
Also known as: toxic organic chemicals, indoor air pollutants: asbestos, biological pollutants, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, lead, radon, and more
Used to keep rain, water, and other elements from entering a home by sealing areas around door openings and windows. It is also useful to prevent inside air-leaks. In turn, this saves on heating and cooling costs, as well as damaging moisture build up.
Also known as: weatherization
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