As you go about making your home more energy efficient by air sealing it, improving the insulation and replacing old appliances with new energy-saving ENERGY STAR qualified ones, the question begs to be asked: have you also invested in sustainable furniture?
What is sustainable furniture, you ask? Well, as Americans become increasingly knowledgeable about the value of home energy efficiency, they are now also thinking about the quality of their home environment. And that includes furniture too, because depending on what it’s made out of your furniture can affect your home’s indoor air quality.
A lot of furniture is made using artificial wood and other materials that release various toxins into the air. The chief culprit is formaldehyde, which is the most common toxin found in artificial wood furniture, and big contributor to poor indoor air quality. The formaldehyde comes from the amount of glue used in making the furniture – the more glue in the wood, the more formaldehyde.
Sustainable furniture, on the other hand, is made from nontoxic, renewable resources, including recycled materials. These products can be disassembled and recycled when no longer needed. The idea behind sustainable furniture design is to make it so that the materials and products are always recycled after use, thereby avoiding disposal in landfills. This is in addition to the fact that they also help contribute to a healthier indoor environment.
Sustainable furniture is relatively easy to source, with any number of designers and stores offering various styles and models. It’s important to remember, though, that it is only a component of an energy efficient home. To understand how to design and build an energy efficient home, contact a RESNET EnergySmart builder in your area. Alternatively, if you’re looking for ways to make an existing home more energy efficient, talk to a certified RESNET Home Energy Professional.