5 Things To Check When Buying An Eco-Friendly Home
5 Things to Check For When Buying an Eco-Friendly, Energy Efficient, Green Home
These days “eco-friendly” is a term that a lot of people throw around, especially when talking about houses. Sure you can save money on energy fairly easily, like choosing to shop for different gas providers or lowering your electricity bills but if you’re really concerned about your energy footprint, you should definitely be looking to purchase an eco-friendly home. The question is: How can you tell if a given house truly is efficient?
Glance through these five tips, and keep them in mind the next time you view an “eco-friendly” home.
1. How old is the house?
This isn’t a catch-all question, but there’s definitely a trend between energy efficiency and the age of a home. The older the home, there’s generally a better chance that it is not very efficient. That’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of older homes that have been retrofitted to be more efficient in line with many of the other tips on this page, but if you’re looking at an older home it’s important to realize that you have more homework to do.
2. Look at the windows
A home’s windows are one of the first things you should check out when looking at a house. In many cases, a home’s windows are the worst offenders when it comes to being inefficient. Single-pane windows that are several decades old, or more, are particularly inefficient because they don’t provide much protection from the outdoor temperature. Modern windows typically have several panes that offer an additional layer of insulation combines with more effective weather stripping technologies.
3. If the house comes with appliances, how old are they?
ENERGY STAR certified appliances have become the new standard, but there are many of homes on the market that are being sold with existing appliances that are not complaint with the certification. Having ENERGY STAR appliances is proven to save you significantly on your monthly energy expenses. If a home is being advertised as “eco-friendly” and doesn’t feature ENERGY STAR appliances, you need to look aggressively for other proof of the claim.
4. Is there a lot of natural light?
This might be hard to tell depending on when you’re looking at a particular property, but having ample natural light means you’ll be much less dependent on electrical lighting. Whether a home has skylights, lots of large windows, or even sliding glass doors, the chances that you can get by with minimal artificial lighting go up.
5. What type of fuel does the furnace use?
Furnaces over the years have used all sorts of fuels – oil, propane, natural gas, coal, electricity and even wood. Some fuels are more efficient than others, and there are plenty of homes that still have furnaces that were manufactured 40 years ago or more. In the winter, the majority of your energy costs are always attributed to your furnace. If a home claims to be “eco-friendly,” the type of fuel the furnace uses can be very indicative of whether it truly is or not.
- Bonus tip! — Trees! Trees can be bothersome if dying, overgrown or growing too rapidly, too close to the home or foundation. Properly placed trees can become a barrier to the harsh sun and winds bearing down on your home season to season. Living on a shady street or having a tree-filled property, you can expect cooler temperatures in the summertime, relieving strain and usage of your air conditioners and fans. Let the trees offer their shade and let your energy bills reflect it.
If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in the Cleveland, Ohio area (All cities in Northeast, Ohio) contact me. I’d be happy to assist you from the beginning of the process until the end.
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