If you’re in the market for a new home, there’s no better time than now to ensure that your new home is as efficient with energy as possible. These days, more and more eco-friendly practices are being used to build new homes but there are still a lot of people stuck in antiquated frames of mind who don’t see the value of sustainability in home building. It can be difficult to find a home that perfectly fits your green demands but here is a checklist to help you decipher the many different ways a home can be green or not green.
When looking into new properties with a green eye, look all around it to figure out how efficient it will be. Start with its orientation to the sun. Will it have lots of natural light in the day and enough windows to allow the sun to warm the interior in the winter? Next, look to see what public transportation options are near and what other attractions are near by. If you don’t have to travel far to get the grocery store, a post office, a pharmacy, a gas station and other every day necessities, the location will make a huge difference in how much you need to drive.
The whole property adds to a house’s energy efficiency. When looking at new homes look to the landscaping, the insulation already installed, how big the house is, how it’s oriented and the materials used to build it. The landscaping can be very eco-friendly using plants that need less water or xeriscaping that requires no water at all. With proper installation and air systems, a home’s heating and cooling systems can be eco-friendly. You’ll also want to figure out what materials were used to build the home and whether or not they were recycled material or locally sourced.
Water Conservation Elements
See what the builders and interior designers have already done to help conserve as much water as possible. Your first stop will be checking the landscaping or seeing if they have a system set up to catch rain water but once in the house, there are a ton of ways to save more water. Low-pressure faucets and showerheads can reduce water use a ton. You can also check for toilets with a half-flush option. If the home comes with a dishwasher, make sure it uses 6 gallons or less per wash and if there are laundry machines, front-loading ones are much more efficient.
Interior Design Elements
Depending on how furnished the house will come you’ll want to check into what the furnishings are made from and where they were made. Look for things like bamboo shades or flooring instead of traditional wood. Bamboo is a quickly renewable resource and is usually free from pesticides and fertilizers so you know your air quality will be safer. Locally sourced items will have done much less damage to the environment than ones made far away.
You may need to either build your house from the ground up or buy a fixer-upper and build all your sustainable practices into it to create your dream home but using this checklist you’ll have a good idea of what to look for in already established homes.