With increase in global warming, “green” homes have become the need of the hour. You have to keep in mind certain things when you consider buying a “green” home.
Consider buying a smaller unit rather than a palatial house. Smaller houses will help in cutting down on energy consumption irrespective of whether the home is old, built in recent decades, or brand new. Smaller floor plan means less interior space which in turns means lesser space to heat or cool.
If you plan to buy an existing home pay special attention to insulation, windows, doors, heating and cooling equipment. Newer insulation units are more efficient thereby utilizing lesser energy. So it is advisable to look for houses built after 1970’s. But even the older units may have renovated heating and cooling systems installed. So the best way to make sure that your house has an efficient HVAC unit is to get a thorough inspection done before purchasing the house.
Try to buy a house which is has easy access to markets, schools, hospitals etc. This will ensure lesser fuel consumption to reach these places. Also, if these places are at walking distance you may walk or bicycle to the stores, thereby reducing overall energy consumption. There are many websites like Zillow which include a Walk Score rating for many of their listed properties. This rating helps people locate properties that are walkable from stores, restaurants, schools, parks, etc.
If you are not sure how to find a “green” house, you can take help of a realtor who has good knowledge of environmental issues. Such a realtor may give you options of houses which are built on lines of protecting the environment.
Even if you like an old unit which does not have the necessary upgrades, make sure that you get the renovation done. You should replace the old energy unit with a new professional energy saving unit. Redecorate the house with low-VOC paint. Old carpet can be replaced with wooden floor.
You can even consider generating some of your own electricity with rooftop solar panels or a wind-turbine in your backyard. These systems demand only installation cost. Once installed properly there is hardly any operational cost. Moreover, sun and wind are non-exhaustible renewable sources of energy which do not create any kind of pollution. Solar energy is the primary source of energy for our Planet. Solar power is by far Earth’s most available energy source, easily capable of providing many times the total current energy demand of humans. It is a clean, renewable and reliable source of energy, which if harnessed in a proper way can not only help us protect our environment but also provide cost effective means of power generation.
As with smaller houses, energy can be saved by having smaller yards also. Smaller lawns mean lesser water consumption. You can use the space in your garden to grow your own vegetables, fruits and other herbs. You can plant trees to provide shade and conserve energy in hot weather.
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