6 Eco-Friendly Considerations When Searching for a Home
Thursday Apr 22nd, 2021
Whether buying or selling, there is an increasing importance on how sustainable a home is. How we choose to live impacts the earth and those who try their best to be environmentally-friendly are looking for homes that are the same. By keeping an eye out in a few key areas during your home search, you can not only find a home that is better for the planet, but you can save on long-term costs too.
Charging Station Potential
If you own or plan to own an electric vehicle, you’ll want to ensure your new home has the proper electrical set up to accommodate a charging station. Although it can take quite a bit of time to reach a full charge, a level 1 charging station can run off of a standard 110 volt outlet located in or near your garage or driveway. If you’re looking to spend less time charging your vehicle, a 240 volt outlet to utilize a level 2 charging station is required. It’s best to consult a certified electrician to ensure the installation is doable if the home you’re looking to purchase isn’t already equipped with this.
Reliable Windows and Doors
Keep desired air in and undesired air out by assessing doors and windows for drafts and broken seals. If you do feel drafts, are noticing fog within the glass or are having trouble opening and closing windows, they will likely need replacing altogether. Although new windows and doors can be quite costly, they will tremendously aid in reducing lost heating/cooling and will save you both energy and significant costs in the long run.
Go with a Smart Home System
A smart thermostat is a valuable asset in helping to make your home more sustainable. Not only does it give you visibility and metrics into your energy usage and run times, it can help to significantly save costs by setting schedules that are matched to your habits, therefore only heating and cooling as absolutely necessary. Are you going to be away for the weekend? Lower the heat or dial back the air conditioning remotely. Even small changes in set temperature can have a noticeable impact on your energy usage and bills.
Check for Energy Efficiency
When searching for a home, you’ll definitely want to check all appliances, such as dishwashers, refrigerators and washing machines, to ensure they are eco-friendly. These items all require energy to run and can be unnecessarily wasteful and incredibly costly if not the most efficient. Always look for the “Energy Star'' certification which indicates the appliance is a vetted high-efficiency product. What’s even better is looking for the “Energy Star Most Efficient” certification which is awarded to the top performing high-efficiency products. It’s also beneficial for appliances to have “eco-friendly” run options or “quick wash” settings to handle light jobs that don’t require the full energy.
Take Note of Home Comfort Appliances
Home comfort appliances such as furnaces, air conditioners and hot water tanks can also be unnecessarily wasteful and incredibly costly if not running efficiently. As a general rule of thumb, the newer the item is the less energy it requires to run. You’ll also want to ensure it’s appropriate for the space or usage required, for example, an air conditioning unit that is too small will end up running more often, or a hot water tank that is too large will use energy to heat more water than is needed. Regular servicing and cleaning is also important to ensure the appliance is not requiring extra energy to run. When considering a home, take note of the age and any maintenance records for these items to avoid any potential surprises.
Say Goodbye to Grass
Between constant watering, gas-powered mowing equipment and chemicals to combat weeds, maintaining a yard full of grass can not only be challenging but can have damaging impacts on the environment. Fortunately, there are lots of non-grass alternatives that can also create an aesthetically pleasing yard. Rock gardens, clover and moss are just a few of the many options out there.
By keeping a few eco-friendly considerations in mind during your home search, you can help to improve the sustainability of your home, reduce your environmental footprint and make a positive impact on the planet.