Green Tips to Help You Find an Eco-Friendlier New Home
This guest post was written by Neil Stawski…
If you are looking to live a greener life, there’s no better place to start than your home. This is why it’s important for home buyers to be on the lookout for features that can help lessen their impact on the environment. Not sure what those features are? Keep reading for smart tips to help you select a home with the smallest carbon footprint.
Focus on Energy Efficient Home Features
The weather in Western Washington tends to be fairly mild, but a quality heating and cooling system is still important to keep your home cozy. However, keep in mind that those systems can account for 75 percent or more of your household energy usage. Opting for a more efficient HVAC system is one of the most basic ways to ensure your new home is eco-friendly. If you find the perfect home but need an updated cooling and heating system, you can use an online green home guide, such as this one from HomeAdvisor, to find professionals in your area.
In addition to the HVAC system, pay special attention to the windows in potential new homes. Older windows can make it more difficult for a home to hold in cool or warm air. This means those homes take more energy to heat and cool, which can lead to higher costs.
Look at Homes with Greener Landscaping
Ensuring that your new home’s interior is energy-efficient is a responsible first step in finding an eco-friendly home. However, you can also look for energy-boosting benefits on the outside as well. An often overlooked area for improving energy efficiency is landscaping. Homes with certain landscaping features can reduce your energy usage even more than installing a new heating and cooling system. Having a few well-established shade trees around your home can cut down on cooling costs during the summer, whereas the right amount of sun exposure can help warm your home in the winter. You may also want to pay attention to the water usage in your home and landscaping. Even though Washington receives a fair amount of precipitation throughout the year, drought conditions can still occur. So, looking for homes with water-wise landscaping could be a smart decision for eco-conscious individuals and families.
Keep Energy Saving Smart Home Tech in Mind
Smart landscaping can certainly help keep your new home greener, but searching for a smarter home can reduce your carbon footprint as well. In fact, energy-saving tech continues to top the list of the most-wanted smart home gadgets for current homeowners. Because of this growing trend, it may be easier to find homes that feature smarter thermostats, lighting, and appliances that can help keep utility costs and your impact on the environment minimal.
Speaking of appliances, consider Energy Star-certified products to outfit your new home. These are appliances that have been certified to use less energy during your daily routine, from cleaning your clothes to cooking your family’s dinner. Although Energy Star appliances and electronics tend to be more expensive, the long-term energy savings will offset that cost.
Be Prepared to Take on Green Home Projects
You can definitely look for energy-efficient appliances, tech, and features in your new home. Chances are, however, that you may need to make some eco-friendly updates to make your home as green as possible. Simple changes, such as building a compost pile for your garden or insulating your hot water pipes, can be a major boost for the environment. However, these updates can also make life in your new home more enjoyable.
Being environmentally responsible shouldn’t stop with buying an eco-friendly home though. You can also take daily steps to reduce your negative impact on the environment, such as opting for plastic-free home wares. Plastics end up polluting waterways, like the nearby Salish Sea, and causing serious problems for wildlife. So, transforming your home into a plastic-free zone is a small way to make a major impact on our world.
Buying an eco-friendly home is not just smart for the environment. It can also be smart for your wallet. So, by saving a little green while going green with your new home, you could be a major force in helping to save the world.