As climate change becomes more of a problem in the United States and globally, having a green home is becoming more desirable. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), there has been a notable increase in homes on the market with energy-efficient features, as homeowners try to reduce their environmental impact.
Green home features, like solar panels, can improve the efficiency of your home by requiring less energy and fewer resources. If you are thinking about upgrading your home with green features, here’s everything you need to know — including what green improvements can increase the value of your home, and how to find your Home Energy Score.
2022 energy statistics
Energy saving homes are becoming more common, and buyers are making green features a priority during their search. Here are some statistics around energy-efficient homes, including those certified as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), a widely used ratings system from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Energy-efficient home checklist
If you are considering an energy-efficient home, there are a variety of things to look out for. Here are some of the biggest ones:
- Size of the home: In most cases, larger homes are less efficient because they take more energy to heat and cool. Plus, big houses often have more lights, appliances and other features that require energy.
- Green features: Look for homes that are already equipped with eco-friendly features. Examples include solar panels, heat pumps for heating and cooling, Energy Star–certified appliances and a rainwater collection system.
- Building design: The design and layout of a home can impact how energy efficient it is. For example, open concept houses are often more efficient than homes that are broken up into smaller rooms, because it’s easier to control the temperature and requires less building materials to construct.
- Insulation: Look for homes that are well-insulated to keep the house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Spray-foam insulation is widely considered to be the most energy-efficient type of insulation.
- Doors and windows: Efficient and well-sealed doors and windows can reduce heating and cooling costs. For improved efficiency, you can also install window shades to reduce cold drafts in the winter and keep heat outside in the summer.
- Energy sources: Some homes rely partially or entirely on renewable energy sources, like solar. Homes with solar panels might be more expensive, but they can reduce your energy bill. Some states offer incentives for homeowners with solar.
- Indoor environment quality</…….