How to Save on Energy Bills When Buying a New Home
With the ever-increasing energy bills, it only makes sense for today’s home buyers to consider energy efficiency when shopping for a new home. An energy efficient home is a great investment that can save you a lot of money on future energy costs. It also increases the resale value of your home, provides the much-needed comfort and health all-year-round, and its kind to the environment. Energy efficient homes are becoming more popular with the increasing awareness on environmental issues. Here are a few things to consider when shopping for one of these houses:
Check Your Appliances
Appliances are the essence of any home. Luckily, today’s appliances use far less energy than older models. However, just because appliances are new doesn’t necessarily mean they are energy efficient. Find a home with ENERGY STAR-labelled appliances. Also, be sure to check the warranties on your appliances and find out whether service contracts will still be in effect after the house is sold to you.
Consider Double-paned Storm Windows
Windows account for about 10-25% of your energy bills. Look out for double-paned storm windows that have a “low-e” coating. These windows reduce the amount of heat lost through windows by reflecting heat back into the house during the cold season and reflecting it out during the summer. Also, if windows are letting in too much hot air, the AC will find it harder to cool your home. Storm windows can help minimise air movement through the window, which in turn reduce heating and cooling costs and keeps the home more comfortable.
Consider Solar Panels
Renewable energy is another important aspect to consider when looking for an energy efficient home. Solar panels may seem like an expensive addition, but they are capable of dramatically lowering energy bills in the long run. In addition, solar panels have the ability to lower the carbon footprint of your home. If you choose to install solar panels on your home, know that it can impact your mortgage application. Talk to your lender first before installing them.
Look For a Certified ENERGY STAR Home
The first place to check for an energy efficient home is its EPC (Energy Performance Certificate). It shows the amount of energy use and the typical energy costs of a given property. Ideally, you should consider a certified ENERGY STAR home. These are homes that have been inspected by third-party professional Home Energy Raters to ensure they meet the EPA’s requirements. This rating will take into account existing features like insulation, window grades, heating system, air leak information, as well as give recommendations for making the property more energy efficient.
Find out How Much Insulation Is Needed in Your Area
Proper insulation ensures your home is comfortable during all seasons. Local climate and environmental conditions are what determines the amount of insulation needed in a property. The best way to know how much insulation is needed in your area is to simply do your own research. An energy efficient home should, however, include high R-value insulation, the right measures to limit cracks and drafts, and insulated windows among other things.
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