One of the top trends driving today’s housing market is the demand for energy-efficient homes that don’t sacrifice comfort for quality. If you’re looking to purchase a new home, green features can save money both now and in the future, with numerous earth-friendly benefits. Here’s what is trending for 2015 and beyond.
Homebuyers are looking to get more functionality out of less space and often discover downsizing is a viable option for both young families and empty-nesters. Modular or manufactured homes, are gaining popularity. Homebuyers enjoy thoughtful modern designs that maximize space and functionality, plus the waste from building an entire house in a controlled environment is minimal – typically fitting into just two 30-gallon drums or less.
Many of those on the market for a home are seeking ENERGY STAR certification, meaning the home meets stringent requirements from the Environmental Protection Agency. ENERGY STAR certified homes cost less to heat and cool, are quieter, more durable and have better indoor air quality.
Windows are an investment that pays dividends for many years to come. Buyers are demanding at least double-paned options with low emissivity, also known as low-e, advanced window coatings that help retain heat during winter and keep it out during summer. This microscopic layer also blocks damaging ultraviolet sunlight that can discolor carpets and furniture.
Homebuyers are asking about extra insulation in homes, including the walls, roof and flooring. Properly installed insulation that meets or exceeds national code requirements helps better regulate a home’s temperature so the furnace and air conditioner don’t have to work harder than necessary. The result is lower utility costs and a quieter, more comfortable home.
Advanced heating and cooling features
According to a 2009 RECS Survey conducted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, space heating accounts for 41.5 percent of the average household’s energy consumption, which is why homebuyers seek atmosphere controlling features that can cut this number dramatically. More efficient and properly sized heating and cooling systems, such as a heat pump, use less energy, which makes the home much more energy efficient throughout.
Smart lighting alternatives
Homebuyers are demanding energy-efficient options to save money and energy. According to the EPA, CFL light bulbs use less energy than many other types, which makes them a smart option for an energy-efficient home.
It’s not just what you can see that makes a house green, it’s the process itself that can make a big difference. That’s why tight construction and tight ducts are a must when building a home. Builders must pay close attention to detail by sealing all holes, cracks and seams in ducts and construction assemblies. This helps to eliminate drafts, moisture, dust, pests and pollen, plus boosts comfort while lowering maintenance costs.
With today’s advanced technology, homebuyers can reduce their energy use and expenditure with an ENERGY STAR Home. A wide variety of energy efficient models and options are available and homes can be easily customized to suit a family’s specific needs.