The average homeowner spends just over $2,000 each year on energy bills, according to government studies. For older homes, larger homes and homes in more extreme climates in the country this number can be significantly higher. For this reason, many people are considering eco-friendly homes when they’re looking for a home to buy.
According to the United States Green Building council, a LEED-certified eco-friendly home will use close to 45% less energy on average, providing a significant savings to homeowners. When you’re in the market for a new home, that kind of savings can be a real enticement.
What is an eco-friendly home?
When we think of eco-friendly homes, we’re talking about homes that use various technologies to use less energy and water, provide cleaner indoor air and save on utilities.
While just about any home can have certain energy-efficient features, some homes meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. Around a quarter of new family homes constructed in 2013 were LEED certified.
Here are the specific benefits that an eco-friendly home, especially one that’s LEED-certified, can provide for you:
1. You will save money on your utility bills.
If your home would normally cost $3,000 to power for the year, you could pay as little as $1,400 in a high-efficiency eco-friendly home. Over the time you own your home, that could add up to tens of thousands of dollars.
2. The air in your home will be cleaner.
Levels of pollutants in the air inside a home can be as much as four or five times the levels they are outdoors. Considering the fact that most of us spend around 90% of our day indoors, that’s a scary thought. Eco-friendly homes greatly improve indoor air quality, contributing significantly to environmental health factors. If you add in additional air quality technologies like HEPA filters, you can begin to get control over some of the silent but significant environmental dangers a typical home presents.
3. You’ll be producing less waste.
Because eco-friendly homes are energy efficient, they are heated and cooled through minimal usage of energy. There is less leaky ductwork, water usage is minimized, and more. With the reduced amount of heating fuel and electricity you’ll be purchasing, you’ll also be offsetting a significant amount of potential waste.
4. More people are buying green homes.
While the market for green homes is still rising, many believe it hasn’t yet hit the tipping point. That means by buying an eco-friendly home today you can potentially increase the resale value of your home when the time does come to sell. Even today, eco-friendly homes sell faster and at higher rates than traditional homes.
5. You’re contributing to a better future for everyone.
Green technologies reduce our dependence on nonrenewable resources as well as foreign sources of power. Eco-friendly homes lead to fewer greenhouse gasses, helping to curb global climate change. While your purchase of a green home isn’t going to save the planet by itself, you will at least be doing what you can.
Finding eco-friendly homes
Depending on where you live, it can be a bit of a chore to locate a new eco-friendly home to buy. Some more metropolitan areas may have advanced search tools, but really the best place to look is always with your real estate agent or broker. They know the local marketplace and what’s available. When you’re searching for someone to help buy your home, ask them about their experience with green technology and eco-friendly homes. Either they’ll have a base of knowledge to work from, or they’ll be willing to help investigate options with you.