New American Funding Blog

Why You Should Be Investing in a Greener Home

By Courtney Lynch   |  May 26, 2015

A green home serves as a beneficial investment.

When looking for your first home, you may want to consider purchasing a house that incorporates greener energy alternatives. Investing in real estate that adheres to greener standards can save resources and your money.

If you recently purchased a home or have owned one for some time, you can still incorporate energy-efficient features into your existing home.

Buying a green home

There are several different options available  when purchasing a new house that offers more energy-efficient alternatives. Realtor.com suggested evaluating water heating units, windows and insulation for energy efficiency. Ask the real estate agent selling the home whether these features are eco-friendly and how effective they are in conserving energy. Do not hesitate to communicate your desires to find a green home with your agent. He or she can help you find a home that features windows engineered to keep heat in during the winter and out during the summer, or a newer and more efficient water heater.

Aside from observing the different features that come standard in a home and evaluating how energy efficient they are, you may also want to consider homes with new green developments. For example, geothermal energy and solar panels are two features you might be interested in finding in a new home.

Geothermal energy uses the heat from within the earth to aid a variety of technologies. According to Renewable Energy World, geothermal heat pump systems can heat or cool your home more efficiently than a traditional heating system. In addition, harnessing this energy reduces the amount of pollutants released into the air.

Solar panels also have the ability to save a substantial amount of energy. The panels can be located on the roof or the ground. They collect energy from the sun, which is converted into voltage that can be used in the home. If you find a home that currently has panels installed, this can save you a great deal of money.

When you are browsing homes, request to view housing options that offer higher energy efficiency. If you do find the perfect home, but it lacks the green features you were hoping to score, remember that you can always install new features that can help improve energy efficiency and ultimately save you money.

Going green in your existing home

If your current home is not green you can still invest in features or make alterations to help improve its efficiency. Evaluate existing features, like windows and insulation, and determine whether you should replace them. You may want to also check to see if you can qualify for a tax break for making your home greener. If you do not want to replace items like your windows, you can reduce energy consumption by using plastic films or insulating your windows with drapes or curtains.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency noted you can even make changes to the way you operate different machines and units in your home to make your house greener. For example, when you do your laundry, use cold water to wash your clothes, which will cut down on the energy used for heating the water. In addition, washing full loads can help save water and energy because you'll do less loads overall. Make small changes to the way that you use water, lights and electricity to help cut down on waist and energy expenses.

You can make changes in different rooms that can help turn your house into a green home. According to EPA, purchasing new units, like dishwashers and stoves, that have been engineered  to save energy can help you save money down the road and add value to your home.

Investing in a renewable energy system

A solar panel system or wind electric system can help you live a greener life, save money and step toward the future. According to energy.gov, it is important to know how much electricity you use regularly to fulfill your needs. This will help determine how large your system should be and consequently the price.

It is also important that you ensure your system adheres to current codes and requirements that may be in place in your community. Current regulations may determine the type of system you install in your home.

A variety of additional factors can determine which renewable energy system will work best for you and your home. In addition to the community's requirements, there are other factors such as availability of a product, maintenance required and cost that may influence your decision. You may also consider combining different technologies that are available to create a hybrid renewable energy system. 

Whether you are purchasing a home for the first time or already have one, decreasing your energy bill and carbon footprint are fantastic perks to an investment in a greener home. Knowing about new technology and understanding ways you can cut your energy use can help you transition into a greener life.
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