Over the past several years, energy efficient home features have become one of the most important qualities buyers are looking for, since these features lead to a decrease in utility bills and detrimental environmental effects. Therefore, if you’ve decided to buy an energy efficient home, you need to make sure that you’re actually buying such home, since it’s not uncommon that some sellers present their homes as eco-friendly even if they aren’t.
Check the History of Bills
The best way to check the energy consumption in a home you’re considering to buy is asking the current home owners to show you the history of bills. If their house is truly energy efficient, they’ll gladly share this information with you. Even if they’re careful with using energy, the bills will be a good indicator of what you can expect.
Perform an Audit
Another great way to evaluate the status of a home when it comes to its energy consumption is by performing an energy audit. You can hire professional energy auditors who can check how much energy is currently used and which areas need improvement. Afterwards, you can ask them to recommend some low-cost measures that you can take to reduce energy consumption if you decide to buy the house. You don’t have to do everything at once, but start with the areas that require your immediate attention.
Check the Insulation
Whether a house is properly insulated is an important aspect you need to consider when buying an energy efficient house. A great amount of energy is used for heating and cooling, and a high percentage of that energy is wasted due to poor insulation. If a house is well-insulated, it can stay warmer during the winter and cooler during the summer, which will reduce energy consumption. When inspecting a house, you should check whether there are some cracks between floorboards, windows and doors, as these are sources of energy loss.
Take a Look at the Boiler
After house cooling and heating, water heating is the second largest user of energy in a household. Therefore, you need to check the current state of the boiler in the house you’re inspecting, because you might need to replace it. If it’s old and inefficient, it will waste a lot of energy on water heating while not doing it well. If the boiler has an energy-saving logo, it means that it’s certified and water efficient.
Inspect the Appliances
Appliances are another item on the list that needs to be evaluated. Checking whether the appliances are new isn’t enough, so you shouldn’t be misled into thinking that they’re energy efficient if they’ve been just bought. They need to meet energy efficiency standards and be certified, so look for an energy-saving logo. Additionally, you should check the warranties for the appliances and whether they will be still in effect if you buy the house.
Don’t Forget the Lighting
Don’t forget to look up and check the lighting. If the house has the incandescent light bulbs, you should know that they have a short lifespan, waste a lot of energy and emit carbon dioxide, so you should consider replacing them if you buy the house. The energy efficient option includes light-emitting diodes (LEDs) or compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). These have a longer lifespan and use less energy, which can lower your electricity bills.
Financing the Repairs
Even if the green house you’ve decided to buy requires a certain investment and repairs, there are some financing options that might help you out. One possible solution might be applying for PACE (property assessed clean energy) financing meant for energy efficiency improvements. Therefore, if you need to replace or insulate windows, change lighting or improve heating system, you don’t have to spend a fortune immediately after buying a new house.
Buying an energy efficient house is a wise investment that will pay off in the long run. Therefore, you need to make sure that you’ll get what you’re paying for.