An average U.S. household spends around $2,150 on energy bills each year according to the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED-certified (L.C) homes are designed to use between thirty to sixty percent less energy than a traditional home. By choosing and L.C. home you will save thousands within and reduce your exposure to an unhealthy home environment.
Here are the steps you take to confirm that the home you are interested in meets green standards.
Ask for a certification
When you get the home inspected (something you should definitely do) opt for a green home inspection company that uses InterNACHI Standards of Practice. Pro tip: this is a certification which also extends to other crucial areas of home maintenance such as pest control.
Confirm the use of green materials
A green home inspection will check for energy efficiency, the use of sustainable materials and practices, and the use of features that promote human and environmental health.
Materials include fast-growing trees harvested for green construction, recycled steel, cast-in-place concrete walls and more. The inspector will also confirm that the home uses a photovoltaic system (solar power) and low emitting materials.
Ask for an energy audit
While a green inspection checks the HVAC equipment, indoor air quality and humidity levels of your potential home, an audit determines how all the systems of the house work together. This tells you you can improve your energy usage overall.
Lowering your energy bills is just one advantage to living in an energy-efficient home. If you’re buying an Energy Star-rated home, have a Home Energy Rater complete the final inspection to make sure all the requirements are met and everything is properly certified.
Go behind the walls
This step is so importnat because catching these kind of issues early save you expensive future repairs. In any home there can be a lot more going on than meets the eye. An inspector with a Certified Level Thermographers will use thermal cameras to check that your potential walls and ceilings are insulated correctly and there is no moisture creeping in or air leaking out.
Consider energy enhancements
Once a green inspection is complete the inspector may have additional suggestion to improve energy efficiency suggestions. A common one is adding trees to help air quality and reduce CO2.
Fun fact: if every family planted 1 tree, the CO2 in the atmosphere would be reduced by 1,000,000,000 lbs. annually.
At the end of the day choosing to purchase and maintain a green home is about contributing to sustainable practices, saving our planet from unnecessary stress and choose to positively impact the planet.