Buying a new home means more than just paying the mortgage; it also means paying the energy bill.
IT'S IMPORTANT to take energy efficiency into account when looking at properties. Here are some factors to consider that will help you cut energy costs when buying a new home.
- APPLIANCES If the home you’re buying is equipped with older appliances, consider replacing them with newer ENERGY STAR qualified ones. For example: ENERGY STAR refrigerators use 20% less energy than their standard counterparts and ENERGY STAR qualified dishwashers use 10% less energy and 18% less water than non ENERGY STAR qualified ones.
- WINDOWS Inefficient windows can cost you a lot of money. In fact, they can account for anywhere between 10-25% of your heating and cooling bills. Leaky windows (air leakage) make your HVAC work harder to cool your home in summer, and warm it in winter. Avoid this by air sealing them, or better still replacing older windows with new energy efficient versions.
- INSULATION Properly installed insulation is key to keeping your home comfortable and energy bills down. It’s important to know what the right amount of insulation your home would need based on location. Talk to a RESNET certified Home Energy Professional to get expert advice about how much insulation you might need, and also what is the most effective sort to use for your environment.
- ENERGY AUDIT An energy audit is an examination of a home’s energy performance, and will tell you where and how a home is losing energy. A RESNET certified Home Energy Auditor is able to pinpoint problem areas, and provide you with cost-effective energy efficiency solutions to help rectify these problems. However, before you buy that new home, talk to a RESNET certified Home Energy Professional first. They can help you better understand how energy efficient the home is, and what steps you can take to improve its energy performance.
This content was originally published by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) here. This content has been republished with the permission of RESNET. RESNET is the independent, national nonprofit organization that homeowners trust to improve home energy efficiency and realize substantial savings on their utility bills. RESNET’s industry-leading standards are recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, among others.