Jul 21, 2014

Green Home Inspection Basics for Homeowners

If you're in the market to purchase a new house and you're also someone who strives to be energy efficient, then this is an article that you'll be happy to read. That's because it is going to walk you through some of the "green things" that you should be looking for while doing a home inspection.

If you make sure to put these five items on your to-do list, you can be confident that you'll find a house that is energy efficient, which is good for your budget as well as the environment too.

Look for insulation in the attic. Something that you're going to need in order to keep an even temperature in the rooms of your house is insulation. So, as you're looking throughout the home, make a point to go up in the attic to see how thick the insulation actually is. According to most energy experts, it needs to be around 12" thick and preferably made out of an eco-friendly material like cotton or even sheep's wool.

Look for a programmable thermostat. A small device that can make a really big difference in virtually any home is a programmable thermostat. By having one of those instead of a traditional mercury one, you can preset your HVAC unit for when you're home and when you're away. It's definitely an item that every energy efficient house should have.

Look for low-flow showerheads and toilets. An energy efficient home does not just have features that help to use less electricity but less water as well. For this reason, it's also wise to inquire about if the bathrooms have low-flow showerheads and toilets inside of them. If they do, you can be confident that you will save gallons of water each day and around 30 percent on your energy costs every year.

Look for exhaust fans. If in your previous home, you were having common AC problems partly because you were overworking it in order to keep humidity from being an issue, here's something else to consider. If you there are exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom, that will automatically help to pull moisture out of the air so that the rooms can remain a more comfortable temperature year round. Speaking of fans, it's always a bonus when a house has some ceiling fans as well. That can help to alter the temperature by several degrees without you having to rely so much on your HVAC unit.

Look for Energy Star appliances. During a green home inspection, one of the absolute best things that you can find is a home that has some Energy Star appliances inside of them. That's because they are designed in such a way that you can save as much as 40 percent on your annual energy costs. Although most of these appliances come with an Energy Star label, if you don't see one, you should still ask the current homeowner if they have the Energy Star seal. It's a great addition to any house. For more information on Energy Star appliances, visit EnergyStar.gov and put "appliances" in the search field.

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