When purchasing a home, considering its long-term impact on both your life and the environment is crucial. Eco-friendly upgrades not only promote sustainable living but also potentially increase your home’s efficiency and value. Here are some key green improvements to consider when shopping for your next home. If you need help from a real estate professional, contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices at (310) 373-0021.

HVAC Systems: Enhancing Home Energy Efficiency

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems significantly affect your home’s energy consumption. An outdated HVAC system can lead to high energy bills and inefficiency. When viewing homes, check the condition of the furnace, heat pump, or air conditioning units. Are they modern and energy-efficient? During the home inspection, make sure to inquire about the insulation quality, as well-fitted and robust insulation helps maintain your home’s temperature, reducing the need for constant heating or cooling.

For those interested in renewable energy, consider homes with suitable setups for solar panels. A roof with substantial southern exposure that’s free from shade can be ideal for installing solar panels, which can drastically reduce electricity costs and environmental footprint.

Appliances: Choosing Energy-Efficient Options

The appliances included in your home purchase can also impact your energy usage. Look for Energy Star-certified appliances, which are more efficient than standard models. If the existing appliances aren’t energy-efficient, plan for potential upgrades in your budget. Remember to check for available rebates or tax credits that encourage eco-friendly upgrades, as these can help offset initial costs.

Windows: Preventing Energy Loss

Efficient heating and cooling systems won’t be as effective if your windows are letting warm or cool air escape. Consider the benefits of dual-paned windows, which provide better insulation than their single-paned counterparts. Although upgrading windows represents an upfront cost, the investment can pay off by reducing your energy bills. Plus, you may find financial assistance through tax credits and rebates aimed at energy conservation.

Roof: Eco-Friendly Roofing Options

If the home you’re interested in needs a new roof soon, consider eco-friendly roofing materials. “Cool” roofs designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat can be particularly beneficial in sunny climates. Materials like recycled shingles, slate, or tile not only offer durability but also help reduce landfill waste.

Alternatively, if you’re enthusiastic about green living, explore the possibility of installing a living roof. These roofs use vegetation to improve air quality, insulation, and rainwater absorption, although they require flat or gently sloping surfaces for best results.

Landscaping: Going Green Outside

Landscaping is another area where eco-friendly choices can make a significant difference. Opt for native plants or xeriscaping to minimize water usage and maintenance. These landscaping strategies are not only better for the environment but also reduce gardening expenses. Consider incorporating elements like gravel, paving stones, or even artificial turf to further reduce water use. Additionally, strategically placed trees can provide natural cooling in summer and act as windbreaks in winter, enhancing your home’s energy efficiency.

Water Heater: Boosting Efficiency in Water Heating

Traditional water heaters can be a significant energy drain due to their continuous operation. Tankless water heaters, which heat water on demand, offer a more energy-efficient solution by eliminating the need to maintain a constant water temperature. This change can lead to significant energy savings and ensures that you never run out of hot water, providing both comfort and efficiency.

When considering a home purchase, these eco-friendly upgrades can lead to long-term savings and a smaller environmental footprint. For more detailed advice and assistance on finding the right energy efficient home, contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices at (310) 373-0021.