Practicing Green

37109095_mlFor your existing home, resale purchase or new construction

Green efforts involve lifestyle and day-to-day choices to reduce one’s ecological footprint and become more environmentally conscious. The green revolution has had a major impact in the world of real estate and homeownership. Many people specifically look for homes that have green features. These houses often sell for more than homes of similar qualifications that do not boast green amenities. It is a trend that is here to stay and growing.

Green ways to improve your existing home:

  • Energy Star Appliances
  • Programmable Thermostats
  • High Efficiency Hot Water Heaters and 90% Efficient Furnaces
  • Improve Lighting – Utilize energy efficient (CFL) compact fluorescent light bulbs, high efficiency lighting, motion sensors, dimmable lighting, task and overhead lights.
  • Replace Carpets, Flooring and/or Paint – exclude products with volatile organic compounds (VOC) and formaldehyde, use sustainable woods
  • Replace toilets to utilize low-flush or dual-flush toilets. Add low-flow shower heads.
  • Add an Attic Fan and Floor Insulation to reduce cooling costs and to improve comfort in the warmer months.
  • Window and Door replacement, especially in older homes – dual pained glass or tinted windows can decrease heating and cooling costs. Open blinds and shades during the daytime to use natural lighting.
  • Add weather stripping to doors and windows makes them air tight and more efficient.
  • Close the damper for the fireplace to prevent loss of heat and air conditioning.
  • Leave grass clippings on the ground for greener grass and mow during cooler part of the day to use less fuel, add bird feeders to attract birds that will eat pests.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified Homes set standards in the community

Measurable features include:

  • Monetary Savings in energy (exceeding 15% over other homes and code requirements).
  • Health Benefit – designed with the occupant in mind.
  • Air Quality – ventilation with high efficiency filters improve performance of HVAC units and prevent mold and mildew.
  • Location – placement of home to optimize benefits in land conservation and optimal lighting.
  • Value – helps the home sell quickly and for more money than non-Green homes.
  • Trusted – The U.S. Green Building Council inspects and provides an approval for every home when the builder works in unison with the owner to maximize the home’s benefits.

In the end, meaningful, credible tests verified by a third party provide assurances to the homeowner that the home is safe, efficient and cost effective.

This rating system measures the “Greeness” of the home construction and its surroundings. The top concerns are the quality and sustainability of homes. LEED provides a concise picture of how a home performs at a higher level in an environmentally sound way and has three levels of certification:  Silver, Gold and Platinum. Platinum represents exemplary performance, although all Green Homes receive high marks.

Measurable features include:

  • Monetary Savings in energy (exceeding 15% over other homes and code requirements).
  • Health Benefit – designed with the occupant in mind.
  • Air Quality – ventilation with high efficiency filters improve performance of HVAC units and prevent mold and mildew.
  • Location – placement of home to optimize benefits in land conservation and optimal lighting.
  • Value – helps the home sell quickly and for more money than non-Green homes.
  • Trusted – The U.S. Green Building Council inspects and provides an approval for every home when the builder works in unison with the owner to maximize the home’s benefits.

In the end, meaningful, credible tests verified by a third party provide assurances to the homeowner that the home is safe, efficient and cost effective.

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Look for these key words when looking for Green features in a home:

  • Energy Star Qualified Home or Energy Star appliances,
  • LEED Certified
  • Solar panels/active or passive photovoltaic or (PV)
  • Drought tolerant plants
  • Engineered wood products
  • Rain water catchment
  • Radiant floors
  • Enhanced air filters including HEPA and MERV
  • High efficiency furnace
  • Hot water heaters and Geo-thermal heating.

Implementing some of the above strategies will provide you a more comfortable home that makes sense in dollars and is better for the environment. Have questions? Ask a Professional Realtor familiar with Green practices to assist you in finding the right home or improving the one you have!

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