Green homes have become all the rage in home design. Homeowners and first time home buyers should know what to look for and the best items to include in their home to help save those extra dollars. The summer is fast approaching, and like most home owner’s, members of the Salas Team are preparing their homes for the summer heat. Having a "Green Home" or "Energy Efficient Home" is a growing trend this season and home systems are being rethought through new design. We use the term "home systems" because we know how important it is to think of your home as a working system, and, like any other system, we do what we can to make it work better, faster and more efficient.
The most important place to start is with the home structure itself. Proper insulation of the roof, attic, and basement are all very important in helping to control the temperatures inside and out of a property. Obviously, you'll want to be sure your roof, in particular, is secure to keep cold or heat from outside from affecting the temperature you've set for the inside of your home; but, the basement is as equally important. One new trend in "Green Homes" is utilizing a soy bean insulation as a green alternative to traditional fiberglass insulation. The insulation is a sprayed on expanding foam insulator that is not only good for homes but good for our health. It expands up to 100 times its size during the chemical reaction and there is no off gassing during the process or afterwards as it ages.
Windows and doors are also a key part of this process as cracks and holes need to be sealed properly to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. Weather stripping occurs very frequently with in these areas of the property and it's important to maintain them well. Using blackout shades and curtains are one simple way to keep the sunlight from penetrating the windows and warming the inside of the house when you prefer it cooler.
Other features, such as the appliances and cosmetic aspects of the home, are next in line for saving you a pretty penny and keeping it green. Compact fluorescent lamps and energy efficient light bulbs have become the newest trends for small energy use fixes. These bulbs are so efficient, a house filled with these types of bulbs can cost about as much as one to two regular light bulbs! Who would have ever thought?!? Tank-less water heaters have also become all the rage! They use up to 30% less energy consumption than most water heaters, they are compact and space saving, and, most of all, they have a longer life expectancy than typical hot water heaters. So, you may need to spend a little more money up front, but, these minor changes will quickly pay for themselves with the amount you save over time. With a longer life expectancy, you can also guarantee you'll be saving that amount of money for a very long period of time.
Solar panels absorb the energy from the sun and convert that natural energy into electricity. It takes little explanation to recognize the value of solar panels, but, did you know that Pennsylvania provides a special tax deduction to homeowners who utilize solar panels or other energy efficient models? According to the US department of Energy, photovoltaic systems of 10 kW or less installed on 1- or 2-family residential units are eligible for streamlined permitting and a fee reductions.
If you'd like more information on some of these energy efficient tips or if you just have general real estate questions, call the Salas Team today!