Home Improvement

Top Energy Efficiency Features to Look for When Buying a Home

When you make your list of must-haves for a new home, you probably include the number of bedrooms you want and if you prefer granite countertops. But if you aren’t paying attention to the energy efficiency of the home, then you may end up paying a lot more than you bargained for. By paying attention during the buying process, you can make sure you purchase an energy efficient home that will help keep your monthly expenses at bay.

Absence of Air Leaks

One of the biggest wastes of energy expenses comes from the heated or cooled air escaping your home through the unseen leaks. Before purchasing a home, make sure to check for any serious leaks. The most common places to find exterior leaks include: the corners of a home, outdoor water faucets, and anywhere two different material types meet. When it comes to the inside of the home, you will want to check the electrical outlets, windows and doors, baseboards, and any vents or fans.

Quality Insulation

The insulation is what is responsible for keeping the warm air inside instead of letting it escape. To determine if the home you are looking at has the proper amount of insulation you will want to refer to its R-Value. The R-Value is determined by evaluating the density, thickness, and material type, and the higher the R-Value, the more effective the insulation is.

Energy-Star Appliances

An appliance only receives an Energy Star rating if it meets or exceeds the strict energy efficiency guidelines set forth by the US Department of Energy. In general, the rating means the appliance is 15% more efficient than federal standards. As such, you will want to make sure the home you purchase is equipped with Energy Star appliances.

Appropriately Sized

While it might be tempting to get the biggest house you can afford, don’t forget that the mortgage cost is only part of the equation. A large house means more space to keep warm or cool. Opt for a home that provides enough space for your family while paying attention to the energy costs associated with the size.

South-Facing Home

The direction a house faces has more of an impact than you may realize. By finding a south-facing house, you will be able to reap the rewards of natural lighting and a natural heat source. This can save you substantial money in electric bills over the year.

Solar Panels

If you can find a home that already has solar panels, then you have hit the energy efficiency jackpot. Solar panels absorb the inherent heat from the sun and transform it into a reliable energy source for your home, making your electric bills minimal.

Option to Choose Own Energy Provider

You can find all the energy efficiency features listed above, but you might still be paying too much for your energy. Did you know that you might be able to choose your own energy provider, which can help you save even more on your bills? North American Power supplies energy to several states in the country, and there’s a good chance you can save money by selecting them as your third-party energy supplier.