More and more prospective home buyers in San Diego County are looking for “green” homes. The benefits are threefold: lower energy costs, higher indoor air quality, and a more draft-free and comfortable environment. The National Association Of Home Builders (NAHB) has reported that over two-thirds of their member builders expect to build more homes with additional green features and technology by 2015.
Some of the green features that home builders are including in new construction include: high-performance windows with low-E glass, windows insulated with a layer of inert gas between the panes, engineered wood beams, trusses, and joists, more efficient HVAC systems, and better water-saving features like dual-flush toilets and low-flow faucets.
Energy Star Homes
The Energy Star program, which is promoted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has created over one million Energy Star-certified homes since the program first began. Over 8,500 builders have participated in building Energy Star-certified homes thus far. Collectively, these certified homes have saved an estimated $270 million in energy costs while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gases by an amount equivalent to that generated by 370,000 vehicles.
The EPA suggests that homeowners with Energy Star certified homes in more hot and humid climates can save up to $700 each year on their utility bills. When it comes time to sell, such homes often command better resale prices, and they’re often easier to sell.
Energy Star-certified homes must have:
- High performance windows
- High efficiency cooling and heating systems
- High performance sealants and insulation
- Tight construction standards and tightly sealed ductwork
- Energy-efficient water heaters, lighting, and kitchen appliances
- These features must be independently certified by certified home energy rating specialists
Homes More Energy-Efficient Than Ever
The exciting news for prospective San Diego County home buyers is that science and technology have made huge strides in the real estate sector these past years. The United States Department of Energy suggests that a new home built today is 30% more energy-efficient than a home constructed just five years ago. When compared to homes built a decade or two ago, these new homes offer even more dramatic energy savings.
Air Quality That’s Better For Health
Tighter construction standards combined with more efficient HVAC systems have increased indoor air quality. This means less pollen and dust triggering allergic reactions and breathing problems. You can save thousands of dollars over the life of the new home and produce better air-quality for one’s family at the same time.
Tighter construction standards have also meant for a more draft-free environment, which leads to more comfort for the home’s occupants. Better HVAC systems and better construction techniques have also reduced problems common in older properties like moisture condensation on windows, mold, and peeling paint.
Why Buying Green is Smart
In an era of rising energy costs in Southern California, the demand for homes that ultimately reduce fossil fuel consumption will inevitably rise. Buyers of newer homes recognize a “win-win-win” situation. They can simultaneously reduce energy costs, help the environment, and enhance home comfort. Today, more than ever, buying “green” means buying “smart.”