There is an increasing desire and drive to start looking after our environment, not only in the way we produce things but also in how we live. It has led to more sustainable materials and technology being used in the way new houses are built, and the way existing homes are converted. If you are looking for a new home, then what are the things you need to look for? Here are some tips to finding a great eco-friendly house.

Living to Your Needs

When you are looking for a new home, the first thing you need to remember is what type of house do you need? It might sound odd, but this is the first serious question you need to ask yourself. Why are you moving home? Are you going to be starting a family, or are you looking to retire? These questions are important because you only need to buy a house that will meet your needs, or it will waste energy. For example, if you and your partner are looking to retire, then buying a four bedroom house might be a little too big for you, whereas a one bedroom apartment for a growing family would mean they will need to move again quickly. The cost of maintaining and heating a big house will cause a waste of money and energy.

Solar Panels

solar panelSolar panels are becoming an increasingly popular way to generate your own energy. They are now starting to be used not just in businesses, but solar panels for home use are growing in popularity. When you are looking for a new home, it is a good idea to choose one that already has solar panels fitted. It will mean less disruption as you won’t need to have them installed later, and it will usually be cheaper to buy it already installed. It is also a good idea to see how much the house generates in electricity each year; this will give you a rough idea of how much money you will save and how eco-friendly the house is.

Energy Star Appliances

If you are looking at homes that have some appliances built-in, then you need to check that they are all energy star rated. These appliances are up to 40 percent more efficient than standard appliances which will be a great saving in money and energy. You should also look to install your own energy star appliances alongside those already there. Virtually all appliances can now be found that are rated in this way; you just need to look around.

Water Conserving Appliances

Another area that is becoming an issue around the world is water consumption. Many countries are now having to look at how much water they are using, especially those that have reported a drop in annual rainfall in recent years. There are many ways that your new home can be water efficient. Your water heater, for example, can be changed to a more water efficient variety. If you are also using low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucets, then you will be saving a huge amount of water each year. Some countries now insist that new homes have these facilities installed.

Dual Pane, Low-Emittance Windows

Low-emittance windows are a great way to save energy while also looking after your belongings. They work by providing the optimal insulation in your home to give you better energy efficiency. They are also able to block out UV rays from the sun, this not only makes it better for your skin inside the home, but it also protects your furniture and pictures from fading in the sun.

Energy Efficient Lighting

The lighting that people use in their house is becoming more efficient all the time. From the humble fluorescent light to the newer compact fluorescent bulbs, they have made it easier to now have every light in the house more efficient. The rapid growth of newer designs such as LED lighting has made bulbs even more efficient and longer lasting. However, it isn’t just the types of bulb that make the difference. You should also think about using motion sensors that will automatically turn off the lights if no movement is detected. It means you can save money on lighting an empty room, and your kids won’t be able to leave lights on around the house.

Using Certified Wood

Wood is an incredibly versatile material, but it is also a natural material that has destroyed many forests around the world. There are many sustainable forests which have now started to offer wood from areas where the trees are being renewed. It means that the forests and trees will be protected for future generations. Another way to prevent new trees from being used is to find reclaimed wood; this is wood that has been used before and is now available to be used again. You can also reuse your old furniture by reclaiming the wood or reusing it for a different purpose.

Wall and Roof Insulation

The type of insulation which you use in your house is important because some types are more efficient than others. For example, the cellulose type of insulation that is blown into the wall cavity is better than the sheets of insulation otherwise used in new houses. That is because the cellulose can fill in all the gaps in the wall and prevent energy from escaping. Your roof insulation should also be a high-quality type that will prevent as much heat from escaping as possible. When you are looking at houses, check to see if the insulation is up to the required standard, in older homes, it might have been there for many years and need replacing. If the walls also need to be insulated properly, then this should influence your decision on buying the home or not.

These are just some of the ways that your new home can be more efficient and eco-friendly. For example, you could also turn your garden into an allotment and grow some of your own food. You can also think about investing in solar powered water heating systems. All of these will make a great difference to the environment.

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