When you were a kid, you may have fantasized about saving the world as Superman or Wonder Woman. As we get older, we tend to see these thoughts as nothing more than childish fiction. But the truth is, there are plenty of ways that we can help save the world and the environment, and it all starts with your new home.
Some ways of going green are quick, easy and cheap, while others take a bit more of an investment up front. Either way, incorporating some or all of these energy efficient features into the design of your home can equal savings for you and a bit of a breather for our environment.
As mentioned on HSH.com, “recent research by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) suggests that eco-friendly homes and energy efficient products and materials are higher in demand today.” Also mentioned in the HSH article were some of NAR’s additional findings:
“59% of Realtors who responded to an NAR survey report that homeowners were very or somewhat interested in sustainability.”
“70% residential and commercial real estate agents and brokers revealed that promoting energy efficiency in home listings is either very or somewhat valuable.”
“Most polled (83%) said that solar panels were available in their markets; 36% reported that solar panels upped the perceived property value.”
“Utility/operation costs (81%), efficient use of lighting (67%) and indoor air quality (64%) were the top-ranked building features that homeowners indicated are somewhat or very important to their agents or brokers.”
Now that you know how popular these eco-friendly home features have become, let’s see what some of your options are.
Solar technology is sort of the celebrity of the “Go Green” movement. It’s the feature that everyone has heard of and the one that seems to get the most publicity of anything else on this list. But before you decide to slather the roof of your new custom home in sun-soaking panels, consider this: According to Energysage.com, “the average cost [as of mid-2017] of a solar panel system in Cincinnati is $15,000 before any rebates or incentives.” If this green energy solution doesn’t quite fit into your budget, keep reading for some other more practical ways to help save the environment through your home design.
As Energyfocus.com puts it, LED lighting lasts longer, requires less maintenance, recycles well and costs you less than traditional fluorescent lighting. In other words, it’s a win-win-win-win. The best part? This is a greener choice that you can make instantly in your current home. It doesn’t take much more than a trip to the hardware store (or Amazon). If you are still in the design process of your new custom home, work with a trusted home builder to ensure that your home’s lighting scheme accounts for LED wherever possible.
We’ll admit that this may not be the most glamorous item on this list of green energy features. But what if your toilets could save you $110 per year while also reducing your family’s water usage 20 to 60 percent? That’s exactly what the EPA claims for its WaterSense toilets (look for the WaterSense label showing proof of meeting EPA standards). Some home designs can feel like flushing money down the toilet. Your home will give you money for flushing the toilet.
Turning your new custom home into the “smartest” home on the block is now easier than ever thanks to habit-learning thermostats and other appliances that can be controlled from your phone or tablet, even when you’re miles away. Research trusted companies like Nest, Google (Home) and Honeywell to discover which brands and devices are most appropriate for your family’s routine.
Low-E3 Insulating Windows
At the Robert Lucke Group, we install Low-E3 and Argon gas-filled windows in each one of our custom homes. Argon gas is much more dense than regular air and therefore makes it much more effective at insulating your home. These windows are extremely energy efficient and can save you big bucks on your energy bill, not to mention helping out ole Mother Earth. If you are considering designing and building your Cincinnati home with the Robert Lucke Group, be sure to ask us about this important eco-friendly upgrade.