Energy efficient homes aren’t just about saving energy, they come with many other benefits for individuals, families and even pets! Your energy efficient home will cost less to operate and maintain. It will be more comfortable in all rooms. And you can feel good knowing that your home has a lower environmental impact than most.
Energy efficient homes are more healthy than standard homes offering features like better ventilation that ensures your home’s air flow is clean, safe and moving in the right places. Poor ventilation can lead to moisture problems and also infestations of dust mites and insects. Mold and allergens are common problems with poorly ventilated homes as well. All these issues can lead to respiratory and other health problems for children, adults, seniors and even pets! Sealing the cracks and gaps in your home will help it ventilate properly and promote fresh air circulation, lower humidity and reduces occurrences of mold and other health hazards.
Watch this video from ACEEE on how energy efficient homes help address the negative impacts of childhood asthma.
- For more information on the health benefits of energy efficient homes, view the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s “A Healthy Home for Everyone: The Guide for Families and Individuals“.
An energy efficient home helps keep you and other residents safe from health hazards but also safety hazards including combustion appliances (like atmospherically-vented water heaters), backdrafts, faulty wiring and more. Energy efficient homes are built to be durable, smart and easy to maintain. Part of this construction process includes verifying that these and other safety hazards are eliminated or reduced so that the home is safe for all occupants.
Smart and Connected
New technology including smart thermostats, energy monitoring devices, mobile phone apps and more offer greater connectivity, tracking and easier maintenance of your home. Because energy efficient homes offer energy efficient appliances, advanced lighting and other advanced measures, they offer greater opportunities for integrating into security systems and remote-controlled features like heating and cooling. Energy efficient homes are also, in many cases, measured for their energy usage. This includes having a smart meter installed that provides a connection from your energy meter to your utility and the internet, allowing you and your utility to know how much energy your house is (or isn’t!) using and where that usage is coming from.
Homes built to higher building and energy standards last longer and are easier to maintain. These homes offer greater durability and will last decades longer than others due to a tighter building envelope, better materials and less maintenance that slowly deteriorates a home.
Energy is a major factor in determining home affordability. When you buy a home or an energy using appliance, you pay more than just the sales price —you commit yourself to the cost of operating the home or running the appliance for as long as you own it. Affordability is best measured by calculating a consumer’s Energy Burden, the percent of income that must be used to pay the bills. Residents of houses built in the 1980s spend on average $1.06 per square foot per year on energy. In contract, residents of houses built in the 1990s spend 96 cents and those in homes built in the 2000s spend 88 cents per square foot per year on energy. These savings are credited towards improved home energy efficiency, construction practices, better consumer habits about spending energy and more. All of this is taking place as homes actually get larger! Homes certified for energy efficiency typically use 20 – 30% less energy than standard homes, resulting in$300 – $500 in energy savings per year.
- Did you know that improving your home’s energy efficiency offers tax incentives? Click here to find out how.
Energy isn’t the only efficiency benefit in an energy efficient home… water is also efficient! Due to the advanced construction and improved products and materials that go into building an energy efficient home, water efficiency is taken into consideration as well. One reason is because it takes water to make energy, and vice versa! Therefore, reducing energy usage also reduces water usage both at your home and at the generation and transmission sources that provide them to you.
Whether you make improvements on your own or with a contractor, the low-cost methods of improving your home’s energy efficiency will also reduce drafts and cut down on significant air and water leakage throughout your home, preventing costly and uncomfortable situations!
Due to the benefits listed above, energy efficient homes in North Carolina carry an increased market valuation that causes them to be worth more and sell faster than standard homes. Click here to view a report with this information.
Because they use less natural resources than standard homes, including energy from fossil fuels, energy efficient homes are more environmentally friendly. Green homes generally receive certifications by combining energy efficiency and environmentally-friendly building products and construction practices. Additionally, some green homes focus on using local materials that reduce transportation emissions.
To learn about the many benefits of energy efficient homes, watch this video from ENERGY STAR about how homes certified to the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes program’s standards are better than standard homes… in many ways!