What to Look for When Shopping for an Energy Efficient Home
Let the inner hippie out to play when you're hunting for your house and you'll end up in a hovel that is carbon neutral because it doesn't have electricity at all. If you don't look for energy efficiency in a home at all, however, then you're basically tearing open a new hole in your wallet to let all of your money fall out of. The importance of an energy efficient house can ‘t be stressed nearly enough, so we've created a guide to shopping for such a home.
Does it already have solar panels?
Check the house for solar panels. If they're already there, then you can rejoice, as you won't be paying very much for electricity at all, and neither do you have to pay for the purchase and installation of solar panels, as they're already there! If there aren't already any solar panels, then you don't have to despair too much – solar panels are a wise investment, and will save you a lot of money in the long run. Just make sure that the area gets plenty of sun and that there is space for the solar panels to be installed, whether on the roof or on the ground.
How much natural lighting does it have?
Natural lighting is an incredible thing. It's free lighting for your home, meaning that, theoretically, you can use next to no electricity during the day, halving your energy bills instantly. When you are looking for natural lighting in a house, simply inspect the house on a sunny day and see how much light each room gets. If there are rooms with no windows at all, and you aren't able to install any, see if you can install a system that uses it: it will be a bit of tough plastic that lets sunlight through to otherwise dark rooms. Look for place a with a strong emphasis on natural lighting.
How many lights does it have?
Unfortunately, you can't avoid artificial lighting forever, so when you are shopping for an energy efficient home, check how many fluorescent light bulbs there already are. This will mean that, should you choose this house, you will spend less money buying and installing the new bulbs. Another good idea is to check how many light bulbs there are per room, and if they all have to be turned on. For example, there are rooms that can be lit by just two light bulbs, but instead use four. If this ruins an otherwise perfect house, just remember that you can always unscrew the offending light bulbs.