Energy conservation is one of the biggest factors buyers look for in a new home. We all want to look at ways to reduce our energy costs and reduce our carbon footprints. Here are a few things to look for when buying a home:
- Did you know that nearly 60 per cent of the energy used by Canadian homes is directly related to heating? Review the current heating system of the home – a Home Inspector can help with reviewing the age of the system, its efficiency and its current capacities. Check the EnerGuide label on the furnace – the higher the rating, the more efficient the model. You must also consider the type of energy that the heating system uses (oil, gas, electric, propane) when choosing a home – the costs vary depending on the type of energy used. Ask your Real Estate Agent to see the energy bills for the last year from the current homeowner.
- Look for a home built to R-2000 standards. A home built to R-2000 will use two-thirds of the energy of a conventional home.
- Insulation in a home is important. A well insulated home will keep you cool in the summer and warmer in the cooler seasons. A home inspector can tell you how well insulated the home is.
- Check around windows, doors and walls for drafts. Up to 40% of heat loss is attributed to old sealants failing (this is an easy and affordable fix that you can do yourself).
- Double glazed windows are more energy efficient than single pane windows.
- Look for Energy Star appliances. A newer refrigerator uses 40% less energy than a model built before 1993.
- Central Air Conditioners – Check the SEER rating – it measures how efficiently a system will operate. A SEER 15 rating means that the model has a higher efficiency than average.
- Look at the landscaping around the property. Large shade trees around the home can help reduce cooling costs up to 10%. Trees also help with energy costs in the winter too. They can help block those cold winter winds and save you money on heating.
Don’t dismiss an older home from your home buying process. There are government and local utility rebates that can help you transform an older and possibly less energy efficient home into an energy efficient home that will save you money on your energy costs in the long run.
Energy conservation is important not only for your home, but for the entire community.
The Saugeen Team would love to help you find the home of your dreams. Contact Us today!