It’s a cold, hard fact that green home building and sales are on the rise, and the momentum doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon. According to a study done by McGraw-Hill construction, green homes are expected to make up approximately 10% of new home construction over the next several years. There are many “pros” to purchasing a green home. Most homeowners purchase these homes for the obvious reasons of saving money on energy bills as well as reducing their carbon footprint, but there are other great benefits to be had.
Green home construction is generally higher-quality construction. More thought is put into the design and layout of the building, so it can operate at peak efficiency for energy savings. In addition, higher quality materials are used during the construction process. These materials are usually energy efficient, sustainable, and toxin-free.
The use of these toxin free materials also contributes to a healthier indoor air quality, which is extremely important considering we spend a lot of time, if not the majority of our time, inside our homes. Better indoor air quality means a healthier living environment. For those who suffer from ailments such as asthma or allergies, this can be the difference between a healthy lifestyle and a miserable one.
Aside from the obvious health benefits, there is always the benefit of saving money. Green homes are made specifically to be near air-tight, which means air cannot leak out or in. How does that effect you? In the summer months, your air conditioning stays inside while the hot air stays outside, and in the winter months the cold our stays outside while your heated air stays inside. Most homes have a serious insulation problem, and these insulation leaks can account for an additional 30% or more on your energy bills. Usually the same money-saving benefits apply to your water bill as well. This is largely because green homes have energy smart (i.e. Energy Star) appliances, among other things, that use less resources to accomplish their tasks.
Insurance companies tend to offer lower rates for green homes because they know they are built more reliably. Again, a lot of planning goes into the construction of a green home, and the quality of the construction is usually a major step above normal construction. Also, in order to be called a “green home” there are strict construction guidelines and standards that must be followed. This means your “green home” is built to higher specifications than a typically constructed home needs to live up to.
Green homes are also valued higher, and are more in demand. This means that the purchase of a green home is a very wise investment. The initial purchase of a green home can be made easier on you by taking advantage of the many tax breaks and incentives that the local, state, and federal government are making available specifically for those who are purchasing green homes or who plan on making their existing home more “green”.