The typical US household spends around $2,150 on energy bills each year (U.S. Green Building Council). However, LEED-certified homes are designed to use between 30 and 60 percent less energy than a traditional house. Homeowners can end up saving thousands over just a few years with an LEED certified home. It also reduced exposure to unhealthy indoor environments.
So, how do you know if a home meets green standards before you buy. How do you know if your home is up to standards? Here’s what you have to do:
Ask for a certification
Make sure that when you get the home inspected you request a green-focused one. A good green home inspection company should use InterNACHI Standards of Practice. Certification extend to other crucial areas of the home such as pest control. Orkin has a variety of industry certifications such as the GreenPro certification from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).
Confirm the use of green materials
A green home inspection will ensure the quality and validity of sustainable materials and practices. Green homes should be made from low-energy materials which indicates that the production and delivery of the materials took less energy. These materials include fast-growing trees that are harvested for green construction. The inspector should also confirm if the home has a photovoltaic systems and VOC-emitting materials.
Ask for an energy audit
Lowering your energy bills is just one advantage to living in an energy-efficient home. A green inspection can check on the HVAC equipment, indoor air quality and humidity levels, all of which contribute the home’s environmental friendliness. An audit determines how all the systems of the house work together and how you can improve its energy usage.
If you’re buying an Energy Star-rated home, a Home Energy Rater can complete a final inspection to ensure all the requirements have been met and is properly certified. The inspection includes energy efficiency and proper use of energy efficient materials.
Look behind the walls
There’s much more going on than what meets the eye. An inspector with a Certified Level Thermographers can use thermal cameras to make sure walls and ceilings are properly insulated and any ensure no moisture or air leakage. Catching these issues early will help prevent future costly repairs.
Consider energy enhancements
Once a green inspection is compete the inspector may have other energy enhancement suggestions. One common recommendation is to plants trees because they help air quality. Fun fact: if every family planted one tree, CO2 in the atmosphere would be reduced by one billion pounds annually.
When it comes down to it ensuring the quality of a green home isn’t just about saving money, it’s about positively impacting the world around you.