Green homes are all the rage now. Some places in the country are hopping on the “green” band wagon much faster than other but it is still on the rise. The drawback is though, that green homes tend to cost much more upfront because of the amount of labor and resources that go into the production of the home. But the outcome for years to come are much lower heating and cooling bills, electricity bill and and overall sense of good conscience when it comes to the environment.

If you are not in the financial position to custom design a green home, you might consider at least making a check list of items to look for when shopping for a home. Here are some items to look for:

1. Double Pane Windows – This may be common in most homes these days but it still something to be aware of. Even triple pane can save you energy. The most the heat or cool air can be kept in or out where it’s suppose to be, the better it is on your bill. Also, the energy that is burning is not nearly as heavy as with a home that is working overtime to keep the temperature where you want it in the home year round.

2. Extra Insulation – Each state has their own regulations as far as what is code when it comes to insulation. Check with the local zoning and permit laws and if the home doubles this requirement, you are pretty set as far as keeping energy expenses and usage down. This goes for insulation in the walls, attic and floor. If the home has a crawl space that is not insulated, there maybe extra cool air coming in from outside and penetrating the floor in the winter. The attic heats ups tremendously in the summer months and keeping a thick layer of insulation between the ceiling and the top of the insulation can benefit your bill greatly by keeping hot air in the attic or ventilated properly with attic fans and vents.

3. Solar Panels – This is something most homes don’t have and you are more likely to see them in the south where there is more of an abundance of sunny days. This is something that can almost minimize your electricity bill to nothing if used properly. Check into the local hardware shops for different options.

4. Light Bulbs – This is something anyone can do but the compact fluorescent light bulbs are about 90% light and only about 10% heat where a regular bulb is about 90% heat and 10% light. That heat is your dollars going toward your electricity bill. By replacing all the bulbs in your house you can save hundreds each year on electricity.

5. Energy Star Appliances – Check to make sure the appliances are up to date and highest efficiency. This goes for furnaces, water heaters, air conditioners and all kitchen appliances. This can great reduce emissions and cost on your bill.

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