Before making the decision to build a custom home, people will consider hundreds of factors. These may include the location of the house, the school district, size of the lot and also what features to choose. Most buyers insist on a house that grants most of their wishes, but will often settle without getting everything they want. With that being said, these days more and more people are listing environmentally friendly features as a deciding factor, and something that they will not compromise on.
Related: How Solar Living Equals Cost Savings: Part 1 and How Solar Living Equals Cost Savings: Part 2.
Saving money is also primary concern for many homeowners, so cost is a heavily considered aspect of home design. Building an energy-efficient home is one of the best ways homeowners can save money and still have a beautiful home.
Below are 7 ideas to consider as you design your home that will help save you money while making your living space environmentally friendly. (Source: toptenreviews.com).
- Cool Roofs are designed to reflect sunlight and lower roofing temperatures. Cool roofs are made from a type of reflective material within roofing materials such as tiles, shingles, paint or other substances. This energy-saving technique is ideal for houses in warm climates where air conditioning costs are high all year around.
- Exterior Doors for a home should be a carefully thought-out decision. When you choose a door, you should first consider the doors’ energy-performance ratings. This score lets you know how well each door does in preserving the energy in your home by trapping heat or cool air inside. Using this score to help you find the ideal door will also help you narrow down your selection and find an exterior door that best matches your taste, needs and wants.
- Skylights are often a feature that enters homeowners’ mind when they think of improving their homes’ energy efficiency. Skylights have many benefits, which makes them ideal for any home. Skylights improve houses’ heating, lighting and ventilation. It is important to note that if you are considering placing skylights in your home, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends they be no larger than five percent of the floor area in rooms with several windows and 15 percent of the floor area in rooms with minimal windows.
- Window Treatments such as curtains do more than drive your spouse crazy; they can actually help reduce energy costs in your home. By being specific in your choice of window treatments, you can reduce heat loss or keep cool air inside your home. Many factors determine window treatments’ energy efficiency. For example, the type of material and color of the treatment are significant, along with how it opens and closes.
- Insulation is key to maintaining heat in your home. The proper type of insulation, in the right amount, will help trap heat in your home so that you won’t pay unnecessary heating costs. Homeowners have a choice in the type of insulation they place in their homes, but some types are specifically designed for certain areas or types of homes.
- Flooring in your home that is chosen carefully can save energy and money. Carpet can trap heat and keep your home much warmer during the cold winter months. Rugs can also trap heat in certain areas. Choosing the right flooring for your home is an inexpensive way to save on climate-control costs, particularly if you think carefully about the flooring you choose to install in your home.
- Fans being installed throughout your home make an easy way to keep it cool and save you money that you would spend on air conditioning. Ceiling fans come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and styles to match the interior of any home design without looking out of place.