5 Green Features Each New Home Should Have

Posted on: 20 January 2017

If you're having a new home built, you're lucky—you won't be dealing with the environmentally unfriendly aspects of many homes that were built in previous decades. For instance, today's new construction doesn't feature lead paint or aluminum wiring, which are two health and safety issues faced by homeowners in the past. Following are five more eco-friendly features you should request that your contractor include in your upcoming new home construction. 

Solar Energy Options

Solar panels are one of energy efficient construction's oldest standbys. First gaining popularity in the 1960s and '70s, the early systems weren't terribly efficient, causing many homeowners and builders to decide against their use. However, today's solar energy options have come a long way from these early efforts. Besides heat and lighting options, you can get water heaters, stoves, and other appliances that run primarily on solar power. Having an ENERGY STAR water heater installed will result in savings of up to one-half the cost of using a standard water heater to fulfill your family's hot water needs. Modern solar panels are also highly energy efficient thanks to recent breakthroughs in solar cell technology. 

Smart Water Systems

Don't forget to ask your builder about smart water systems. A whole-house water filter system saves money and energy in a multitude of ways. Your overall quality of water will be better, ensuring that household residents have clean water for drinking as well as for cooking, bathing, and cleaning. Because these systems significantly reduce sediment levels and minerals that help cause rust, the components of your plumbing system won't wear down nearly as quickly as those without the level of protection offered by these types of systems, saving you money on repair and replacement costs. Smart technology further reduces the risk of unnecessary wear and tear by providing you with alerts when it's time to change the filters. You can also save water and associated utility costs by asking your contractor to install low-flow water fixtures. 

Proper Insulation 

Although everyone knows that insulation is a key factor in keeping homes warm during winter, cool in summer, and helping to keep heating and cooling bills as low as possible, not everyone knows that different forms of insulation produce different results. Traditional installation doesn't cover nooks, crannies, and other areas that allow cool air to access the home interior from the outdoors and let warm air escape, so ask your builder about spray foam insulation. This type of insulation doesn't leave any room for leaks. You also might consider having radiant insulation installed if you live in an area where long, hot summers make cooling costs high. This kind of insulation is highly reflective and directs heat from the sun away from your home interior. 

Smaller Homes

Before making a final commitment to house plans with your contractor, it's a good idea to thoroughly evaluate how much space you and your family actually need. Smaller homes come with smaller carbon footprints, and consequently, smaller overall energy costs. 

Rainwater Harvesting Systems

Rainwater harvesting systems effectively capture rainwater and filter it for future use. The water is collected from rooftops and stored in special tanks. Using these systems can make a serious dent in your water bill as well as ensure that you do your part to help water conservation efforts. Some households cut their water bills in half by installing an efficient rainwater catchment system. As an added benefit, you'll reduce the amount of oil erosion in your yard by using a rainwater catchment system. 

Please feel free to contact a new home builder from a company like Lacrosse Homes for more information on making your new residence as eco-friendly as possible.