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Many prospective homeowners choose new construction over an existing home because they're able to customize the design. While there's no argument that It's fun to choose countertop options and bonus rooms, this is a good time to consider adding green solutions as well.
Homes with green, or eco-friendly features, have a higher resale value. They save homeowners money in heating and cooling costs, too. If you're in the early stages of contracting a custom-built home, ask about eco-energy and other green-living upgrades like the ones listed here.
1. Solar Power
It may cost as much as $20,000 to add solar panels to your new construction but they'll quickly pay for themselves in the amount of energy you'll save. In some areas, you may even sell extra solar-generated kilowatt hours back to your utility company for credit on your next bill. Currently, 30 states plus the District of Columbia take part in these Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). Also, through 2023, the federal government offers tax credits that may cover up to 26 percent of the cost of setup, purchase and installation of your new solar energy system. It's also good to note that the average homeowner who purchases a medium-sized solar installation can save up to $1,500 a year on home energy costs.
2. Geothermal Heat Pumps
If you're looking to save money on heating and cooling, solar power is a good option. However, going underground may be even better. Geothermal heat pumps bring heat into your home in winter and push hot air out of your home in summer. They do so through liquid-filled pipes that run underground. The liquid in the pipes maintains a steady temperature thanks to the soil that insulates it. As a result, it takes much less energy to heat and cool the air inside your home.
A geothermal heat pump can be as much as 70 percent more efficient than traditional window units or HVAC systems. That's big savings throughout the year for savvy homeowners who build a geothermal heat pump into a new construction. It's also a tremendous advantage when you're ready to sell your home.
3. A-, B- or C-Rated Windows
Window energy ratings are something every new homeowner should understand. Some windows simply perform better than others due to several important factors including:
Many things can affect the performance of a window, including the materials used to make the frame, the type of glazing used, installation and more. The most energy-efficient windows - ones that save homeowners the most money in heating and cooling costs - are rated A or A+. These windows may be pricey, for homeowners on a budget. If energy efficiency is your top concern, windows that are rated B or C are good alternative options. They'll still do a good job of conserving energy but are typically a bit more budget-friendly. Eco-friendly windows can save homeowners up to $465 annually in utility costs.
If you're building your new home from the ground up, now is the time to incorporate green features such as these. The costs of running and maintaining your home will be greatly reduced without sacrificing the comfort of your family. Additionally, you'll have the added bonus of a glorious return on your eco-friendly investments.