What Is an Eco-Friendly House?

Are you thinking about buying an eco-friendly home in Williamsburg, VA? The environment has been an especially hot topic over the last two decades, and any time we can reduce our carbon footprint, it’s a good idea. Not only do eco-friendly homes have less of an impact on the environment, but they can also help you lower your energy bills.

Here are some of the features an eco-friendly home might have:

  • Solar panels: Solar panels are a great way to cut down on your energy usage. Although they typically require a considerable investment at the outset, they pay for themselves over the next few years. Solar panels not only generate energy for your home, but your power company may provide credits for excess energy you produce and send to them.
  • Energy-efficient appliances: Your dishwasher, laundry machines, HVAC system and more use up a lot of energy—but if you get energy-efficient appliances, you’ll cut down on your usage and carbon footprint. Be sure to look for the Energy Star rating to ensure you’re getting appropriately rated appliances.
  • Water-conserving appliances: Electricity isn’t the only issue with appliances. Cutting down on your water usage will not only save you money, but it’s better for the environment. Dishwashers, laundry machines, toilets and showerheads are all available with water-conserving features. For example, consider a low-flow toilet and an aerating showerhead, which makes your water pressure feel great even when you’re using less water.
  • Sustainable building materials: Certain materials are difficult to regrow or replace—once they’re gone, they’re gone. Using sustainable materials like cork, bamboo and recycled steel ensures that your home won’t have as great an impact on the environment.
  • Better insulation: Older homes are often drafty and cold, because they don’t have good insulation. A well-insulated home—including the foundation and attic—prevents heat transfer. That means you won’t be paying to heat or cool your home while the air escapes outside.
  • Energy-efficient windows and doors: Many homes can benefit from energy-efficient windows and doors. These also act as insulation. Double and triple-pane windows or insulated doors let light in without letting heat or cool air escape.
  • Rainwater storage: When you live in an area that gets a lot of rainfall, rainwater storage can cut down on your water bill. While it might not be suitable for drinking, it’s great for watering your garden, flushing the toilet and other applications.
  • Food gardens: Speaking of gardens, many eco-friendly households plant food gardens to ensure they can provide their own sustainable source of food—plus, homegrown fruits and vegetables taste better than anything you can get at the store.
  • Efficient lighting: LED lighting is one of the most energy-efficient ways to illuminate your home. Not only are they versatile and bright, but they are much safer and use a fraction of the electricity incandescent and fluorescent lights use.

Thinking about investing in your own eco-friendly home in Williamsburg, VA? Reach out to Healthy Communities today to learn more about how our custom homes employ eco-friendly and sustainable designs and materials.

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