Energy efficiency, health, and comfort all are hallmarks of a green house. Such properties often are called high performance, eco-friendly or energy efficient homes.
While some homes are certified as green by housing or environmental industry groups, properties don’t necessarily have to carry a label to be considered green. What all such homes have in common is a desire by its owners to live in a property that incorporates systems and features that lower utility bills, improve health and comfort, and minimize the impact on the planet.
For existing homes, there’s a vast array of strategies for achieving greater efficiency. They include small, inexpensive upgrades, like installing low-flow water faucets, energy efficient light bulbs, and programmable thermostats. In addition, less visible elements, such as efficient insulation and air sealing, create a more comfortable, less drafty interior environment. And bigger, more costly projects--high-efficiency furnaces, solar panels, and triple-pane windows, for example--often provide larger financial and environmental gains.
Newly constructed homes are being built to high standards that embrace green principles. Many builders now take a scientific, whole-building approach to ensure that a property’s design, layout and systems work in concert to create a functional, comfortable setting that addresses environmental concerns.