Buying a new home can be exhausting, nerve-wracking, and downright expensive, especially if you want your new home to be sustainable and environmentally friendly.  The flow of money out of your wallet or purse does not just stop after the home is purchased. If a home is older, you may need to make a number of modification to make sure you don’t lose months worth of money.

One of the best ways to ensure your hard-earned money doesn’t go to waste is making your new abode into a sustainable, energy efficient domicile. You may even help save the environment in a small way. As more and more homeowners and construction companies begin to make the shift towards energy-efficient buildings, the desire to convert an older house into one that can make the transition is growing. So, here are some handy tips to begin making your home more efficient and sustainable.

Insulation

7692469192_73fd469822_oPerhaps one of the more overlooked aspects of home-building or home-buying is the quality and efficiency of the insulation. Having sufficient amounts of insulations in the walls, under the floors, and in the ceiling, can save a whole lot of dough when it comes to energy bills. Insulation helps keep the climate of your choice in, while keeping the weather outside out. Not only will you save money, but you won’t waste any energy either. This is a great tactic to help yourself, and those around you.

Double-glazed Windows

Having windows that do not seal properly can cost you dearly when it comes time to crank up the heat or the AC. You will find that most of your climate control will be lost through unwanted gaps in windows. Double-glazed windows are those with two sheets of glass, separated by a space between of either sealed air or gas. The benefits are two-fold. One, it keeps the heat in during the winter, and out during the summer, and two, the air-insulation reduces noise pollution in the home.

The Sun

Although the heat the sun produces can be a drag in summer months and you’ve got your AC cranked to eleven, utilizing the sun to benefit your home is a perfect way to save on energy costs. Designing or choosing a home which has been built to incorporate a large amount of natural light is much better than Jyväskylä_-_solar_panelshaving to leave lights on during the day. Plus, natural light gives any house a much better aura and feeling of comfort. Other ways to reduce artificial lighting costs are installing eco-bulbs, which require much less energy to be powered.

If possible, consider buying or renting a new home with windows and doors facing north and south rather than east and west. Direct sunlight during the early morning and late afternoons can heat up a room much more without the protection of insulated walls.

Of course, installing solar panels or solar powered appliances is the best way to use the sun to your advantage. Solar-powered water heaters are a great way to start, but don’t be surprised to see most roofs covered in solar panels in the next ten years.

Appliances

Solar powered appliances, while extremely beneficial in the long-run, can be very expensive to purchase and install up front. Luckily, there is an alternative. When purchasing new appliances, it is important to buy those that have very high energy-efficiency ratings.

Often times the most popular or most high-powered machines on the market are not the most energy-efficient. Most companies are trending toward sustainability, but it does require a bit of extra research time when shopping. The benefits will arrive as lower utility bills, and often quieter operating noise. And if your appliances fit the standard, you may qualify for an energy tax credit.

Energy Efficient Vehicle

Though not exactly part of your actual home, your car is indeed as essential to daily life as your home. As such, it is both financially and environmentally Toyota_Camry_Hybridbeneficial to drive a car which produces excellent gas mileage, one that incorporates electric-powered engines or parts, or even one that solely operates on electricity. Everyone, not just homeowners, are beginning to understand the costs of low-efficient vehicles.

Consider investing in a fuel efficient car or SUV, like the RAV4 or a Camry Hybrid. Not only will the cars become a comfortable aspect of your extended home, but the money saved on gas can go to much more worthy causes.

Regardless of the ever-changing weather and earth conditions, making the switch to sustainable homes is one of the wisest way to go. There is no denying that energy-efficient homes save you money. And although it may seem like installing double-glazed windows may not save the world, you can help sustain energy in whatever small ways you can. And, of course, there is the added benefit of saving money. Every little bit helps, both for your bank account and for the environment we all share outside our doors.

~Article submitted by guest blogger, Lexi Carr. Lexi is a freelance writer who is passionate and who cares deeply about the environment. She enjoys traveling all over and learning new cultures, habits, and ways of thinking. When she’s not hiking her favorite trails and introducing the outdoors to her pup, Bruno, she’s writing about all of the new and interesting things she’s learned.