The benefits of a Green Certified Home are many. While personal preference and beliefs may contribute to the choice of a green certified home, there are several concrete benefits that remain at the core of the green home philosophy. These benefits are health and safety, cost savings, comfort and re-sale.
Healthy and Safety
For many of us, one of the most important benefits of a green certified home is that it is healthier and safer for the people who live in it. Improved indoor air quality is provided through exhaust and fresh air ventilation (remember the V in HVAC is for ventilation). Kitchen, bath and clothes dryer exhausts are a must and additional ventilation is often included. Reducing pollutants and contaminants will also contribute to improved air quality.
Choosing low or no-VOC paints, adhesives, finishes (or pre-finished components), flooring and more help to achieve this goal. Increased filtration and air cleaning can also help to clean whatever pollutants and contaminants do sneak through. Reducing moisture through better exhaust and preventing moisture problems not only improve the air quality but also help to keep mold and pests at bay.
We’ve all heard that “green” homes save money on utility costs, but what exactly makes up these savings. For most of us, our heating and cooling costs make up a significant portion of the costs to operate and live in our homes. A modest improvement in energy efficiency can result in noticeable savings. A green certified home is held to rigorous energy practices to ensure the envelope of the home (walls, roof, windows, doors, and floor) is well sealed and insulated to help keep the conditioned air we pay for in the home. Couple a well-sealed and insulated home with a right-sized, efficient heating and cooling system for an energy-efficient and cost-saving package. Energy efficient hot water, lighting and appliances will contribute even more to the total package. Water efficient practices and fixtures also reduce the amount of hot water used for further savings.
There are other factors that also contribute to the cost savings of a green certified home. The use of more durable, longer lasting materials and components may contribute to lower maintenance and replacements for further savings. A comprehensive, easy-to-use owners’ manual with educational and operational resources helps to ensure the home’s performance.
The comfort of our homes comes from many factors besides the recliner in the family room. We enjoy a home that is warm or cool where and when it should be, free of drafts and has a humidity level that is appropriate for the climate we live in. Achieving this is a cinch in a green certified home. The elements of a green home combine to provide the creature comforts that are important to us individually.
Re-sale of your Green Certified Home
Green certified homes often have excellent resale value. From the NY Times August 26, 2011 article, “In a study covering existing and new houses sold between May of last year and April 30 of this year, the Earth Advantage Institute, a nonprofit group based in Portland, Ore., found that newly constructed homes with third-party certifications for sustainability and energy efficiency sold for 8 percent more on average than non-certified homes in the six-county Portland metropolitan area. Existing houses with certifications sold for 30 percent more.”
It is important that the home is certified. Certification offers real proof that buyers will get what they pay for. While location, the economy and property values are always key in real estate, a green home may sell faster, as well as for more.