What Is a Green Home?

You've probably heard of a 'green' home before...

But what exactly is a green home? Let's dive into the key characteristics and features of green homes, green homes for sale right now, and more.

What is a green home?

A green home is one that has been designed and built in an efficient manner, that respects resources, and that optimizes energy and water use. Typically, these homes last longer if they are made with quality systems and materials as they won't wear out or break quickly and therefore waste less.

Green homes could be considered synonymous with 'sustainable' homes, and ideally use low-impact, high-performance materials that are considered efficient in terms of manufacturing, shipping, and installation.

Factors like building materials and method, insulation, windows, heat and AC, ventilation, appliances, plumbing, EV-friendliness, use of smart systems, and solar or wind energy generation can deem a home as eco-friendly. These homes are ideal for the homebuyer who is concerned with reducing their environmental impact.

Of course, you don't need to live in a home built from the ground up with the environment in mind for your home to be green. Read on for elements you can incorporate into your home or into your home search that can contribute to a green-minded lifestyle.

House roof with solar panels green home

What aspects make a home green?

  • Building materials and methods that have lower energy and waste consumption, or are themselves made from recycled or sustainable materials. Some examples of such materials include precast concrete, bamboo, recycled cork paneling and floors, and enviroboard
  • Insulation reduces energy costs by helping to maintain a stable temperature and prevent heat escape or intrusion so that you don't have to keep the heat or air conditioning running as much or as high to stay comfortable. Particularly green forms of insulation include sheep wool or straw bale insulation
  • Windows that are well-sealed and double or even triple-paned act as an additional layer of insulation, further reducing the energy costs to stay comfortable
  • Heat, ventilation, and air conditioning systems that are high-efficiency reduce energy expenditure. As an example, radiant floor heating uses less energy to heat homes than forced gas heating, and multiple zones for traditional heating and cooling can further reduce costs by efficiently heating or cooling portions of a home that need comfort levels adjusted, while not using energy to cool or heat rooms that are not being actively used
  • Lighting that is energy efficient and long-lasting, such as LED lighting, reduce energy costs and the frequency of replacements
  • Appliances that are energy-efficient, such as Energy-Star rated washers and dryers, or chest freezers, reduce energy expenditures
  • Plumbing fixtures such as water-conserving automatic faucets, tankless water heaters, low-flow showerheads, and dual flush toilets help reduce water use and waste
  • The use of smart systems such as thermostats and lighting can be programmed to intelligently minimize energy waste
  • Solar energy generation can help offset or even replace carbon-generating energy consumption with a sustainable source of electricity

What about electric vehicle charging?

While EV charging is not necessarily explicitly connected to the home itself, a home with an EV charger, (or proximity to chargers) definitely fits in with a green lifestyle. In that same train of thought, being located in an area with high walk, bike, and/or transit scores would also be characteristics of a green home, as that would indicate that travel for many day-to-day activities outside the home could be completed with less or even no use of fossil fuels.

If you're looking for homes with EV chargers, check out our collection here.

Check out green homes for sale right now in:

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Greater Los Angeles, CA

Greater San Diego, CA

Greater Sacramento, CA

Greater Seattle, WA

Greater Austin, TX

Dallas Forth Worth, TX

Greater Houston, TX

Greater San Antonio, TX

Atlanta Metro Area, GA

Greater Charlotte, NC

Raleigh-Durham, NC

Greater Denver, CO

Greater Phoenix, AZ

READ NEXT: Current Mortgage Rates: US Bankrate Updates | Compare Current Rates

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