Even though Tennessee is considered a “southern state,” late fall and winter overnight temperatures can fall into the freezing range here. Thus, you may be wondering whether your next home should be more energy-efficient. If your current home was built before the year 2000, it’s likely far less energy-efficient than houses built more recently. Homeowners will tell you that weather extremes in a less-efficient home lead to higher utility bills and uncomfortable inside temps. Today, we’re sharing the top reasons we recommend buying energy-efficient homes.

1.) Your Home’s Air Quality Will Be Better

Far more concerning than an eye-watering heating or cooling bill, the air quality in older homes is likely inferior when compared to new construction. Not only can allergens intrude into your home along with gusts of outside air, but moisture can also provide the perfect environment for mold and mildew to thrive. If you or your family members are at all prone to seasonal allergies and mold sensitivities—which is most of us—it's worth tracking down a well-sealed home.

2.) Your Home Will Feel More Comfortable

For most of us, being cozy and comfortable in our homes is highly important. Older construction is more likely to allow intrusive drafts, creating cold air pockets throughout that can be resistant to your attempts at heating. Unless you plan to spend the winter either avoiding certain rooms, cranking up the heat, or huddled under an electric blanket, you may want to avoid an older home.

3.)Your Home Will Save Money

Homes that qualify for the EnergyStar label use, on average, 20% less energy than homes that were built according to the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code. However, even homes that were built between the years 2000 to 2008 will save you a significant amount on your energy bills when compared to much older properties. 

4.) Your Home Will Benefit the Environment

By reducing the amount of energy required to keep your home running comfortably, you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint. Considering the current strain we’re collectively placing on our planet, it undeniably feels good to find ways to make less of an impact.

5.) Your Home Will Carry a Higher Value

There’s no denying that the up-front purchase price for an energy-efficient home will be higher. Buyers are well aware that energy-conscious construction results in homes that are more comfortable, more affordable to maintain, and are, on average, crafted with modern techniques that are designed to last. When you’re comparing the purchase price between newer and older homes, you’ll certainly see a clear premium on the more recently-built options.

However, don’t be discouraged by this reality. The good news is that your newer home will rack up lower monthly utility bills, and will fetch a premium price if/when you decide to sell it. The time you spend living there will be much more enjoyable, regardless. 

6.) It’s Expensive to Update an Older Home

Finally, consider the cost of upgrading an old home to modern, energy-efficient standards. Once you’ve factored in the price of adding new windows, insulation, appliances, HVAC, smart thermostats, lighting, and appliances, not to mention the inconvenience of living through future construction projects, you will likely decide that it’s best to choose a home that has the features you prefer already in place. 

How to Find an Energy-Efficient Home

Tell Your Agent You’re Looking for One

When you let your Parks Realty agent know that you’re prioritizing energy-efficient construction, they will narrow down potential homes right out of the gate. Furthermore, they’ll let you know what their assessment of the overall efficiency of a specific home is as part of the selection process.

Take a Look at Past Energy Bills

If a home is being touted as “more energy-efficient,” don’t be shy about asking to see how that has paid off in recent years. Not only will this help you weed out homes that aren’t quite up to snuff, but it will also assist in projecting whether or not the potential savings will help you offset the initial cost of a higher purchase price) overtime. 

Ask Plenty of Questions

If a home has been noted as being “green,” or “eco-friendly,” ask targeted questions to uncover exactly what this means to the owner. If you want a home that has the best windows, HVAC, plumbing, and insulation, don’t be shy about making that clear to your agent and the homeowner. If the owner means that they have updated the insulation and installed EnergyStar appliances, you’ll clearly want to scratch that property off your list and move on.

Are you considering searching for an energy-efficient, or certified EnergyStar home in 2021? We encourage you to reach out to Parks Realty for assistance locating the best listings in your desired area. While some homeowners will go out of their way to list their homes as being particularly eco-friendly, others may focus on other features—don't let these properties pass you by! When you alert your realtor to your preference for modern, green construction, they will have information about each potential neighborhood that will be highly relevant in seeking out the perfect property.

If you have recently upgraded from an older home to a new, energy-efficient one, we would love to hear from you in the comments below regarding your energy bills, level of overall comfort, and sense of wellbeing stemming from your contribution to conservation. 

Thank you for visiting us here at Parks; stay warm this winter!

Posted by Parks Real Estate on


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