It is quite common for people to have a checklist when they are looking for their new home. Whether it relates to the location, outdoor space, parking, bedrooms, bathrooms, the list is endless. As much as this checklist is always present, you may at times forget to consider just what amount of expenses you will have to pay just to run your new home.
Therefore, below you will find a checklist of 5 things you should look out for when buying your next property to avoid having to pay high energy bills.
A good star rating
If you happen to come across an old building, then you should always ask your real estate agent about its star rating. This is because depending on its rating, you will be able to ascertain just how much energy the house consumes in order to cool or heat it. This rating will relate to the home’s envelope and insulation covers, quality of glazing and draft proofing which regulate and keep the home feeling cozy and comfortable.
Efficient cooling and heating
With statistics showing that the cooling and heating of the home accounts for approximately 50% of the home’s energy expenses, then you should ensure to factor this in your home evaluation. When it comes to heating, you should consider those which have a high star-rating in their reverse cycle systems or which have hydronic heating which is supplied by heat pump technology or solar panels.
When evaluating the cooling, you should look out for natural ventilation via fans and windows or for external shades. If you want air conditioning in your home, then you should look for an air conditioner with an efficient reverse cycle or for evaporative cooling systems.
Northern facing living areas
If you are looking for a home which is in a climate that will require lots of heat during winter, then you should look ask your real estate agent to show you houses with, glazed windows. This is because they will provide you with the best access to crucial passive solar heating. This will keep your house heated during winter and thus reduce the need for you to use electric heaters and gas which will ultimately reduce the cost. Thus, you should ensure that the north-facing windows are externally shaded to maintain the house’s coolness.
Efficient hot water system
For most homes, water heating accounts for about 25% of the home’s energy expenses. Thus, the better the hot water system, the better it will be for you. You should look out for a heat pump system or for solar hot water which usually takes heat from the ground or air to heat up the water. Alternatively, you can get a property with an instantaneous gas hot water system with a top rating, which can prove to be quite cost effective.
The most inefficient hot water system is the one using electricity. Thus, if you find a house that pleases you, but has an electrical heating system, then you are better off asking your agent to show you a house with the same standards but having another kind of water heating system.
Energy efficient appliances
You should also check for installed efficient lighting like LEDs or solar PV systems which will help in minimizing the operating expenses. If it has a spa or pool, then you should look for other means to reduce the running costs such as getting an ionizer to manage the water algae or solar heating.
In as much as you will have the checklist with you when viewing houses, you can share this information with your real estate agent in Ottawa so that they can look for the best houses for you that meet your requirements.