How To Measure Home Efficiency Levels In Used Homes

Of all the homebuyers who were on the market in 2016, only 14% decided to purchase a brand new home. That means that 86% of all buyers chose to purchase and move into a previously lived-in home.

For the most part, moving into these existing homes is a good idea because of the financial benefits. However, there are instances where there are underlying issues that end up leading to very expensive repair costs, damage control, and wasted efficiency.

Because of this, it’s essential that every homeowner does all they can to improve their home’s efficiency once they move into an existing home.

Angie Hicks of Angie’s List states that though air conditioning zoning systems are good options for homeowners who recently purchased a used property, they won’t exactly improve the efficiency.

“Installing a zoning system isn’t going to make your home more efficient,” she said. “You’re not going to see it on your utility bills, but what you will see is a much more comfortable temperature throughout your house.”

According to Builder Online, there are a few variables that determine both the overall cost of a property and exactly how efficient that home is:

  • Home Age — Obviously, if a home is brand new, it will be more efficient than any elderly counterparts. But, as previously mentioned, over 80% of all buyers found a home that was already in use. A home that’s only been in existence for a few years, however, can still be quite efficient (and expensive).
  • Home Size — The size of the home is another important factor when determining energy efficiency and overall cost. Both smaller homes and large properties can be energy efficient, but it’s much more difficult to provide energy at affordable rates throughout a larger home.
  • Local Climate — If a home is located in an area that experiences severe climate changes, the energy systems will have to work much harder to maintain quality efficient levels. Consequently, a home that doesn’t get much severe weather will enjoy very high levels of efficiency, leading to potentially much higher property costs.
  • HVAC Type — A home’s HVAC system is essential to its efficiency. Homeowners, whether they are living in a brand new home or an old one, should make sure their HVAC systems are both up-to-date and working properly. Problems like HVAC airflow can drastically impact a homeowner’s energy bills and can lead to both an uncomfortable few months and some costly issues. In fact, airflow problems can cut a home’s HVAC system’s efficiency by up to 15%.
  • Other Characteristics — The first four variables are all much easier to determine than these characteristics, which are much sporadic and on a case-by-case basis. But if a home has a certain type of insulation, a pool or spa, or a focus on renewable energy, its worth and energy efficiency will vary greatly.

Additionally, a home energy audit can also give homeowner’s a much more accurate sense of their home’s efficiency levels and provide a way to combat cost increases.

Be sure to consider every energy efficiency factor before making a decision on whether or not to purchase a home.

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