The soaring energy and property prices alongside environmental concerns have meant that home buyers across the UK are paying more attention to energy efficiency when purchasing new homes. Buying an energy-efficient home has many benefits, including saving on lower utility expenses, reducing your carbon footprint, and improving your overall quality of life.
What is an energy-efficient house?
An energy-efficient house is specifically made to use far less energy while offering a similar level of comfort, protection, aesthetic appeal, and convenience as a traditional home. An easy example of better energy efficiency is switching from outdated light bulbs to LED bulbs to get the same benefit of light but with significantly lower energy.
Read on to discover ways to check and confirm that a house is energy efficient before buying.
Check the EPC rating
The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is an important document that gives accurate information regarding a home’s energy efficiency. Accredited assessors independently rate homes and give scores varying from A to G, with G being the least efficient while A being the most efficient. The EPC contains information on the estimated energy expenses of the house and offers a detailed overview of various existing features, such as heating and insulation systems. In addition, the EPC can also let you know how to increase the rating if you invest in a few improvements, which may impact your total purchase costs.
Brand new homes typically have high EPC ratings, while older, more traditional homes have lower ratings around D or lower. Homes with low EPC ratings from E to G could offer buyers better discounts due to their lower efficiencies. However, even if you get a discounted purchase price, you should also factor in the extra costs you will need to enhance the house’s energy efficiency. Hence, if energy efficiency is a must-have for your home, you should consider buying a new home as it will likely match your needs.
Inspect the heating system
The next step in ensuring you are buying an energy-efficient house is to inspect the central heating and boiler system. Check whether the boiler is working properly and was recently serviced within the last year. Also, ask about the boiler’s age and check for overall signs of previous leaks or damps. If the type of boiler in the new home is not energy efficient, consider the costs of investing in a more recent A-rated brand to help reduce your energy costs over time.
Check the insulation
Proper insulation helps to save energy costs by keeping your house cool during summer and warm in winter. Insulation should also minimise heat loss and cool draughts, thus increasing overall comfort. You can inspect the insulation of a house in various ways, including checking for fluctuating temperatures across different rooms, moisture and dampness on walls, and the feeling of cold breezes and drafts. You can resolve most of these issues with cavity wall insulation, loft and roof insulation, and better floor insulation.
Check for triple or double-glazed windows
Triple or double-glazed windows offer significant benefits ranging from noise reduction and increased security to enhanced insulation. These windows are excellent for keeping a house warm by reducing the cold air entering the glass. They also minimise heat loss because of the significant glass thickness.
Most property developers are making an effort to build energy-efficient houses. This is evident in the property design and even their choice of appliances. That said, you should also be ready to do a few quick fixes once you enter the house to help with overall energy efficiency, like sealing windows and switching to LED bulbs.
Are you looking for an energy-efficient house? Contact Gorvins Residential today to help you find an energy-efficient property that fits your needs.