The building science experts at Sussex Environmental Health Consultants (SEHC) are experts in working with buyers, sellers and home builders to ensure homes provide a healthy environment, superior IAQ and are energy efficient. Susan White, Ph.D., CMC, President of SEHC, had the following recommendations for things to be on the lookout for in a healthy home:
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) – Look for properties constructed using low or zero emitting volatile organic compound (VOC) carpets, paints and finishes. Also check to see if the HVAC units were designed to provide the home with fresh air intakes. Some builders now even offer UV-C lights to help clean and disinfect the air in the HVAC system. Check the energy efficiency of the HVAC system and look for programmable thermostats in the home.
Even when purchasing a new home, be sure there has been no water damage that could cause issues with mold, bacteria or even viruses.
Solar – Many homes now offer solar systems for both electrical production and hot water heating. The systems have been decreasing in price and increasing in efficiency. Purchasing a new home with these systems may also qualify the new homeowners for significant tax credits.
Water – Look for well insulated water tanks and homes with high efficiency facets and showerheads. Dual flush toilets can also save thousands of gallons of water each year.
Structure - Homes with double Low-E windows can provide considerable energy savings and help keep the home’s temperature comfortable. Many homes now also come with spray foam insulation with is a very efficient type of insulation.
Appliances – Look for ENERGY STAR qualified appliances to save on energy and water usage. Consider purchasing a front loading washing machine to save additional water.
Lighting – Many builders now use Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFL) which use far less energy, and last longer, than traditional light bulbs. Light-
Landscaping – If purchasing a home in an area that requires irrigated landscaping look for one with a smart control system that adapts water usage to the climate and region of the country it has been installed in. Drip irrigation is also a highly efficient way to water plant and trees.
SEHC has sponsored an online video about green homes that can be seen at:
To learn more about Sussex Environmental Health Consultants or green homes or environmental, indoor air quality (IAQ) and health and safety services, please visit http://www.sussexenvironmental.com, email susan.white@
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About Sussex Environmental Health Consultants, LLC
SEHC is a certified woman owned business that provides environmental and health and safety consulting services. The company is located in the Mid-Atlantic and services clients nationwide. SEHC provides solutions to clients ranging from homeowners to international Fortune 500 Corporations.