Energy Efficient Features in Luxury Homes: What Buyers Are Looking For
September 5, 2023
Energy efficient features have become increasingly popular among luxury homeowners in the Pacific Northwest. From solar panel roofs and temperature-regulating windows to eco-friendly materials and LED lighting, features like these are in high demand from buyers as they not only reduce one’s environmental impact but also help households save money on utility bills each month.
Since many energy efficient features are new to the market, many buyers and homeowners don’t know which ones are at their disposal or which may offer the best return on investment. Fortunately, Merit Homes has compiled a list of some of the most popular energy-saving features that luxury home buyers look for. This list is the perfect guide for high-end buyers looking to purchase an energy efficient home, sellers who are trying to get more buyers knocking on their doors, and lastly, homeowners who are renovating and trying to decide what sustainable upgrades may provide the best return on their investment.
Keep reading to learn more about some of the top energy efficient features and their value to you as a homeowner.
Why Should a Luxury Home Be Energy Efficient?
Contrary to popular belief, luxury and energy efficiency can seamlessly coexist. In fact, many luxury items are now designed to be energy-efficient, as consumers become more environmentally conscious. Simply put, homes of a certain size can use a significant amount of water and take a lot of energy power, especially if the home has central AC, a pool or jacuzzi, and an excess of appliances always plugged in or in use. In turn, all of these added together may lead to a hefty utility bill. A few simple eco-friendly switches like LED lighting, electric water heaters, solar panels, and Energy Star Appliances can significantly reduce one's monthly expenses. Homeowners can also get certain tax credits and rebates from state and local governments for upgrading to certain eco-friendly features or appliances.
But for many homeowners, energy efficiency is not just about the savings, but instead about lowering their household's energy consumption and carbon footprint in order to do good for the environment. Furthermore, it is also about cultivating a healthy living environment for them and their loved ones - cleaner air, proper ventilation, fewer emissions, and toxins are all extremely important to buyers these days.
Top Energy-Saving Features in Luxury Homes
Let's get into some of the top energy-saving features luxury buyers look for and homeowners desire.
Today, LED lights are more popular than ever. This is mainly due to the fact that these lights use 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and also last up to 25 times longer. Not to mention they produce no heat, are Energy-Star certified, and are 100% recyclable. All these factors help to cut down on a household's electricity consumption and create a safer living environment.
Additionally, one of the main reasons buyers enjoy LED lighting so much is because you can connect your home’s lighting system to your iPhone or iPad and control their color and intensity when you have smart bulbs. Gone are the days when you have a stream of harsh light that burns that puts off a hot heat - now, your home's lighting can be as bright or dim as you want.
Unlike traditional gas or electric cooktops that cook with flames and electricity, induction ranges use electromagnetic technology. This electromagnetic technology heats your cookware directly, saving time and energy and mitigating residual heat. Since they don’t use flames, they also reduce the chances of a grease fire or family members being burned by a hot stove. This cutting-edge kitchen appliance not only offers superior cooking performance and energy savings but also promotes healthier air quality in your home by eliminating hazardous pollutants such as nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde.
According to Fixer's 2021 Single Family Home Construction and Remodeling Trends, ”ventilation quality is one of the biggest concerns of homeowners in terms of healthy homes” By investing in an induction range, you can ensure safe and healthy air quality for your family or future buyers.
A quick and easy environmental upgrade includes opting for water-efficient appliances like dual-flush toilets. These innovative toilets offer two flushing options: a partial flush for liquid waste and a full flush for solid waste. By having this type of control over your water usage, dual-flush toilets can significantly reduce your household water consumption (a family of four saves over 13,000 gallons of water per year!) and lower water bills. With their sleek and modern designs, these toilets promote sustainability and don’t take away from a luxury bathroom's look and feel.
Solar Roofing Panels
Solar panels are continuing to gain in popularity for homeowners and buyers who want to go green. This is because they are one of the easiest, most effective ways to reduce energy costs, as they use solar power from the sun and convert it to clean renewable energy. Solar roofs also reduce your household's reliance on fossil fuels and greenhouse gases, in turn, decreasing your overall carbon footprint. Once your panels are installed, they don’t typically require a lot of upkeep besides cleaning 1-2 times per year, making them an easy, low-maintenance addition.
A great way to save money on electricity is to invest in durable, temperature-regulating windows. According to a study by the Department of Energy ‘“Heat gain and heat loss through windows are responsible for 25%–30% of residential energy use.” Instead of installing windows just based on aesthetics alone, think about choosing Low EV, ENERGY STAR-certified windows, that will either help your family or future buyers cut down on energy costs month to month.
These windows have double-paned glass that keeps cold air in during the hot summer months and warm air inside during the winter time. This helps to cut down on monthly energy bills, as well as keep your home at a more comfortable temperature.
Mini-Split HVAC Systems
Luxury buyers don't want unsightly window units or central heating that doesn't reach half of the house. Most want complete temperature control that they can change at the push of a button. A ductless mini-split is the perfect solution. These energy efficient HVAC systems are sleek, compact, extremely energy efficient, and allow for seamless temperature control. A mini-split unit only heats and cools one “room,” as opposed to a central AC system that powers the whole home, which ensures no energy is wasted.
With mini-splits, homeowners can set different rooms at different temperatures, ensuring that each member of the household is comfortable. A bonus is the federal government provides a generous tax rebate to homeowners who upgrade their older HVAC systems to new energy efficient mini-splits.
The Benefits of Investing in an Energy Efficient Home
Energy efficient features come with a whole host of benefits beyond just reducing one’s carbon footprint. Advantages that make energy efficient features enticing for buyers and homeowners include:
Lower Energy Costs
By using appliances that consume less energy, such as LED lighting, high-efficiency heat pumps, and solar roofing, homeowners can enjoy lower energy costs. Additionally, features like dual-flush toilets and front-load washers reduce water consumption, resulting in savings on monthly water bills as well.
Increased Home Value
As stated throughout this blog, energy efficient features have become increasingly desirable with home buyers in recent years, especially the millennial generation. Many buyers will pay a premium for a home equipped with energy-saving technology, as it aligns with their values of sustainability, and helps them save money at the same time. Having these features in your luxury home may boost its value if you ever sell in the future. Not to mention, it will make for a more comfortable and enjoyable living experience in the meantime.
Comfort and Convenience
Energy efficient features greatly improve the comfort of your home, increasing its luxury feel. Features like a mini-split system let you customize the temperature in each room, ensuring complete comfort while saving energy. Similarly, skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows not only provide natural light but also create a serene atmosphere and connection to the outdoors.
Ventilation and water quality are among some of the most important health issues to buyers. Many energy efficient features, such as Lead-free paint, ENERGY-STAR windows, and high-efficiency air filters, improve indoor air quality by reducing allergens and pollutants. Also, induction ranges, which use electromagnetic fields to produce heat, result in less air pollution than traditional gas ranges.
Merit Homes: Building Energy Efficient Luxury Homes in Kirkland
You don’t need to choose between luxury and energy efficiency. Experience the joy of sustainable luxury with Merit Homes Our luxury homes in Kirkland are fully outfitted with a variety of energy efficient features such as LED lighting, mini-split systems, dual flush toilets, skylights, electric water heaters, and more. Your Merit home will emit less pollution, reduce your carbon footprint, and promote healthy living for you and your loved ones.
We also have a line of all-electric homes, called the Urban Series, specifically designed for smaller footprint and eco-conscious living. These homes have all of our signature energy efficient elements but are smaller and more attainable for first-time buyers, retirees, and anyone in between.
Contact us today if you are looking for a home full of eco-friendly features and sustainable upgrades.