If you’re in the market for a new house, you may have considered a home with energy-saving features. And if your wish list goes beyond having a low-flow showerhead or two, you may have come across a few properties touting LEED certification. What exactly does that mean?
What is LEED certification?
LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a third-party program that certifies buildings and homes that have used green building or renovation methods to enhance energy efficiency and indoor comforts. This may include delivering clean indoor air, incorporating safe building materials, and using less water and energy in day-to-day operation.
What are the benefits?
One major appeal of a LEED-certified home is the focus on air quality. A home with this designation has been designed to maximize fresh air indoors and minimize exposure to pollutants and toxins.
Buying a green-certified home can also help you save on monthly utility bills. They’re built so you can comfortably cool and heat the space with minimal energy use — anywhere from 30 to 60 percent less energy than the same home built to industry standards.
Then there’s the potential satisfaction of knowing you’ve reduced your environmental footprint more than you would buying a conventional home.
What about the cost?
You might find that a LEED-certified home costs a bit more upfront, but your savings in energy costs can counteract that over time.