There are so many reasons to build an energy-efficient home. Many homeowners are rightfully concerned with the environment and global warming, and they want to do their part to make the planet a greener place. Energy-efficient homes also save you money in the long run, as you'll spend far less to heat and cool them over the years. Using less energy and saving money go hand in hand.
Standard Building Codes Don't Cut ItWhy an Energy-Efficient Home Is Better Than a Standard HomeReaping the Health Benefits of an Energy-Efficient Home
But did you know that one of the major benefits of an energy-efficient home is that it's a healthier place to live? It's true! The health benefits from living in an efficient home might just be the best-kept secret about energy-efficient construction. It turns out that the same green technology that is good for the environment is also good for you and your family.
Most people think that simply building a home to meet existing building codes will keep your family as safe and healthy as possible, but unfortunately that's not always the case. While it's true that many building codes are designed to keep you safe from structural problems and fire damage, many aspects of local building code are actually designed by lobbyists with an ulterior motive -- usually they want to profit by selling something to help builders meet the code or by keeping their products from being outmoded by code changes.
Building codes often don't do enough to go beyond the basics when addressing health issues, too. For instance, lead pipes are no longer allowed in construction in order to protect your family from lead poisoning, but that hardly covers everything else required to ensure the safety of your drinking water. As you can see, existing building codes only go so far.
An energy-efficient home, on the other hand, is designed with your health in mind. When the U.S. Department of Energy started their Zero Energy Ready Homes program to challenge builders to design homes that were so energy efficient that they needed only a renewable energy source to operate, they realized that builders were creating healthier, non-toxic buildings as a result. Here are just some of the health benefits you enjoy when living in an energy-efficient home from Garbett:
  • Reduced exposure to harmful mold and mildew: Garbett's whole house water protection system keeps excessive moisture out of your home. This significantly reduces the likelihood that mold and mildew can find a spot to grow in your home. Harmful molds can cause problems like upper respiratory illnesses and severe allergic reactions, but an energy-efficient home can minimize your risk. Your family will breathe easier (and your home will smell better) when proper moisture levels keep out mold and mildew.
  • Better temperature control to reduce chronic illness flare-ups: Energy-efficient homes go way beyond standard building code requirements for insulation. Air sealing and other home envelope upgrades ensure that the temperature in your home stays steady, no matter what the weather is like outside, while high performance heating and cooling systems allow full control over indoor temperatures and even humidity, which can protect vulnerable seniors. Studies have shown that even small temperature swings affected the health of seniors and those suffering from chronic illnesses. There's also evidence that an overly hot room can elevate the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), so having an efficient home that's free from drafts and hot spots can give you more control and protect your loved ones.
  • Reduced allergens and improved air quality: With a Garbett home, the heating and cooling components are linked to a comprehensive indoor air quality system. Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) clean air systems bring fresh air into the home on a regular basis while, at the same time, filtering out pollutants and harmful particulates like pollen and dust that can trigger allergies and asthma attacks. Regular air exchange keeps harmful substances from building up in your home, especially when temperatures are extreme and your windows stay closed.
  • Reduced exposure to toxins: Energy-efficient homes often also focus on reducing the use of harmful construction materials. Many common construction materials like paint, adhesives and sealants contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that are released into the air long after the product has been applied. This off-gassing can be harmful as toxins are breathed in, but green construction seeks to mitigate this trend by using low VOC products whenever possible to keep you healthier.
Though even small changes to improve efficiency will provide important health benefits, new construction can make an even greater impact. When you build an energy-efficient home from scratch, you get to install the absolute latest in technological advances that make your home operate like a finely-tuned machine. In addition to the right insulation, modern heating and cooling systems will provide enormous benefits from day one. A new, up-to-date energy-efficient home is simply your best opportunity to protect the health and well being of your loved ones, while helping the planet at the same time.

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