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A growing awareness of environmental concerns has led to a rise in eco-friendly apartments built with sustainable materials. With an increasing number of buyers and renters seeking to contribute to sustainable living, people are learning to cut energy costs and plan toward a lifestyle that takes into account environmental issues. Here are essential elements to look for in eco-friendly apartments.

Efficient Heating and Cooling

The structure of each unit should be free of air or water leaks, so energy is not wasted. One way to make energy more efficient is to use Energy Star certified appliances. Another characteristic of eco-friendly apartments is they use large appliances such as modern refrigerators that have energy-saving settings. Newer or renovated HVAC systems are usually built for efficiency, which leads to lowering utility bills by up to 35 percent.

Window Space

The amount of window space in an apartment is a factor that affects energy consumption, as more windows generate more sunlight and warmth, reducing the need for electric lighting. Look for maximum natural light so that you don’t need to turn on lights most of the day and if you do consider LEDs. During the winter if any windows let in a draft, it can cause you to use more energy to compensate. Ideally, the apartment doors and windows have been weatherized to be efficient throughout the year.

Smart Technology

Modern thermostats and light controls with a wireless connection to the internet can contribute to lowering energy costs through automated monitoring of energy levels. A smart thermostat, for example, can detect the number of individuals in a room and set the temperature to an appropriate level. If no one is in the room, then the smart sensor shuts off the heating or air conditioning.

Green Certifications

To ensure an apartment complex is built with sustainability as a priority, look for official green building certifications. Two widely known certifications are LEED and Passive House, which are awarded for following specific green construction standards. These certifications have been given to skyscrapers and high-rise apartments. The most eco-friendly buildings include solar panels and are built with durable materials. Timber is starting to be favored over cement since it uses less energy and clean water for construction.