The Green Glossary

March 05, 2020

Whether you're in the market to buy a home with sustainable features, make home improvements to be more energy efficient or simply upgrade your appliances, it's important to understand the terminology related to energy and water efficiency.

Blue Craftsman house with green lawn

Familiarizing yourself with these terms can help you navigate the homebuying process or efficiency upgrades to your home.

Green: Relative to homes, green generally refers to systems, materials and products that are environmentally responsible.

Net-Zero Energy Home: A home that uses as much energy as it produces. These homes are built to optimize energy efficiency through airtight construction of roofs, walls, windows and foundations.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design): A globally recognized certification program for green buildings and homes. The LEED rating system takes a whole building approach that factors in in water use, air quality, building materials, land placement and energy efficiency.

Energy Star®: A certification granted by the U.S. Department of Energy for household appliances and buildings that perform at specified levels of energy efficiency.

Passive System: In a home, this design takes advantage of the climate by incorporating non-mechanical methods of heating and cooling the home to reduce the need for mechanical systems.

Low-Flow Fixtures: These fixtures, including toilets, showers and faucets, use significantly less water than conventional fixtures translating to water, energy and sewages savings.

Programmable Thermostat: These thermostats allow more precise temperature control and save energy by permitting temperature settings according to whether the house is occupied and the time of day.

LED (Light-Emitting Diode): Incorporated into both bulbs and fixtures, LED lighting products produce light approximately 90% more efficiently than incandescent light bulbs and last longer.

Cool Roofs: A roofing design with a high solar reflectance material, absorbing less heat than traditional roofing material. This characteristic enhances roof durability and reduce the transfer of heat indoors.

Green Roofs: These rooftops are planted with vegetation which reduces run-off, provides insulation and, on a large scale, can improve air quality.

If you're looking to finance energy efficient improvements for your home, consider an energy efficient mortgage, such as Freddie Mac’s GreenCHOICE Mortgage®.

Speak with your lender about the financing options available to you and which may best suit your needs.

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