Ways You Can Be More Environmentally Responsible Living in a Condo Rather Than a House

Are you a homeowner increasingly thinking about how you can become a more responsible steward of the environment? If so, it all starts at home. You’ll want to consider how to be more efficient with appliances, water use, and even the types of windows you have.

However, one thing to keep in mind is that the type of home you live in is a big part of the equation. While it’s a generalization to say condominiums are more energy-efficient than houses, it’s not wrong to note that the former can be better for the environment than the latter.

If you’re a homeowner dealing with high utility bills and contemplating a move, you should have a list of things ranging from where you want to move to what type of home you want to buy.

According to research firm Statista, there were 5.03 million home sales in the U.S. last year. While that’s down from 6.12 million in 2021 and 5.64 million in 2020, the stats show that plenty of people are still buying and selling their residences. If you’ll be part of the home sales statistics for 2023, you’ll want to consider what you want in a new place before packing your stuff.

Continue reading to see three ways condos can be more environmentally friendly — and cheaper to live in over the long term — than houses. The second reason might surprise you.

1. Size of the Home

Condos are generally smaller than houses. That’s not to say you can’t get a luxurious condo rivaling the square footage of houses in the same price range. However, condos are often smaller and more compact than single-family housing units, which means even the design elements, like a condo’s entrance, can be optimized for sustainability and aesthetic appeal.

That’s why many homeowners downsize by selling their houses, selling some of their things, and moving into condos. So, if you’re looking to do the more environmentally friendly thing or simply don’t need the amount of space you have in your house, you might want to consider buying a condo to right-size your situation.

A smaller space means you can save on utilities. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average monthly electricity bill for U.S. residential customers was $137 in 2022, up 13% year-over-year from $121 in 2021. If you want to keep more of your hard-earned money in your wallet, getting a condo with a smaller square footage makes sense.

2. Location Matters

It might be somewhat of a surprise to hear that high-density areas, like downtown regions, can be better for the environment in some ways. Energy use for households and transportation in high-density areas is less than for suburban or rural areas.

As was mentioned before, condos or apartments are usually smaller than houses — and the shared walls of condos translate into less heat loss than is the case with single-family houses. If you enjoy fast-paced, competitive outdoor games like spikeball or slammo, downtown areas give you more opportunities to get together with friends to play right outside your building. If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, living downtown in a condo will help. You can be closer to work, school, retail outlets, entertainment, and more.

Instead of driving everywhere, you can walk or take your bike. Living in a high-density area will save you money even if you get a higher-end condo rather than a tiny bachelor loft-size condo. What if you want a condo and are willing to go out of state to find the right one?

One option is to consider Downtown West Palm Beach condos. You’ll want to get a condo in a city with great weather, good public transportation, and many options for stores and amenities.

3. Modern Condos Made With Efficiency in Mind

In addition to the reduced heat loss when living in a condo over living in a house, you can also find condos specifically made with sustainability and energy efficiency in mind. You can build a home with such things on your must-have list. But things will go much further if you’re in a condo that already has sizeable advantages over a house as per energy efficiency.

If your PS4 loud fan is keeping you up at night, a smaller, more energy-efficient condo could mean less ambient noise so you can game or stream shows in peace.

If you want a newer condo built specifically with sustainability in mind, consider LEED-certified condos. Such homes use fewer resources, consume less energy, offer clean indoor air, afford a good dose of natural light, and more.

Where and what type of residence you buy are up to you. But you’ll want to seriously consider a condo if the plan is to go all out as a steward of the environment. You’ll be glad to know that getting a condo doesn’t mean compromising. You can get whatever you want in terms of space, amenities, and even luxury.

Take time to find exactly what you want…even if getting your dream condo means moving further away than anticipated.

Elise Wu

Elise Wu, an alumna of Yale University with a degree in Environmental Policy, has spent more than two decades advocating for environmental protection and sustainable resource management. Before joining our website in 2019, she worked with various NGOs and governmental bodies, playing a key role in developing eco-friendly policies. Besides her professional pursuits, Elise is also a passionate hiker and loves nature photographer, often exploring the untamed wilderness to reconnect with the environment she tirelessly works to preserve.

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