If you’re thinking about selling your property, a great way to increase its value before putting it on the market is to make it green. When it comes to home buying, energy efficiency is the second most important thing to buyers after a safe community. Buyers are looking for keywords like “energy-efficient” and “high-efficiency” in their home search, so upgrading your energy-using systems is a great way to get more money out of your home and make it sell faster. Start with these ways you can increase your home’s efficiency to boost the property’s value.
Replace Your HVAC System
If your HVAC system hasn’t been replaced recently, then you can add quite a bit of efficiency to your home by upgrading or replacing it. Energystar.gov reports that as much as half of the energy your home uses comes just from heating and cooling, so it pays to invest in a good, efficient HVAC system. Energy Star suggests getting your system evaluated by a professional if it’s more than 10 years old. Look for units that are Energy Star certified to cut your energy costs by up to $115 per year.
Also, pay attention to your duct system. Sealing and insulating your ducts can improve efficiency by up to 20%. If you’re replacing your system, redoing the duct system to minimize twists and turns as well as ensure the ducts are well sealed can further increase efficiency. If you’ve recently updated your system, be sure to check your filter regularly and to give your system and professional tune-up annually.
Redo Your Insulation
Insulation makes a difference. If your insulation hasn’t been replaced recently, you might be paying extra to heat and cool your house. Replacing it not only saves you money on energy costs but can also make your home appealing to potential buyers. You should be looking to get R-60 insulation in the attic of your home, R-35 in the walls, and R-10 in the basement and on the slab. While redoing your insulation, also take a look at areas in your home with leaks. You’ll be able to seal these with insulation or caulk to boost efficiency and home value.
Install Solar Panels
When going green, installing solar panels is probably one of the first things that come to mind, and that’s because it’s such an efficient energy solution. Now is a great time to turn to solar, too. Since 2010, the average cost of a solar electric system has dropped by 50%. It’s known as the cleanest domestic energy source available. Though it’s costly to install a system, tax breaks and energy costs saved can pay off. If you’re planning to sell your house, you can add around $25,000 to your home’s value by installing solar panels.
Add Energy-Efficient Windows
Energy-efficient windows can save you $126-$465 if you’re replacing single-pane windows and $27-$111 a year if you’re replacing double-pane windows. Look for Energy Star qualified windows featuring multiple panes and gas fills that help insulate from outdoor temperatures, both hot and cold. While installing new windows, this will also give you a chance to seal leaks in your home in these areas to further boost efficiency. Keep in mind that the right window for your home depends on the climate.
Replace Your Doors
As long as you’re replacing your windows, you might as well look into replacing your doors. Good doors can help insulate the house, and the right door on the front of your home can boost curb appeal, which can further impress homebuyers. Along with your windows, doors are a common area where air passes through and impacts your energy-efficiency. Look into sealing these areas or redoing the door frames if you notice leaks around these areas.
If you’re planning to sell your home with the appliances, consider upgrading them. Your kitchen, along with the master bath, is one of the most important rooms in the home when it comes to selling time. If your kitchen excels, it can drastically increase the value of your home. Shiny new appliances will appeal to potential buyers, and energy-efficient models will enhance that appeal. They’ll also save money in energy costs. Don’t forget about your laundry room appliances, either, and while you’re at it, consider replacing your lights with more efficient bulbs to further reduce energy use and costs.
Replace Your Water Heater
Another appliance to consider is your water heater. This can account for up to 16% of your energy costs. Insulating your water heater — and your pipes — if it’s hot to the touch is a great way to conserve energy and save money on heating costs. However, if you’re looking to boost your home’s value, a whole water heater replacement can do the trick to impress homebuyers. Look for a model that’s Energy Star certified to keep the home green and energy-efficient. You might also consider a heat recovery system that uses drain waste water heat to further boost the home’s efficiency.
Rethink Your Landscaping
When thinking about going green with your home, you may not think about landscaping, but it can make a difference. For example, the right layout of plants and a stormwater management system can help prevent runoff from the roof from flowing into the municipal sewage system, helping make your landscaping more sustainable. This will appeal to homeowners who are environmentally conscious, plus improve the health of your greenery.
With these ideas in mind, you should feel prepared to invest in your home to boost its value. Whether you want to save money on energy costs, reduce your environmental footprint, or maximize your selling price, these tips should get you started. Which one of these projects will you start on first to improve your home’s value and efficiency?