Make Your Home Energy Efficient and Create Better Resale Value

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 11 February 2015 01:44

Recent studies show that homes with energy-saving and sustainable features have resale values about nine percent higher than similar homes without sustainable features. Previously, real estate experts wondered whether Energy Star ratings had a significant influence on home prices. Now it is clear that adding sustainable features makes houses more profitable. That's good news for families and real estate brokers who want to get the most out of their buildings.

 

Solar Panels Lower Bills and Raise Home Prices

Image via Flickr by Dave Dugdale

Solar panels started out as high-cost accessories that few families could afford. That has changed quickly. In fact, the price of installing solar panels on a home has fallen by over 50 percent since 2010.

That makes them affordable options that can help families save money. According to SolarCity's information about solar energy, adding solar panels can lower energy use by 50 to 90 percent. That makes utilities a negligible expense.

Solar panels also increase a home's value. Prospective buyers know that solar panels will lower their monthly expenses, so they're willing to spend more money now to save every month for the next several decades.

Imagine looking at two houses in the same neighborhood. One costs about ten percent more, but you know that you'll never have a high heating bill again. The choice is obvious for people focused on long-term savings.

Solar panels, of course, aren't the only way to save energy and improve resale value.

Home Energy Audits Show You Where to Improve

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that homes can lower their energy bills by 5 to 30 percent by making buildings more efficient. Before you know how to make your home more efficient, though, you need to identify its weak spots.

That's where an energy audit will help.

Energy audits test homes for inefficiencies, such as:

  • Insufficient wall insulation
  • Leaking doors, windows, and fireplaces
  • Furnaces with fuel leaks

A comprehensive audit can reveal several problems. Learning about all of your home's inefficiencies is a little frightening. No one wants to get a long to-do list. But it is the best way to make needed improvements without wasting money on upgrades that you don't need.

Common Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency

Each home's energy audit will reveal slightly different problems. Most of the inefficiencies, however, are pretty easy to fix. They may not help as much as installing solar panels, but they do their parts without costing much money.

Insulation

Insulation plays a significant role in energy efficiency. You obviously want to make sure you have enough insulation in your walls to prevent cold or hot temperatures from leaking into your home.  You also want to make sure you have proper insulation for your water heater and pipes. If your water heater isn't insulated, then you're losing money daily.

Clean Ducts

Dirty air ducts force your air conditioner and heater to work harder than necessary. That means they have to use more energy keeping you comfortable.

Replace Incandescent Bulbs

Incandescent bulbs use a lot of energy, create too much heat, and have short life spans. Compact fluorescent lamps, however, use about 75 percent less energy and can last nearly ten times longer. Light emitting diodes are even better. They have 50,000-hour life spans and create only a tiny amount of heat. 

Upgrade Windows and Doors

Old windows and doors make it easy for the outdoors to affect your comfortable indoors. If you have leaky windows or doors, consider upgrading to newer models that create a solid barrier between inside and outside.

Making Your Home More Marketable

Improving your home's efficiency will lower bills, but you need to take the extra step to improve its resale value. ENERGY STAR has a home certification program that proves your house is extremely efficient.

Instead of telling buyers about how great your home is, you can show them proof that will help them understand why you can sell the property at a premium.

 

More people than ever want to buy energy-efficient homes. They're even willing to spend more money for the long-term financial savings and environmental protection. Now that you know adding solar panels and other upgrades can improve your home's value, are you more likely to invest in them?

Rate this item
(0 votes)

Agent Resource

Limited time offer - 50% off - click here

Realty Times

From buying and selling advice for consumers to money-making tips for Agents, our content, updated daily, has made Realty Times® a must-read, and see, for anyone involved in Real Estate.