Five Eco-Friendly Upgrades That Add the Most Value to Your Home

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 14 November 2018 16:30

Only a few years ago, eco-friendly building materials, energy efficient lighting and renewable resources weren’t as top of mind as they are now. Yet, there has been a recent paradigm shift in the way that homeowners and prospective buyers alike look at property ownership. Today, while there are still myriad design elements that are very much on trend, right up there with granite countertops and shiplap is a request for touches that are as environmentally friendly as possible.

 

While every step toward sustainability, no matter how minor, can help improve your home’s overall carbon footprint, there are some investments that can significantly improve your home’s resale value along the way. Regardless of whether your’re in your forever home with no plans to move or a starter property you hope to upgrade down the road, taking these five steps is almost always a smart way to increase the worth of your property, all while allowing you to shave money off your utility bill in the process. Ready to learn more? Let’s take a look at five changes to consider making today.

 

1. Rooftop Solar Panels

Look back at your last utility bill. Were you shocked to see the number so high? Especially in the summer and winter months, when our homes have to work harder to heat and cool our homes, those monthly invoices can come with a major sense of dread. Fortunately, there’s another, more efficient way to power your home and it comes in the form of solar panels.

 

Today, solar panels for home and business use are more affordable and practical than ever before. They’re simple to install and a cinch to maintain, and most come with monthly payments that are substantially less than you’re used to paying the power company. Yet, savings on your routine charges aren’t the only financial benefit you can expect when you install solar panels. You’ll also see an increase in your home’s overall value, with some experts pricing the uptick at around $20,000 or more. Thus, if you’ve ever thought about making the investment, now is an ideal time to take that next step, especially if you’re hoping to sell down the road.

 

2. LED Lighting

While solar panels can be a major long-term money saver, there are other, smaller steps you can take today to start conserving resources. One is to make the switch from incandescent light bulbs or CFLs to LED lighting. These bulbs might cost more at the onset, but there’s a chance the same bulbs could last in your fixtures for up to 20 years, making them well worth the initial cost.

 

These bulbs are preferred because they use up to 75% less energy to illuminate your rooms than their traditional counterparts. They’re also safer to use and handle, as they produce only a minimal amount of heat. Anyone who’s ever burned their fingers on a hot lamp can appreciate that fact! The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) predicts that within the next 10 years, U.S. consumers will save a collective $30 billion off their electric bills via the installation of LED light bulbs. It’s an easy and relatively inexpensive fix that could generate a major return, making it more than worth the effort.

 

3. Improved Insulation

Is your home always drafty, no matter how high you notch up your HVAC unit? During the summer, do you have a difficult time keeping it cool and comfortable? If so, you may think you need a costly systems replacement, but you may be simply losing air through drafty windows, doors, attics and crawl spaces.

 

One of the quickest ways you can improve your home’s energy efficiency and improve its value is to modernize and improve your insulation system. Especially if you’re in an older home that’s still using harmful or potentially dangerous insulation materials, it pays to have a professional come and see where you can make improvements. You may need more insulation in your attic, sealant around your doors and windows or a floor installed over your crawl space to help you conserve as much cool and warm air as possible. This is a quick step but could result in major savings off your heating and cooling bills next year.

 

4. Tankless Water Heaters

This is arguably one of the pricier steps on this list, but installing a tankless water heater can increase the value of your home while ensuring you never run out of hot water again. In that case, it’s a win-win. You can place a tankless water heater at each hot water outlet, including your shower or your sink.

 

These help improve your home’s environmental friendliness because, while you’re waiting for your water to get hot, you’re pouring gallons of perfectly good cold water down the drain, along with your hard-earned money. In fact, the DOE reveals that an average home that uses around 41 gallons of water per day can use up to 34% less energy by making the switch to a tankless water heater solution.

 

5. Smart Thermostats

Today, a home outfitted with the latest in smart technology is more valuable than its outdated counterparts. One of the most practical and innovative new systems available is a smart thermostat. Designed to “learn” your family’s habits and adjust the temperature to conserve as much as possible while still keeping you comfortable, these devices fit onto your wall as any other thermostat does.

 

Yet, as you leave your home to go to work or out for the day, they’ll automatically adjust the temperature inside to save money and power. Before you return, the temperature will slowly adjust and regulate so you never know the difference.

 

Investing In Your Home and Family for the Future

Every time you make an upgrade to your home that makes it more energy efficient, sustainable or eco-friendly, you’re taking a step in the right direction. Not only do these transformations help make your home work smarter, but they also save you money both now and in the long-term. You don’t have to tackle every project today, but making even small steps toward a greener future pays off both today and tomorrow.

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