Even if you aren’t planning to sell any time soon, knowing that you’ve increased the value of your property can offer you a great deal of peace of mind. When you increase your property value by making your home more eco-friendly, you’ll also feel good about your contribution to keeping our environment healthy.
Alterations to make your home more green don’t have to be overly challenging or expensive. Not only will your family benefit from these changes, you will be thrilled by the value of your property when you are ready to sell.
1. Install an environmentally friendly heating and air conditioning system
Do you ever stagger when you see your power bill? Heating and cooling your home costs money and also uses up important fuels. When you choose a more efficient HVAC system, such as current Energy Star models, you could see major reductions in both your power bill and your natural gas bill if you have one.
2. Seal up your home
Having an energy-efficient heating and cooling system is a good start, but if your heat or cold air are going right out the window, it’s not going to help. Check your windows and the seals around your doors to make sure that there are no gaps. One trick for checking this is to hold a candle close to the seals and see if any encroaching air causes the flame to flicker. Check around your baseboards and the junctions of your corners as well.
In addition to checking for potential leaks, make sure that your home is properly insulated. Poor insulation will cause heat and cold air to leave right through the walls and roof. The professionals at Sound Renovation explain it this way: “Insulating a roof makes a home more energy efficient by stopping summertime heat and humidity from getting in. At the same time, insulation helps keep the heated air inside during the winter months of the year.” Look for environmentally friendly insulation materials like cellulose or spray-in material that doesn’t contain formaldehyde.
3. Add eco-friendly features to the yard
Your yard also contributes to the total property value. You can increase the worth of your yard by landscaping with native plants. Installing a drip system for watering the lawn and garden will increase your value while helping to conserve water.
Use environmentally friendly materials such as composites to build your deck, fence or gazebo. Avoid treating your lawn with dangerous chemicals or other toxins, which can leach into the water supply.
4. Consider solar panels
While solar panels may initially seem expensive, they will quickly pay for themselves. Instead of paying the power company for your electricity, you will be able to harness it directly from the sun and cut your costs considerably.
Solar powered water heaters and other appliances are also available now to make the switch easier than ever. A dedicated do-it-yourselfer can install solar panels themselves to save even more money.
5. Check your wiring and plumbing
In addition to creating a safety hazard, poor wiring and shoddy plumbing will cause your home’s value to plummet.
Wiring issues pose a fire hazard, and leaking plumbing can create a serious mold problem in your walls, which can make your family sick. Hire a contractor to come out and check these systems for problems and follow any recommendations for repairs.
6. Update your kitchen
Most home-improvement gurus agree that an updated and modern kitchen is one of the strongest selling points in any home and will cause a substantial uptick in your property value. Some of the eco-friendly changes you can make in the kitchen include:
— Replacing worn-out cabinets with cabinets made from sustainable materials
— Installing low-flow faucets to cut back on water use
— Switching out your old refrigerator, dishwasher and stove with updated energy efficient models
— Installing sustainable, eco-friendly flooring like bamboo, which also makes for attractive cutting boards and back splashes
— Using natural lighting as much as possible and replacing old lighting fixtures with compact fluorescents
Alex is a plumbing and HVAC industry blogger who enjoys writing about DIY home improvement, energy efficiency, and eco-friendly lifestyles. He is the in-house blogger for McKee Homes, Fayettville NC’s first choice for quality home.