The real estate market has recently seen an uptick in demand for green homes. Green home improvements can lead to a larger return on investment if you sell your home, and not all green home improvements are costly and time-consuming, and ones that offer tax credits can make taking the leap more affordable.
Whether you're looking to start small or do a complete overhaul, eco-friendly home improvement can help you obtain green building certifications and raise the value of your home. Implement some of these improvements in your home.
- Solar Energy Panels
Solar PV systems produce power when exposed to sunlight, and require additional components to properly store, conduct, convert, control, and distribute the energy produced by the solar panel.
This entire system is what drives up the cost of solar, especially equipment like batteries that must be replaced over time. However, costs for solar panels are expected to continue to drop as more thin-film panels become available to the residential market. As electric and other fuel costs rise, you can expect more PV solar panel installation on roofs, especially in areas with good solar conditions or higher electricity rates.
- Energy-Efficient Appliances
High-efficiency appliances not only allow you to save on energy costs, but they are also an added selling point for home buyers. For example, a new, energy-efficient water heater won't run as often and can help you save on gas, electric, and water bills. High-efficiency washers, dryers, and other appliances can help with this as well.
- Proper Insulation
Consider improving the insulation in your home. Keep in mind that traditional types of insulation, such as fiberglass, are not sustainably made. Choosing recycled materials, cotton, or wool insulation can help you remain more environmentally conscious and reap the benefits of tax credits. Depending on the size of your home, adding insulation and sealing cracks and crevices may help you save 10 to 30 percent on energy bills. Increased insulation can also help to prevent costly disasters like frozen pipes.
- Replacement Doors and Windows
Gaps and cracks in old windows and doors are often to blame when it comes to chilly homes and high utility bills. While new windows may seem costly, you can often recoup up to 60-70% of the cost when selling your home. Do your homework before buying, and if new windows aren't within your budget, caulking, installing storm windows, and weather stripping can help to make your home more energy-efficient.
- Rainwater Collection Systems
An affordable way to make your home more green, rainwater collection systems store water that runs through your gutters in a barrel for later use. For as little as $100 for the barrel and downspout fittings, a rainwater collection system can pay for itself in just a couple of seasons.
- Smart Thermostats
Another affordable eco-friendly home improvement, programmable thermostats allow you to program temperatures and track your habits to see where savings can be made.
- Green Home Certification
Once you've completed your eco-friendly home improvement projects, find a reputable company that does green home certification, such as LEED, EnergyStar, or NGBS. A green home certification will reinforce the benefits of purchasing an eco-friendly home and can lead to big returns on your investment.
If you are considering putting your home on the market, eco-friendly home improvements can make your quality of life better and help you maximize the value of your home.