If you are looking to sell your home you should consider making a few eco-friendly home improvements because these are becoming more popular every day. Green changes no only reduce your carbon footprint, but they also save money. If you can save potential buyers money by upgrading a few things, they are more likely to maintain interest in your home.
Upgrade Your Heating System
Heating a home in the wintertime is the biggest source of energy use. If you were to make just one change, a new heating system should be the change that you make. The general rule of thumb is when your system is over twenty years old, it is time to start considering replacing it. Make sure that you use a contractor that has installed plenty of energy-efficient systems so that you know it was done correctly.
If you have a more modern heating system, see if there are any green tweaks that you can make. Saving energy means saving money and this will be a major selling point. Look at your filters and make sure that they are clean and new. Also, have a professional come and look at your ductwork to see if any of it needs to be sealed.
If you are using a central air conditioning system you also want to make sure that it is as efficient as possible. Having a professional come out and give your system a checkup is a good idea. There may be a small tweak or two that can be made to ensure that your home is comfortable and eco-friendly when the temperatures rise. If you do not have central air conditioning, you may want to consider getting a unit installed. This tends to be more energy efficient than multiple window units.
Look at Your Windows
If you still have old, single-pane windows, it is time to get new ones. Single-pane windows are an energy losing nightmare. You want at least a double-pane and a triple-pane if you can swing it. These will keep furnace heat in and the cold outside. The same is true in the summer, they will keep your air-conditioning in and the summer heat on the outside. These also tend to be easier to lock, so they add a little extra safety too.
When you are checking your windows, do not forget to take a look at your doors. If there are any gaps or if they are just not in good shape, it is time to replace them. New windows and doors will also add to your curb appeal, increasing how many looks your home gets when you put it on the market.
Energy Star Appliances
Many people today are selling their homes with the appliances. Appliances are an investment and you can attract many younger buyers if you have a stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, washer and dryer already in the home and are going to leave them there. However, these need to be Energy Star certified to ensure that they work as efficiently as possible.
Upgrade Your Plumbing
This does not mean that you have to have every pipe replaced. What you want to replace are faucets and shower heads. Using faucets and shower heads that conserve water will save gallons of water per day. Less water equals a less expensive water bill. The nice thing about these is that they do not negatively impact water pressure. Your faucets and shower heads will still have a strong stream, they just use less water. What is nice about this improvement is that you can most likely do it on your own over a weekend. It is simple to do and does not require a professional. Just do not forget to turn the water off before making the changes.
About the Author: Jim Klossner is a home improvement guru with a passion for real estate. When he’s not writing, you can find him consulting for plumbing and HVAC companies like Cahill.
I'm glad this is being discussed, however the article leaves out the two most cost-effective and important energy-savings upgrades: air-sealing and insulation. Although these improvements aren't as visible as new windows or appliances, they will do the most for improving comfort and reducing energy use.
Since most of our housing stock is older than the 70's, the first tip should be caulking and sealing the building envelope. The second tip should be insulating the roof or attic. The third tip should be insulating the walls. Then it makes sense to look at a new heater unless it is not working. If you have sealed and insulated your home then the furnace can be sized right. If you do it the other way around it is likely that the furnace will be oversized.
Older windows are often built using old growth lumber. There are a couple things you can do instead of replacing the windows. Consider installing sorm windows. There are also interior storms. Indo Window is a removeable option. There are also companies that can replace the single panes with double panes low E or gas filled. That preserves the character of the house and if they are taken care of they will outlast many of the newer window options.
Energy star refrigerators are not always the ones that use the least energy. Instead look on the energy labels that they have and choose the one that uses the least amount for the space you have. In my opinion smaller is better. Energy star tend to label just the big ones and that encourages waste.
In building an eco-friendly house, it does not only benefit the owner profitably but it also helps our eco system balanced.