Most homebuyers seek homes that are energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, according to the National Association of Realtors. In fact, nine out of 10 surveyed said heating and cooling costs are important factors in considering a home.
Indeed, heating and cooling costs account for about 56 percent of a home’s energy use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
“As energy savings and green building features are becoming more important to buyers, sellers and businesses, it comes as no surprise that consumers are placing a higher value on properties with those features,” said NAR President Gary Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty in Villa Park, Calif.
Specific findings from the NAR’s 2012 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers include:
If you’re a buyer or homeowner who places elevated importance on energy efficiency and keeping utility bills down, you should install and consistently use a programmable thermostat. When used, they can save you about $180 a year. And, if it’s time for a new heating and cooling unit, look for one with the ENERGY STAR label. This can cut your bill another $200 a year.
It’s also important to seal your ducts, change your air filter every month during heavy usage, and get regular maintenance and tune-up every year. Not only will you help to keep your own energy costs down, but your home will be more attractive when it comes time to sell.