The Link Between Energy Efficiency and Home Value
Home improvements for energy efficiency have grown more popular in recent years. Given the amount of carbon emissions which residential buildings produce, some homeowners want to limit their environmental impact. Other homeowners see the financial advantages of energy-efficient upgrades for their property.
Regardless of motivation, you'll enjoy a long list of benefits when you invest in energy efficiency. You'll reduce your energy bills, increase your home's value and help to preserve the environment, all with just a few simple adjustments. So what do these adjustments look like, and what effect do they have?
We'll answer those questions and others like them, walking you through everything you need to know about energy efficiency and home value. As long as you're ready to commit to a new home improvement project, you'll find it's easy to make a difference in your emissions and expenditure.
The Appeal of Energy Efficiency for Buyers
Concerns over climate change have only escalated in the past decade. With rising sea levels, a greater frequency of natural disasters, fluctuating temperatures and urgent warnings from scientists across the world, homeowners have taken notice. Many of them don't want to contribute to the problem.
Homebuyers who are searching for properties have this same mindset. They'll often spend more money on homes with energy-efficient upgrades, aware of their impact and ready to make a change. These improvements justify a higher asking price for other reasons, such as the implications for energy savings.
While energy-efficient upgrades are attractive to an eco-conscious homebuyer, they're beneficial to an average homebuyer as well. As energy costs continue to climb, energy efficiency is more relevant than ever. Improvements which enhance energy efficiency will naturally increase the value of your home.
With this in mind, which home improvements are best, given their price? If you're interested in energy efficiency, where should you start?
The Best Upgrades for Energy Efficiency
An upgrade to your windows is one of the top ways to improve your home's energy efficiency, with both aesthetic and economic benefits. Homeowners who are hoping to sell in the near future will feel happy to know their home can increase in value by as much as 97 percent of the cost of the windows in only one year.
Beyond windows, HVAC systems tend to represent the largest single category of energy end use in U.S. homes. If your system is unreliable or outdated, you should invest in something more modern. In fact, one out of five realtors suggests a new HVAC system to their clients before they sell their home.
Water heaters also consume a considerable amount of energy, accounting for 18 percent of a home's energy usage on average. Upgrading your heater to an air-source heat pump water heater can provide a range of benefits, and if it's within your budget, you should review your options and think about making a change.
If you don't have the time or budget for a large-scale renovation, you should start with a smaller change. Even improvements like attic insulation can drastically increase the energy efficiency of your home. The EPA recommends 10 to 14 inches of insulation, and you should aim for an R-Value of 38.
Start Planning Your Improvements
Whether you're interested in energy savings or saving the environment, the upgrades above will assist you with both. You have no shortage of options to help you reduce your emissions and expenditure, and any one of the improvements in this article will increase your home's value.
Moving forward, review your options and see which changes are available with your current budget. Once you find something which appeals to you, set aside time for research and start planning your changes. Soon enough, you'll see firsthand why home improvements for energy efficiency are so popular.
Bio: Emily is a green tech writer who covers topics in renewable energy and sustainable design. You can read more of her work on her blog, Conservation Folks.