Think about your present home. Depending on how long you have lived in it, the house may now be tailored to fit into your specific needs and desired relaxation level. But could you be doing more? Don't just focus on making the home as comfortable as possible. Homeowners should also seek to make the significant green improvements that will help them save money on their utilities while increasing the value of their homes. So, what is green home improvement?
Increasing value by making energy efficient upgrades to your home can offer a wide range of benefits. If you are looking to take out a personal loan, you can tap the equity from the house to make purchases, start a business and even make home renovations. Also, you can have more money lining your pocket when selling your home at a higher price. You may want to start in the kitchen, but that's only just one area to improve.
Green homes are trending on the real estate market as buyers are eager to know how to be more green and home and want to purchase such properties. These homes offer a range of energy-efficiency benefits to lower utility bills, offer higher quality water, can include eco-friendly electricity sources and reduce dependence on nonrenewable resources. These houses use less energy while using the resources more efficiently at a higher level of performance—it's just healthier for the environment.
Here are a range of green products and renovations that can increase home efficiency and value. Select the energy efficient home upgrades that best fit into your lifestyle and budget.
Low Flow Faucets, Shower Heads and Toilets
It's no secret that the bathroom is important to many potential home buyers. And water consumption is one of the biggest areas of green conservation that you can tackle inside your home. Lowering the amount of water that is used without hampering your daily chores or activities can offer big savings to your wallet and the environment. Replacing faucets, toilets and shower heads with low-flow appliances can lessen the amount of water you use to 0.05 to 2.5 gallons per minute without losing water pressure.
Energy-Efficient Windows and Doors
Home buyers love to see a Palos Verdes Estates home that has new windows and doors. You will love the fact that you can save 7 percent to 15 percent on your home's energy bill. The best energy efficient windows and doors can save money by improving the building envelope of the house to prevent unwanted air flow and outdoor temperature penetration. Combine this with insulating the home, and you could increase the value of the property by 1 percent to 3 percent.
Improved Insulation Throughout the House
Home insulation is the first line of defense when it comes to keeping a home's heating and cooling bills down. So, what does it do? Insulation keeps the weather outside from seeping into the home, and it keeps the heat and air conditioning within the house inside, ensuring that homeowners only heat and cool the air in their home as much as they need to. And yet, according to multiple experts in energy efficiency and insulation, at least two-thirds of homes in the United States are not properly insulated. Houses built more than ten years ago are not likely to have the standard necessary amount of insulation built into them, and unless the homeowners have had their homes retrofitted with additional insulation, they could be losing a lot of money through the walls and ceilings of their very own home.
Here are a few different types of insulation homeowners should consider when seeking home upgrades that increase value.
- Wool Insulation. Wool insulation is entirely renewable and sustainable. It is long lasting and a natural fire retardant, resisting fire when under 1100F. Wool insulation also filters and improves your air quality as well as resisting mold. It is also very easy to install.
- Fiberglass Insulation. Fiberglass insulation is made from silica sand heated into glass and woven into fibers. Fiberglass is one of the most affordable insulation options, though it can irritate the skin and lungs if used without gloves or a respirator.
- Spray Foam Insulation. Spray foam insulation has one of the highest R-values of different insulation options, and it's the best form of insulation to use when retrofitting an older house, as it can fill in around obstacles and be installed into finished spaces.
- Cellulose Insulation. Cellulose insulation is made out of recycled paper and cardboard, making it extremely energy efficient to create and affordable to install. However, cellulose insulation needs to be treated with sprays to make it non-flammable, moisture-proof, mold-proof, and pest-proof.
- Mineral Wool Insulation. Mineral wool insulation can be woven from stone or iron byproducts in a style similar to fiberglass, though it does not irritate the skin or lungs like fiberglass does. Mineral wool is more expensive but is soundproof and able to withstand higher temperatures than other forms of insulation.
Homeowners can have an energy audit done to determine where their homes are losing money from energy inefficiency. When retrofitting a house with new insulation, research the required R-value for each area of the home to ensure a sufficient amount of insulation is installed.
Energy Star Appliances
Most recently built homes already have efficient Energy Star stainless steel appliances in their home. However, older homes could still have one or two items from yesteryears that can be energy hogs. Switching to more efficient models can potentially use less than 15 percent to 50 percent of energy. Since kitchens are usually the first room that undergoes remodeling as you improve the flooring, cabinets and counters, upgrading to better appliances can also be on the renovation list.
Solar energy has come into the spotlight again, as people are looking at harvesting this free energy source to power everything in their homes. Photovoltaic systems can help significantly lower your energy bill, which can increase the value of your house. The initial setup price can be a big hit to your savings, though. In some cases, you may be eligible for local, state and federal tax credits and rebates when switching over to solar energy use.
If you just can't make that investment leap, you can make smaller improvements. Use smart thermostats to have better control of heating and cooling systems, use LED lighting, and place in programmable timers that can switch off the lights when nobody is in the room.
What is a green home? Every dollar that you save in home energy efficiency can lead to a big increase to the value of your home. The best way to decide on which improvements to make requires you to do your due diligence. Check out how much energy and resources that you are using now, then figure out what renovations would work best for your home, how much the cost would be to set up these products, and how much of a savings and home value increase can be made. Then you can select the green improvements that will be good for both your home and wallet.