Homebuyers and homeowners are increasingly interested in sustainability and greener features in a home. In fact, energy efficiency emerged as a key selling point for homes, with more than 60% of respondents noting the value of promoting energy efficiency in property listings in a recent survey on the value of sustainability and green features by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).
Upgrading to more energy-efficient features can pay off, whether selling your home, seeking to save on energy costs, or reducing your carbon footprint. Here are some of the top eco-friendly choices in a range of costs and installation ease for making your home greener, as Forbes, Popular Mechanics, and Thumbtack reported.
Switching to light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs is an energy-efficient, easy and inexpensive change that 46% of consumers plan to make. For an estimated $240 to change the bulbs in your house to longer-lasting LEDs, you could save $200 a year on your utility bill, according to a recent study from Reworking America and Thumbtack.
The most extensive use of home energy is typically in heating and cooling the air in your home. Upgrading to double-pane windows, glass doors and new weather stripping can significantly reduce heat loss, lower your heating and cooling costs, and improve the comfort of your home. For an estimated cost of $1,549 to replace five to six windows, you can save $308 per year on your utility bill, reports Thumbtack.
Additionally, ceiling fans can help circulate the air in your home, reducing the costs of cooling in the summer and heating in the winter while cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions.
With new findings on the adverse effects of cooking with gas on indoor air quality, health and the environment, many are switching to electric appliances. Burning fuel to cook can release harmful carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, formaldehyde and particulate matter, according to the EnergyStar.gov website.
Energy-efficient electric appliances continue to improve and can be identified by looking for the blue Energy Star® label – the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) backed symbol for energy efficiency. The Energy Star program has helped save five trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity, avoid more than $500 billion in energy costs and reduce greenhouse gases by more than 4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions since 1992.
If you’re considering a new cooktop and range, induction technology makes the heating process significantly more efficient than conventional models, meaning quicker heating and more precise temperature control. Water boils in half the time of conventional cooking methods.
Switching to rooftop solar panels cuts carbon emissions and can save on electricity bills. The average savings from solar panels vary based on state electricity rates and other factors like average sun hours, usage, federal tax credits and local incentives. Forbes reports that the average U.S. energy bill is about $125 monthly. If your solar system can supply your entire energy usage, your savings could approach $1,500 a year. However, with snow days and nighttime use, you’ll probably need grid power some of the time, which would reduce your savings on utility bills.
Consumers are actively planning to complete a variety of projects in 2023 to improve sustainability, including 46% installing energy efficient lighting, 42% smart thermostats, 41% upgrading insulation, 36% installing solar panels, 33% adding double pane windows, 29% switching to heat pumps and 26% putting in EV charger ports, according to the survey by Thumbtack and Rewiring America.
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By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in commercial and residential real estate. For questions, e-mail Tom at [email protected], call 303.441.5620 or visit boulderco.com.