Energy-efficient upgrades are a good investment not just for saving money while you live in your house, but can increase the value of your home for potential buyers when you are ready to sell. A recent study by the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) found nine out of ten home buyers prefer a home with energy-efficient features and lower energy costs than a lower priced home without the upgrades. Additionally, over half of real estate agents report their homebuying clients are interested in sustainability. Energy-efficient upgrades can boost a home’s value in five ways.
Reducing Energy Costs Can Save Money
Reduced energy costs- When making energy efficient upgrades, the costs you put into the upgrades will quickly be paid off by the money saved in energy costs. Energy Star estimates that Examples of inexpensive ways to reduce your home’s heating and cooling costs include caulking doors and windows for air leaks and replacing old appliances, (including your HVAC system) with new Energy Star Certified energy efficient appliances (use 40% less energy); these appliances are more likely to be electric than gas, which is an additional savings.
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Larger investments that save more in energy costs and increase home values even more include insulating the attic and walls and installing energy efficient windows and doors to prevent air leaks. Just insulating the attic can save homeowners 15% on energy costs. If you are a long-term planner, getting solar panels will save you approximately $500 per year on energy costs and increase the sale price of the home by as much as $10,000, depending on what the solar market is in your area.
Reducing Air Leaks
Reducing air leaks allows the heat to stay in during the winter and the cool air during the summer, allowing the heating and cooling systems to maintain a comfortable temperature with less work. The less your HVAC system has to work, the longer it will last with little maintenance besides seasonal routine maintenance such as changing your filter and washing the compressor unit. When you invest in these upgrades, you are investing in the overall quality of your home. Energy efficient homes cost less to maintain, which can be a major selling point as energy costs continue to rise.
Increased comfort- Even with the above energy-efficient upgrades, a new HVAC system will allow for an even more comfortable living environment. Homes that are more comfortable to live in are more valuable than those that are not. Homes that provide for a higher quality of life sell for more than homes that are not as comfortable to live in.
Improved air quality- When your home does not have air leaks and the HVAC system can run more efficiently, the air quality in your home naturally improves. Adding a high-quality air filter to your HVAC system can help remove more airborne particles from the air, such as pollen, dust, and allergens. HVAC systems also help control excess moisture that can cause difficulty in breathing for those with COPD or other breathing ailments and mold that can cause serious health problems. Indoor air quality is becoming more and more important for people, especially in the post-COVID era when people realized how easily viruses are spread through poorly ventilated buildings.
Replacing The Garage Door Can Improve Insulation
Another energy efficient upgrade that can improve indoor air quality and reduce heating and cooling costs is replacing the garage door if you have an attached garage. Energy costs can drop by as much as 15% with a new garage door, plus the increase in your home’s value will almost pay for the garage door.
Reduced maintenance costs- A home that is energy efficient has lower maintenance costs. A home that does not need energy-efficient upgrades after closing is likely to sell quicker than a home of the same size and amenities that needs new windows, HVAC, or other major appliances.
Increase Property Value
Increased property value-The biggest reason to make energy-efficient upgrades before selling is the increased property value. A home that has energy-efficient upgrades can be worth up to 10% more, depending on factors such as the area the home is in, the cost of energy in the area, and what upgrades have been made.
Making energy efficient upgrades well before you get ready to move will save you money that can help you enjoy the house you are in until you are ready to move. Before deciding how many upgrades make sense, conduct a cost vs. benefit analysis to see which upgrades are worth the investment.