Homeowners can make renovations to improve the look and function of a home. However, not all upgrades are energy efficient or will attract interest when it comes time to list a property. It has been observed that more homebuyers than ever before are interested in these valuable upgrade and will pay a premium for energy efficient homes. However, energy efficient upgrades combined with smart home technology may not pay off with some audiences not yet convinced of their importance. It is important to speak with a trusted local agent to learn more about the priorities of potential buyers before spending significant amounts of money for any major renovation.
It is possible for owners of older homes and new construction homes to take advantage of this trend and see a high ROI. Understand which energy efficient upgrades may be worthy of your consideration today.
Seal It Up
It can be far too easy for heated or cooled air to escape a home. Improving the envelope of a home by sealing up gaps and cracks can go a long way to cutting heating and cooling costs. Relatively inexpensive projects that can pay off include:
- Weather stripping older windows and doors;
- Adding attic insulation; and
- Filling spaces around pipes, wiring, chimneys and other areas of the attic floor.
While such a project lacks that wow factor, it does serve to help owners maintain comfortable temperatures throughout the year at less cost. Improving the envelope of a home and reducing the places where there may be an exchange of air inside a home with that of the outside environment can also reduce the work that an HVAC system must perform, potentially resulting in increased HVAC efficiency and fewer repairs. Sealing and insulating ductwork in a home is one of the steps recommended as homeowners address gaps in their home. Replacing old windows or doors can also help homeowners with older homes improve energy-efficiency while offering a high ROI when selling a home.
Upgrade Older HVAC Systems
All HVAC systems have a lifespan and eventually will need to be replaced. A general rule of thumb is to replace cooling systems more than a decade old and to do the same with 20 year old heating systems. Poorly maintained HVAC systems often require multiple repairs and will not be efficient in heating or cooling a home. Such systems will need to work harder, costing a homeowner more money, to heat and cool a home. HVAC systems currently on the market are significantly more energy-efficient. After replacement with a new high efficiency unit, homeowners may see a savings of 20 percent or more.
Change to LEDs
There is plenty that homeowners can do to improve their home’s energy-efficiency that does not require a big budget. One such high ROI upgrade is swapping out those old incandescent light bulbs for LED light bulbs. LEDs require remarkably less energy than incandescent light bulbs, illuminating a home for approximately 75 percent less energy. Homeowners also do not need to change LEDs as often—LED bulbs have longer lifespans. This becomes convenient when having to change bulbs in hard to access areas, like outside flood lights. Potentially save $210 to $420 annually with this simple change.
Consider Smart Technology
Smart technology makes it easier than ever to control how energy is consumed in a home. Smart thermostats can help property owners efficiently heat and cool a home. Such technology can be controlled from an app on a smartphone. Owners of larger homes may save as much as $800 a year with multiple thermostats. This type of technology also applies to Wi-Fi enabled switches and ceiling fans. Not only can homeowners benefit from reduced energy costs and being able to better control when thermostats and other smart devices are in use, but the ability to remotely manipulate these systems can help with home security.
Get Paid for Energy-Efficient Upgrades
While there may not be as many federal tax credits available for The Woodlands homeowners now, it may be possible to get rebates from local utility companies. A rebate may help cover the cost of new purchases, but the amount depends on the product itself. Homeowners may be able to do more with their budget and improve their return when benefiting from rebates on water heaters, pool pumps, heating and cooling equipment, electronics, appliances and more. An entire list of available rebates is available in the database of the Department of Energy.
Many factors impact the potential ROI on a project but homeowners can greatly benefit from many of these energy efficient projects while living in their home. Speak with a local agent to learn more about desirable green upgrades for properties soon to be listed.