When people are searching for a home to buy, they think about more than the purchase price. They consider the overall cost of ownership, including utility bills. Rising energy costs have affected homeowners across the country and people naturally want to find ways to keep those bills under control. Many people are also conscious of the impact that their lifestyle has on the environment and want to reduce their energy usage.
Potential buyers may choose a house that has undergone upgrades to make it more energy efficient over another house that is less efficient. If you’re thinking about selling your home in the next few years, making some improvements now can save you money while you live in the house and may help you attract a buyer in the future.
Figure Out Where to Make Changes
Contact your local utility company to schedule a home energy audit. A representative will inspect your windows, insulation, appliances and other features to identify areas where your home is wasting energy and recommend ways to make it more efficient.
If your house has leaks around the windows, you may be letting cold air enter and letting warm air escape in the winter. In the summer, hot air may be coming in and cooled air may be escaping. That means that a lot of the energy used to heat and cool your house may be wasted. Installing new, more efficient windows can help you avoid wasting energy. Increasing the amount of insulation in the attic, basement and crawlspace can also help you control the indoor temperature.
With a programmable thermostat, you can avoid spending money to keep your home heated or cooled when no one is there. Instead, you can automatically adjust the thermostat so the house will be at your desired temperature when you and your family are home.
Older appliances may use a lot more electricity and water than newer ones. Upgrading to more energy-efficient appliances may dramatically lower your utility bills and make your home more appealing to prospective buyers.
Make Smart Long-Term Investments
It can be difficult to know whether a renovation or a remodeling project would be worthwhile, but energy efficiency improvements are almost always a wise investment. Making your home more energy efficient can save you money while you live in the house. If you stay there for several years, you may recoup most or all of your investment.
Those upgrades can also help you get a higher price when you eventually sell your house. People who are concerned about the environment and who want to save money may be willing to pay more up front to enjoy lower utility bills each month. If you decide to sell your home in the future, discuss any energy efficiency upgrades you have made with your real estate agent so they can be highlighted in the listing.