Some green ways to efficiently boost up your home
7th February 2014
When choosing home improvements to enhance your curb appeal to potential buyers instead of asking yourself who’s the fairest, try asking “Who’s the greenest?” In this day in age, home improvements that boost owner satisfaction and reduce your average utility costs will in turn make your home much more appealing to prospective buyers.
As it turns out, buyers are actually willing to pay up to 10 percent more for new homes certified green, because of the long term savings that will come and in turn this is a better investment, according to the real estate report by Harvard University. Replacing older, less efficient doors and windows would be a great return on investment and sellers would recoup much of the initial cost of the improvement when they sell the home.
Five eco-friendly, money saving, home improvements:
1) Solar Water Heater- Making the switch to a solar power heater can be a big money and energy saver. Hot water solar systems run on the energy given off by the sun. Normally, a traditional hot water system will use 50 to 80 percent more energy than a solar system would, according to Velux America, marketers of solar-powered hot water systems. By using a solar heated system home owners will typically save on their energy costs anywhere from 10 to 15 percent. “While the initial cost of installing a solar-powered system is often higher than installing a traditional water heater, most homeowners find the energy savings allows them to recoup that cost in just a few years," says Jim Cika of solar system manufacturer Heliodyne. "What’s more, homeowners may qualify for a federal tax credit of up to 30 percent of the cost to buy and install a residential solar water heating system."
2) Eliminating Incandescent Bulbs- By the end of 2014, you most likely will not be able to find this type of old-fashioned power-guzzling bulb on the shelves anymore due to Federal law banning them. LED’s and CFL will dominate the market place instead and the on the bright side, no pun intended, you’ll be saving a substantial amount on your next electric bill.
3) Add a Skylight or Upgrade Your Old One- Skylights can be a great energy saver because since they provide a great source of natural light, they can help reduce the need for other artificial light sources thusly bringing down electricity costs. By installing a no leak solar-powered fresh air skylight, one that has automatic rain sensors and solar powered blinds, you’ll be gaining a new source of fresh air and save up to 37 percent on your energy costs, according to skylight manufacturer Velux. Another great thing about this addition is that the cost of these solar powered skylights, blinds, and installation costs are actually eligible for a federal tax credit of 30 percent just for being a green home improvement.
4) HVAC System- Up to half of your total energy consumption, in your standard American home goes to heating and cooling it. EnergyStar says that by replacing an old, inefficient heating, ventilation and cooling systems with more efficient models can exponentially bring down a home’s costs for heating and cooling.
5) Window and Doors- Most people don’t realize the huge amount of air that is lost through poorly sealed doors and windows in both the winter and summer. Upgrading drafty windows and doors to more air-tight models can be a huge savings for heating and cooling costs. In addition to this, replacing doors and windows are among the home improvements that deliver a huge return on investment at the time of resale. You can recoup more than 71 percent of the cost of replacing old windows with new vinyl ones and 73 percent for wooden replacement windows, says Remodeling Magazines Cost vs. Value Report. A new front door could earn you back almost 66 percent for a fiberglass door and up to 85.6 percent for a steel door.
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Original Source: http://www.nw.org/network/consumers/documents/10SecretsforHomebuyers.pdf