Question: I’m looking to sell my home sometime in the future. What are some things I can do to make it more eco-friendly and bring up the resale value?
SSF Broker: This is a good question and one I get often given that I’ve taken the lead in getting Slifer Smith & Frampton Actively Green certified through Walking Mountains Science Center. There are several easy ways to make your home more eco-friendly and add value simultaneously.
Start by identifying areas where updating can help cut down on energy use. Proper insulation and air sealing make a big difference. You may want to consider having experts conduct an energy assessment. Walking Mountains Energy Smart Colorado Team can conduct a low-cost assessment to help you make environmentally efficient choices. (Visit walkingmountains.org/energy to learn more.)
Try programming your thermostats and reduce your phantom energy usage by unplugging chargers when not in use. Turn off monitors, printers and TVs with a power strip. In the kitchen, old appliances can be replaced with Energy Star rated ones. As far as lighting is concerned, I’d recommend energy-efficient LED light bulbs. They last up to 50,000 hours longer, brighten a room instantly and can withstand cold temperatures.
Another option for your home that will also add value is solar panels. Active solar design harnesses sunlight to create electricity, which helps dramatically lower energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint. Solar panels require an upfront investment, but they can pay off nicely over time. Plus, being able to show lower utility bills is a great selling point.
When it comes to energy efficiency, the correct windows are key. If you’re not looking to replace, consider adding storm windows to create another barrier to the outside. If you want to replace, go for a lower U-value window, which provides good insulation and is more energy efficient.
To conserve water in your yard, try using low flow sprinkler heads and sensors. Shifting to xeriscape, or drought-resistant landscaping, with more rock gardens and natural elements is more eco-friendly than a manicured lawn.
These are just a few options to start making your home greener. I recommend taking some time to look at the options and deciding what’s most important to you and what works best in your home.