We are in an age where our climate and our environment has come under incredible stress, and the rapidly changing weather patterns are bringing these issues to almost everyone now. Even those who were sceptical about climate change and global warning are now sitting up and taking notice.
So it makes sense that in an environmentally-aware age that our homes should be more eco-friendly. In fact a number of real estate companies have noted that houses that have eco-friendly building designs, accessories and assets are fetching much higher prices than those that don’t have these features.
So, what can you do to your house that is not just environmentally friendly, but that will also help you fetch a better price should you decide to sell?
Well, here are our top tips for environmentally friendly renovation tips that will help save the planet, and also make you a greater profit:
Heat and cooling appliances contribute a massive amount to the energy used in your house, up to 50% in fact. Not only is a poorly heated housing costing you money on you energy bill – it’s also using up our non-renewable energy resources at an incredibly high rate.
In a country such as the UK, which experiences incredibly cold and wet winters, it is essential to ensure that your house is properly insulated in order to conserve heat that is often lost through miniscule oversights and poor insulation.
Make sure that there are no air-leaks in doors and windows, and around plumbing appliances through the walls. If you find any air escaping ensure that you seal it correctly. Walls, floors and ceiling should be insulated property and you will be surprised at how much your electricity bill goes down, and how much warmer your house remains.
Solar panels are the new darlings of the real estate industry. They are a clean and completely renewable source of energy and they are becoming more and more common in residential areas. While the installation costs of installing solar panels into your home are pretty high, they will most definitely be offset by the amount of money that you save on electricity and they are very desirable for buyers.
Not only is it great for the planet, as well as saving you money on your electricity bill, solar energy may also have other benefits such as tax schemes, grants and incentives. How much sun your house gets and the position where the solar panels have been installed will all have an effect on how much energy you will get from them – but do it right and you won’t regret it.
Houses that have new, energy efficient appliances in them are much more likely to fetch a great price once they are sold. Almost every major brand will have an energy guide label on it and will allow you to compare their energy consumption to other appliances.
Fridges, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers and heating appliances like kettles, stoves and toasters are the appliances that use up the most energy in any household and therefore they are the ones that you should really focus on. Newer models tend to be more energy efficient and it’s easy to research which appliance is the best for eco-friendly reasons.
Other things like changing to energy saving light bulbs, underfloor heating rather than wall radiators and many other small details can make a huge difference in your energy consumption and really improve the value of your home.
Gone are the days when IKEA was the only cheap option for furniture and we are starting to find more recycled furniture items in the shelves, for more reasonable prices. When buying new furniture look for things that have been reused or recycled or for eco-friendly products.
Woods such as bamboo are an incredibly fast growing, renewable resource and is a great product to consider when you are buying furniture or doing renovations on your house.
Maximise natural light in winter, keep cool in summer
In the past, big windows that let in large amounts of natural light, while beautiful, were often impractical as they meant that the house was cold in winter and hot in summer. But in recent years, we have seen an increase in the double-glazing of windows. This means that less heat is lost through the large glass doors and windows, while the house still gets tons of natural light and ensure that it stays cooler in summer. At night time, you should use thick curtains on big windows to ensure that there is less heat loss out of any large doors or windows.
If you can have a water harvesting system in your roof, you can save money on your water and energy bill, do great things for the planet and increase the value of your house in one go. Rain water can be used in toilets and showers, or simply for the garden. If you wish to drink the rain water that you collect then it is advised that you invest in a filter.
We are living in a revolutionary age where more and more people are starting to care about the impact that we are having on our planet and that means that houses with eco-friendly designs, appliances and details are fetching a better price. The above changes will ensure that your house goes up in value and that you are doing something good for the environment.