Practicing energy and water efficiency in 2023
One of the most daunting things you can hear as a seller is: your home doesn’t have enough value. Not enough features, not enough this, not enough that. In the market today, “home efficiency” is a deciding factor for MANY. Fortunately… there are plenty of things you can do to increase the value of your home without investing all of your time into it!
In this blog, we will explore 9 small yet impactful renovations that can help you decrease energy and water usage and create a more sustainable and valuable living environment to increase value for when you prepare to sell your home.
Efficient Energy Usage:
1. Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Lighting:
One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to increase home energy efficiency is by replacing traditional incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient alternatives such as LED (light-emitting diode) or CFL (compact fluorescent) bulbs. These bulbs use significantly less energy! They also have a longer lifespan, saving you both electricity and time in the long run. Consider replacing all your light bulbs or gradually upgrading room by room to maximize energy savings throughout your home!
2. Seal Air Leaks:
Air leaks can lead to significant energy loss. Although it doesn’t initially sound like that makes much sense… conditioned air escapes through the leaks and the outdoor air infiltrates your home! It causes a chain of events that has your air conditioning unit working on overtime. Conduct a thorough inspection of your doors, windows, and other areas prone to air leaks, such as electrical outlets and plumbing penetrations. Use weatherstripping, caulking, and foam sealants to seal gaps and cracks. This simple step can enhance your home's insulation, reduce drafts, and minimize the strain on your heating and cooling systems, resulting in substantial energy savings!
3. Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Appliances:
Has it been a while since the last time you purchased a big home appliance? It’s not only an inconvenience for whoever is using them… Outdated appliances tend to consume more energy than newer, energy-efficient models! When it's time to replace your appliances, opt for those with ENERGY STAR ratings. These appliances meet strict energy efficiency guidelines and can help you save a significant amount of energy. Focus on high-energy consuming appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, and air conditioners to replace first. This is the best way to decrease energy usage without decreasing functionality!
4. Install Programmable Thermostats:
Heating and cooling account for a significant portion of a home's energy usage! We all know this by now. But, by installing programmable thermostats, you can optimize the temperature settings based on your schedule and preferences, reducing energy waste. Set the thermostat to lower temperatures when you're away or asleep and schedule it to warm up or cool down before you return or wake up. This way, you can enjoy a comfortable environment while conserving energy and lowering your heating and cooling costs!
5. Conduct an Energy Audit:
What is an energy audit? An energy audit can pinpoint specific inefficiencies and provide recommendations tailored to your home's needs. Consider hiring a professional or conducting a DIY energy audit to identify areas where your home may be losing energy! It may involve someone coming to inspect insulation, check for air leaks, assess appliance energy consumption, and evaluate your HVAC system's efficiency. Armed with this knowledge for the future, you can prioritize renovations and investments to maximize energy efficiency and minimize energy waste!
Efficient Water Usage:
If you’re selling a home in California… listen up. This is one of THE BEST ways to increase the value of your home with only a few little adjustments. Climate and drought have always affected our gorgeous state… but that doesn’t mean we have to be a part of the problem!
6. Upgrade to “Low-Flow” Fixtures:
When was the last time you felt like you had to rush your shower just because of how much water you could tell was going down the drain? Are you too anxious to wash your hair and relax because you’re worried about the drought? That’s because traditional faucets, showerheads and even toilets can be major water wasters. Replace them with low-flow alternatives to SIGNIFICANTLY reduce water consumption without sacrificing performance. Low-flow fixtures incorporate aerators or restrictors that maintain water pressure while reducing the overall volume of water used. This small installation can save gallons of water each day. (This is a huge plus point when selling your home!)
7. Install a Dual-Flush Toilet:
As non-glamorous as this is… toilets are among the largest water consumers in a household. Instead of trying to time out your day and plan your trips to the restroom, consider installing a dual-flush toilet that offers two flushing options: a lower-volume flush for liquid waste and a higher-volume flush for solid waste. This innovative feature allows you to use the appropriate amount of water for each type of waste, resulting in significant water savings over time! Dual-flush toilets can cut your water usage by up to 50% compared to conventional toilets.
8. Implement Water-Efficient Landscaping:
If you grew up in California you know exactly what “water-efficient” landscaping looks like. Your home can still look gorgeous from the front and back while reducing outdoor water usage! Implement water-efficient landscaping practices such as “xeriscaping” or planting native, drought-tolerant plants. These plants require less water and maintenance, allowing you to significantly decrease outdoor water consumption. Additionally- this one is a bit more hardcore but consider installing a rainwater harvesting system! This will collect rainwater for irrigation purposes, further reducing reliance on municipal water sources.
9. Fix Leaks Promptly:
Believe it or not, even a small leak can waste a significant amount of water over time. Stay vigilant! Promptly repair any leaks in faucets, toilets, or pipes. Regularly check for signs of water damage, dampness, or dripping sounds to identify and address leaks promptly. Fixing leaks not only conserves water but also prevents potential damage to your home and saves you money on your water bill. No mold in sight!
By implementing very small renovations, you can significantly decrease water usage in your home and contribute to a more sustainable future while increasing selling value! By making conscious choices and embracing home efficiency, you will sell your home faster and leave less of a footprint while doing it.