Need a new year’s resolution for 2024? Making energy-efficient home improvements is one way to increase your home’s market value while lowering your energy bills at the same time. Not only will efficiency upgrades significantly increase your home’s value, but they’ll provide major benefits to you in the meantime.
In the short-term, energy-efficient home improvements will:
Increase your comfort. Adding insulation, investing in professional air sealing, and upgrading your older HVAC systems will make your home feel incredible year-round.
Improve your indoor air quality. A healthy home is a happy home, and energy improvements can reduce moisture, allergens, and dust.
Lower your energy use. Everybody loves lower energy bills, and with rising energy costs across the U.S., lowering your energy use today is a win for you—and whoever lives in your home next.
Consider these value-boosting energy-efficiency upgrades:
Upgrade your home insulation and get professional air sealing:Getting updated attic insulation and professional air sealing is one of the primary expert-recommended ways to solve an abundance of energy issues, including high heating and cooling bills, ice dams, and cold air drafts. And it’s likely your house is already due for this upgrade: 90% of American homes are under-insulated. Even if your home was sufficiently insulated at the time it was built, home insulation wears down over time. And it’s likely the climate has changed in your area, too, requiring an insulation update. Plus, as your house has settled through the years, air leaks have formed around your foundation, attic structures, windows, doors, and plumbing and light fixtures.
Installing an electric air-source heat pumpConsider replacing your current HVAC appliances with an efficient all-in-one system: an electric air-source heat pump! Air-source heat pumps are the most efficient way to heat and cool your home. In the summer, they move warm air from your home to the outdoors while circulating cool air; and in the winter, they pull in heat from the outside into your home to keep you warm. Heat pumps work in freezing temperatures, too. They also work to clean and dehumidify the air in your house.
Converting your home from fossil fuels to electricity to increase home valueBecause homebuyers are looking to purchase homes with lower energy costs, converting your home completely to electric power — and switching from using heating oil or natural gas — could be an improvement that gains increased buyer interest in your market. Passive and net zero homes, or residences that generate renewable energy to meet their energy consumption needs, are increasing in popularity. Moving toward renewable energy use is essential to fighting climate change, and heating oil and natural gas are nonrenewable fossil fuels.
Upgrading to a smart thermostatUpgrading your thermostat can have a huge impact in programming your home’s energy efficiency. Smart thermostats are not only programmable, but they also intelligently learn your household’s temperature preferences and help you use less energy heating and cooling your home when no one’s there.
Converting to a heat pump water heaterHeat pump water heaters are another energy-efficiency home upgrade that could help increase your home value. Hot water heaters can last anywhere between 8 and 12 years, so it might already be time to replace yours. And what homebuyer doesn’t want brand-new major appliances in their new home? Heat pump water heaters work by heating your water by moving heat around, and they’re powered by electricity. Heat pump water heaters can be 2–3 times more energy-efficient than other water heaters.
Installing solar panelsWith the rise in popularity of passive, net-zero, and sustainable homes, solar panels are sought-after by homebuyers who have energy efficiency as a top priority. Installing solar panels on your house allows you, as a homeowner, to produce your own energy. That means you’re reducing the amount of energy that you have to buy for from your local utility. And depending on how many panels you install, the energy-use habits of your household, and the amount of energy you’re able to generate through solar panels, you may be able to get your existing home closer to a net-zero home.
Upgrading to energy-efficient windowsHomebuyers love upgraded windows — they add coveted curb-appeal while also curbing energy-efficiency concerns that come with older windows. But they’re also a high-cost home improvement. Getting new windows can increase your home’s energy efficiency by minimizing heat escape in the winter and heat intrusion in the summer, especially when you upgrade from single-pane to double-pane windows. But what most homeowners and homebuyers don’t know is that you might not need new windows after making important insulation and air sealing upgrades to your home. You can often fix drafty windows through insulation and air sealing improvements, which work to repair your home’s airflow and thermal boundary. And these upgrades often have a lower installation cost and a greater ROI.
Updating older home appliances is an important part of energy-efficient home improvementsIf your refrigerator is 25 years old and still running strong, well, that deserves an award. But not for energy efficiency. It’s likely costing you more to hang on to older appliances — in both energy use and perceived home value by prospective homebuyers. Technology has come a long way. And the newest washing machines, dryers, and kitchen appliances make the most out of their energy usage.
Be sure to record and organize information about your energy efficient home upgrades for future home-value needs, like:
Saving energy audit reports for your home, especially before and after improvements are made
Keeping a history of utility bills, including a comparison of before and after upgrades
Storing receipts and records of upgrade costs and professional installation fees