Keeping it Green: How to Improve a House and the Environment

Lots of people are going “green”—it’s a good thing for the environment and helps save money, too. There are a number of improvements you can make on a house that are eco-friendly and also add value to the property. Take a look at these five eco-friendly house improvements that will get prospective buyers excited.

Upgrade Your Heating and Cooling Systems

Cooling and Heating Systems

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A furnace can last anywhere from 15 to 30 years, but that doesn’t mean you should keep it that long. These appliances are the biggest contributors to your monthly electric and gas bills, so an EnergyStar upgrade is a good move financially. Plus, it is better for the environment and prospective buyers will appreciate the upgrade. Heating and cooling systems are expensive, but they are usually worth the investment in the long run, especially since they increase the value of your home.

Add Extra Insulation to the Walls and Rafters

House Insulation

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Insulation doesn’t make your house look any better, but it does sound good to prospective buyers. Adding insulation to your walls and rafters increases the value of your house and is a “green” move because it will help your home retain more heat in the winter and keep your house cooler in the summer—again contributing to smaller monthly electric and gas bills.

Replace Existing Windows with High-Efficiency Versions

Windows

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Old windows are typically single pane, so they are cold to the touch and let heat escape your house. You can improve the value of your home by adding high-efficiency windows that are double pane. Not only will buyers think they are pretty, but new windows will help you save on your electric and gas bills, which is better for the environment and your pocketbook.

Of course, if you don’t have the money to buy new windows, you can make little upgrades to improve the efficiency of your home. For instance, you can replace the caulking around the windows so that it is airtight. Storm shutters are also appealing to buyers in hurricane areas.

Update the Kitchen and Bathrooms

Kitchen and Bathroom

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Kitchens and bathrooms are what sell homes—second only to location. So, if you want your home to appeal to prospective buyers, your money will do a lot of good in these areas. There are several eco-friendly improvements you can make that will also add value to your home. You can upgrade the fixtures to water conservation units or invest in new countertops that are made from “green” materials. Of course, new paint and clean grout lines go a long way, too.

Spend Some Money on Landscaping

Landscaping

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The curb appeal of your home is the first impression that prospective buyers get. So, the exterior of your home needs to look pretty and you need to have some nice landscaping already in place when trying to sell your home. This might not be the first thing you think of, but landscaping in an energy-conscious way is a great way to add value to your home. For instance, if you choose plants that need less water, you won’t have to water as much.

Have you made other eco-friendly upgrades that added value to your home? Tell us what you did. Leave a comment.

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