Attempting to sell your home on today’s market will require some key upgrades in the energy efficiency department, at least if you’re hoping to get top value for your property.
However, selling your home isn’t the only reason to make such renovations. Although the UK’s energy rates aren’t as high as some other countries out there, the fact of the matter is that they are on the increase, and legislation is constantly put forth that affects energy companies and homeowners alike.
So whether you’re selling, trying to save money or simply want to safeguard against any possible future increases, renovating your home and making it more energy efficient is a smart process to undertake. But it’s also a lengthy, time consuming process that should be handled one step at a time.
How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
1: Start Small
The first step in renovating your home for energy efficiency is actually a series of smaller, affordable, easy-to-handle steps. Yes, you can always knock out the entire process in one big swing, making many changes. But this is expensive and risky, so it’s best to start with the smallest changes you can.
Look into different energy efficient aspects such as:
• Your home’s lighting: the bulbs and the actual fixtures
• Your water heater
• Your shower heads and taps
• Your toilet
These changes are relatively inexpensive, they can be installed easily as weekend projects, and you can begin saving money instantly.
2: Monitor the Function of Your Home
Another key area to focus on is the actual performance of your home. For instance, how well does it heat in the winter and cool in the summer? An upgrade to your insulation, or even installing weathering strips, can save you a lot of energy and money by having to use your appliances less frequently.
The same carries over to your water. Did you know that a leaking tap can set you back a lot of money – even thousands? This isn’t only factoring in the cost of water, but also the cost of mold, mildew and ruined property due to water damage. Investing in leak detection is a great way to go green.
3: Adopt Better Usage Practices and Principles
At the risk of coming across as a bit condescending, it’s important to note that true energy efficiency starts with your actual practices and principles in the home. Here are a few simple tips to remember going forward:
• Shut off your lights when not in use
• Invest in a shut-off box for appliances, or unplug them when possible
• Take advantage of windows and air flow to heat and cool your home in part
• Regularly monitor your taps and any pipes
• A clothes line is superior to an electric dryer on nice days
• Invest in solar sun charges for small appliances
• Wash your clothes with cold water
While these aren’t exactly renovation tips, they are useful. After all, you can get the best energy-efficient items on the market and still fail to save electricity if you’re constantly using them. Energy efficiency literally starts with how you use energy, not the item using it.
4: Make the Switch to Efficient Appliances
Now that you’re getting the hang of actually saving energy, you can make the bigger plunge and save even more by switching out your appliances. New-model refrigerators and stoves, for example, use only a fraction of the electricity to run as older models. The same is true for the washer-dryer, television sets, computers, etc.
If it’s an item you use frequently, there are big savings to be had by making the switch to an energy efficient model. These models are also very modern, so they add more style to the home and ultimately more resale value.
5: Be Frugal Where Possible
Did you know that purchasing a floor-model fridge or stove from the department store will save you upwards of 50% on a product that has extremely minimal usage? This is one of those money-saving tips that can help you make important, lasting renovations on a tight budget. And it doesn’t stop there. Did you know that the label “refurbished” typically means that someone bought the item and returned it without actually using it? Again, this is the type of product you can get at a huge discount.
Not everything has to be brand spanking new in the box to be new and in perfect working condition. Be frugal and shop around for good deals where available. The more money you save on your appliances, the more upgrades you’ll be able to make.
Renovating your home allows you to add a lot of value and to save a lot of money. Best of all, you can make small changes in your habits and smaller, money-saving purchases to complete a renovation in steps without ever having to go into debt or relocate while your home is being remodeled.
Guest post by Sarah Brinkley, writer for Polygon.com enthusiastic about
home improvement, housing and real estate business. Always happy to share
tips and tricks helping people to get the most of it when it comes to safe
and comfortable living.