There are myriad reasons why people wish to invest in – and more importantly, live in! – energy efficient homes. As we become more aware of and concerned for the state of the environment, reducing our individual and household carbon footprints increases in priority. Any step we can take is a big step forward for all of us. But there is another reason why interest in energy efficient homes is at an all-time high, and this one hits us right in the wallet. We know that high-performance homes save us money when it comes to our utility bills and the everyday operations of our houses. But does energy efficiency increase your home value? And what does this mean for you as an owner?
What Do You Need to Know About Energy Efficient Home Value?
One of the biggest perks of owning an energy efficient home is the savings you see month after month. For example, Synergy Homes’ Gold and Platinum Series Homes are up to 75% more efficient than existing homes and up to 50% more efficient than new construction homes. This adds up to significant savings each time you pay your utility bills. Further, according to Freddie Mac research, homes that had high energy efficiency ratings sold for 2.7% more than those that did not.
Doesn’t sound like a lot? Look at it this way: 2.7% of $350,000 is $9450. In other words, you can make almost $10,000 more if you sell your house. How many dreams could that fund?
Because more people are seeking out energy efficient homes, and because utility prices are certainly not expected to decrease, your home is a critical investment in your future in terms of its resale value. Specifically, buyers are looking for:
- Energy Star-rated windows (83%)
- Energy Star-rated appliances (81%)
- Energy efficient lighting (80%)
- Energy Star rating for the whole home (79%)
- Triple pane insulating glass windows (73%)
A tight thermal envelope is essential when it comes to appealing to energy conscious house hunters. The thermal envelope refers to any structure that separates indoor air from outdoor air (i.e. the roof, foundation, exterior walls, windows/doors, and insulation).
Insulation, for example, is especially important. According to some estimates, insulating your attic alone can add almost $1500 to your property value. Ensuring this space, as well as your basement, crawl space, and exterior walls, are well-insulated keeps your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter – keeping you from getting sticker shock when you open your utility bills.
Now, most builders opt for standard R-30 blown or batt fiberglass insulation. Premier builders of high performance homes use R-20 Icynene spray foam insulation. But we’re not comparing apples to apples here. R-30 fiberglass has better insulating properties than R-20 fiberglass, sure. But R-20 spray foam offers more protection than either and does not lose its R value over time, like fiberglass does. This is one simple material that can amplify energy performance throughout your house. And it certainly appeals to buyers.
What If Your House Isn’t That Efficient?
Does energy efficiency increase your home value? What other ways can you increase your home’s energy efficiency? There are steps you can take to increase energy efficiency in your home. In fact, any home can be made more efficient – and every home should be. Consider:
- Adding more insulation or replacing fiberglass with spray foam.
- Replacing windows and doors with double or triple-pane options.
- Replacing old appliances with Energy Star-rated models.
- Sealing up air gaps and leaks and applying weatherstripping around doors and windows.
- Servicing your HVAC system or, if necessary, replacing it with a more efficient unit.
- Contacting your utility for a home energy assessment. They will provide suggestions and recommendations to improve the efficiency of your house.
Of course, the best way to maximize your home’s energy efficiency is to start with one! Synergy Homes is committed to building the highest-performing homes on the market – as well as spaces in which you will be proud to live. We consider every aspect, from building materials and techniques to designs and layouts, to maximize performance… and minimize your costs.
We begin with a tight thermal envelope, ensuring each element is built to last and built to save you money. As mentioned, we opt for upgraded and more energy efficient materials including Icynene spray foam, R-6 rigid vinyl board, and double pane hurricane impact vinyl windows. Homes are outfitted with Energy Star appliances, and even the layouts contribute to airflow conducive to cutting costs while maintaining complete comfort.
Does energy efficiency increase your home value? Yes. And Synergy Homes seeks to build forever homes – but if your plans change, know that your house will increase in value and provide you with a better return on your investment should you sell. In the meantime, you can enjoy elegant, comfortable living that saves you each and every month.