Eco Friendly Homeowner Tips

As a real estate agent serving Gwinnett, North Fulton, Forsyth and Cobb counties, I have a wide area of expertise. While everyone knows we have to conserve energy, the challenge is how to get started and what is the value in “going green” with your home?

Let me being by speaking of the value. In the Atlanta area, while a few people may pay more for a more efficient home, most will use that as a swaying feature between 2 comparable homes and the green home will sell faster. I wanted to share with you some ideas that we recommend if you wanted to go green and discuss the resale value of each option.

HVAC: Replace A/C systems with a 13 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) or greater unit. Update furnaces to high AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) system of 80 or greater. These will have a tremendous impact on your utility bills while you own the property, and is a great selling point. Also, when the prospective buyer looks at the property, knowing it is a relatively new system will be a big plus.

Install programmable thermostat(s). Not only will this help you be more comfortable when you arrive home, it will save energy as well.

Replace kitchen appliances with ENERGY STAR rated appliances. Everyone loves newer appliances. We all know that kitchens help sell homes, so make yours more attractive with this feature.

Replace plumbing fixtures & toilets with water conserving fixtures & low flow toilets. In Georgia, as well as many other areas of the country, we are experiencing major issues with water shortages. In some metro counties, this is actually a requirement before a seller can sell. We expect that more and more counties will enact similar legislation, so this might be a way to get your house prepared in advance.

Improve insulation. We find that the home’s insulation gets packed down over the years, so refreshing insulation in the attic or adding insulation in the walls will certainly reduce your energy cost as well as provide a great selling feature. It will make the house much more comfortable.

Replace old single-pane windows with Low-emissivity (Low-E) rated windows. A Low-E coating is a microscopically thin, virtually invisible, metal or metallic oxide layer deposited directly on the surface of one or more of the panes of glass. Old windows are drafty, but the new windows are great for keeping the outside temperatures from affecting the interior temperature of the home. This is an expensive but very effective alteration. When we priced out new windows for our home, we were amazed at the pricing, but feel that it will allow us to be more comfortable and save us money in the long run.

While there are other options to consider, we don’t feel that they are as practical, but we thought we would list them for you to think about:

Solar technologies for heating, and active systems for power generation to supplement the grid.

Grey-water recycling system.

Rainwater retention systems.

Ventilation systems that replace indoor air with fresh outdoor air.

A whole-house and reverse osmosis water filtering systems. Provides better tasting water and also reduces the waste of bottled water.

Even if you do only a couple of these items, you will find that you have increased the comfort and value of your home for years to come. If you have any further questions about going green, feel free to contact us – or call 404.886.8789.

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