Three Green Upgrades that Add Value to Your Home

Bryn Huntpalmer
January 5, 2016

In case you haven’t yet heard the news: going green isn’t just cool, it’s cost effective, too. There are plenty of home upgrades that can transform your home into a lean, energy-efficient, money-saving (and money-making) green machine. What’s even better is that they won’t cost you all that much to implement. So when it comes time to put your home on the market, even you’ll be impressed.

Harness Solar Power

All right, home owners. Are you ready for some science? Almost all the energy needed to power our planet comes directly from the sun. Which means that, when harnessed, the heat from the sun’s rays is powerful enough to generate electricity in your home without emitting harmful carbon dioxide into the atmosphere (greenhouse gases), which is what happens when oil and coal (fossil fuels) are burned for energy. So the process of creating solar energy, or more appropriately, solar thermal energy by way of solar panels, is a clean and renewable one that produces just as much electricity simply by concentrating the sun’s light into a specific area. The best part? After the panels are paid for and installed, electricity is completely free.

As the earth’s population grows and the health of our planet becomes more and more delicate, the need to choose alternative energies grows stronger and more urgent. The great news is that these green home improvements are becoming easier to incorporate into our lives and designs. In recent years the cost of solar power has dropped, and many states offer incentives like tax credits to purchase solar power. Some utility companies will also offer financial incentives to buy, making solar panels one of the most beneficial and lucrative green upgrades you can do for your home.

Green Your Roof

According to the US Department of Energy, normal or dark-coloured rooftops can reach temperatures of up to 66 degrees C, which means your cooling system is working hard to regulate the temperature. In order to counteract these effects there are a few different methods for converting your roof into a cool roof – all of which depend on your preferences and budget. If you are considering a simpler and less costly adjustment, you can use a cool roof coating that allows you to coat the surface of your roof in a thick, paint-like material that has special reflective pigments to reduce heat absorption. These are available for most rooftops and are the easiest to add on.

If you are in need of a new roof and want to convert it to a more energy-efficient version, it’s also helpful to consider the fact that replacing and installing a green roof is no more expensive than a standard rooftop, so weigh your options and choose your rooftop materials accordingly.

Landscape for Curb Appeal

It might sound unlikely, but a little shrub can make a big difference when it comes to increasing the value of your home. Nice landscaping can immediately make your home seem more attractive at first glance, which is helpful when it’s on the market. So plant and grow a garden, add some shrubbery to give it a full and abundant look and, above all, plant trees!

Trees not only look great, they also release more oxygen into the atmosphere, which is good for everyone. What’s more, planting larger trees for shade can help decrease your home’s cooling costs, and make your house more energy-efficient.