A New Homebuyer’s Guide to High-Value Sustainability Features

Investing in more sustainable features not only minimizes the environmental footprint of your home, it can also save — or even make — you money over the long term. Here are a few ideas for home features to watch out for when your house hunting that are worth the premium you may be paying for them. 

Energy-Efficient Appliances

Energy-efficient appliances in the kitchen and laundry room can cut energy and water use, improve indoor air quality, and reduce electricity demand. On average, appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines make up 20% of your electric bill, but Energy Star certified appliances use 10-50% less energy annually. While they may cost more upfront, they save you money in the long run.

Energy-Efficient Lighting

Timers, dimmers, and smart lighting are relatively cheap and easy to install but they can lead to huge cost savings in the long run. For example, a 75% dim can save you up to 20% on lighting costs. If you’re looking to install these yourself after you buy, consider Feit Electric A19 dimmable bulbs. Choose soft white LED bulbs (60W or 40W) for everyday lighting and daylight LED bulbs (60W or 40W) for focused light. They work smoothly with dimmer switches, ensuring no flickering or noise.

Smart Home Thermostat 

Smart thermostats, such as the Ecobee Smart Thermostat and Nest Learning Thermostat, can adapt to your preferences, learn your schedule, and can even detect when you are away, saving you from unnecessary preheating or precooling. This enhances both your comfort and convenience, all while cutting down on energy consumption and putting money back in your pocket. According to data gathered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Energy Star models usually save 8% or $50 annually, with more significant savings in extreme climates. Also, the Nest Learning Thermostat saves 10-12% on heating and 15% on cooling on average.

Low Flush Toilets

Cleverly designed, low flush toilets are water-saving champions when compared to their old-fashioned high-flow counterparts. These toilets feature a unique design that can flush waste effectively, while saving 20% on water per year. According to estimates by the Environmental Protection Agency, homeowners can pocket up to $110 in annual water bill savings by using low flush toilets. They also have an impressive lifespan of 30 years or more before needing replacement. 

Ready to find your next home? Contact our team and we would be happy to help!