- Eco-friendly home improvements will boost the value of your home as well as making it environmentally friendly.
- Solar power is the go-to option for getting off the grid and improving energy efficiency.
- The geyser is the biggest consumer of electricity, and you have a several options for making it more eco-friendly.
- Insulation will save on the costs of heating your home during winter and cooling it during summer.
One of the hallmarks of modern homes is eco-friendliness, and it’s one of the first things younger home buyers look for (along with fast internet connectivity).
Investing in eco home upgrades to your home not only does your bit for the environment, but increases the value of your home too.
Eco friendly home improvements: Where to invest?
- Solar power
- Water efficiency
1. Solar power
You can hire a consulant to determine how suitable your property is for solar power installment. The type of roof and its level of exposure to sunlight will play a role.
Installing solar power is worth the cost for what you’ll save on energy bills in the long-term.
The geyser is the primary consumer of electricity in the home.
Your eco-friendly options include:
- Insulating the geyser. You can take measures to prevent heat loss. Some basic methods include getting a geyser blanket installed.
- Solar powered geyser. A more expensive option, but one that will save you in the long-term. Of course, you’ll need to determine if your home can accommodate solar power first. A solar geyser can cost around R15 000, with installation usually costing between R2000 and R6000.
- Heat pump. A heat pump mainly uses heat absorbed from the air, with electricity playing a smaller role. Thus, a heat pump can heat the same amount of water as a geyser using a third of the energy. Heat pumps are more expensive than solar-powered geysers (costing around R25 000), but are not reliant on availability of sunlight.
Consider how much energy is used to heat your home during winter and cool it during summer.
It’s actually mandatory for newly built homes to have insulation installed, but you have options for retrofitting your home with improved insulation.
There are various insulation products that can be installed on your roof (where most air travels), walls and floors. Ask friends to recommend companies that install insulation, or search online. Be sure to read reviews to assess the reliability of the company.
4. Water efficiency
We’ve already discussed geysers, but recycled water should also be included among sustainable home improvements.
The rainwater tank is the go-to sustainable water system. The water is mainy used for watering gardens, since there’s a chance of leaves getting caught in it. You can get a rain runner that cleans the water and transfers it into a second tank, which you can then use as your primary water supply.
An effective water recycling system can cost around R32 000.
Bamboo is gaining prominence as an eco-friendly alternative to wooden flooring. It’s a regenerating grass that grows faster than hardwood trees.
It’s also more cost-effective, and easier to maintain.
Investing in an eco-friendly home
If you’re planning to purchase a home that meets your eco-friendly requirements, you can get prequalified to determine what you’ll be able to afford.
You can then search for a home that falls within your price bracket, and you’ll have a prequalification certificate proving to the seller you can afford the home.
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