Energy efficiency: How to add value to your home

House Extension

In today's energy conscious world, home buyers are looking more and more at a home's energy efficiency when buying. We examine how a few simple changes to your home can boost its value and make it more attractive to prospective buyers.

It is estimated that today's buyer will pay up to £10,000 more for an energy efficient home. Even if you are not interested in selling, making your home energy efficient could save money on energy bills.

In addition, the introduction of home information packs (HIPs) last month now requires that certain homes have information on their energy efficiency available to prospective buyers.

In today's energy conscious world, perhaps the best investment you can make in your home is to make it energy efficient.

Loft insulation

The majority of homes lose most of their heat through the attic or loft. If your loft is not insulated you should have it done immediately and if insulation is less than 200mm, you should have extra layers added.

About 15% of a home's heat can be lost through a roof that is not insulated. The average home will cost £500 to insulate in this manner and pay for itself within four or five years in savings on heating costs. Also, there are grants available to help cover the cost of loft insulation.

Double glazing

Double glazing can cut heating costs by up to £100-a-year in the average British household. It is one of the more expensive measures you can take to make your home energy efficient, but it will save you money in the long run and add significantly to the value of your home. It also has the advantage of reducing noise significantly.

Double glazing should be installed by professionals and make sure the product you buy bears the Energy Saving Recommended logo.

Wall insulation

Cavity wall insulation has become a popular and economical way to boost the energy efficiency of thousands of homes across the UK. An insulating substance is simply injected into the walls of the home.

For the average home the process takes about three hours and costs about £500. It will normally pay for itself within five years in heating costs savings.

Cheap heat

Now that your home is well insulated, it is time to examine the efficiency of your heating system. The most energy efficient boiler available on the market today is the high efficiency condensing boiler. These use more recent technology and if your boiler is more than 15 years old you almost certainly need to upgrade.

High efficiency condensing boilers can be fitted to most heating systems. It is worthwhile investing in a quality product with built in heating controls. These include features like a programmer; a room thermostat; a cylinder thermostat; and thermostatic radiator valves. Heating controls should allow you to control the room temperature and water heat throughout your home in the most energy efficient way.

Insulating your home well and heating it efficiently, as described above, will cut your energy bills dramatically, boost the value of your home, and help the environment as well.

However, if you are feeling more adventurous, there are countless other energy saving methods you can try to cut bills and make your home more attractive to buyers.

Solar power, wind energy and alternative fuel types for heating are all very real possibilities for cutting your home's carbon footprint. Although these, and other, energy saving methods are still in the experimental stage they may be very attractive to some buyers.

But to start with, the main measures set out above will go a long way towards boosting the value of your home. These, combined with good energy saving habits in your daily life, can save you a lot of money in the long run.

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