Wednesday, January 8, 2020

How to Make Your North Shore Home More Sustainable

Sustainability is a hot topic in today’s world! People want to make their lives more sustainable, which includes their homes. If it’s a goal of yours to make your North Shore home more sustainable in 2020, as your North Shore real estate agent, I’m here to share some tips. The perk to sustainability is that many of these tricks can help lower your energy costs, and can increase your home value when you go to sell!

1.  Insulation and heating. Winter is a great time to tackle this step! Have an energy audit done to determine your home’s efficiency. Or, take the old fashioned route and hold a candle up near windows and doors to see where there are drafts. Either way, you’ll know where to air seal by caulking gaps. If your home was built before 1990, you may need to update your heating and cooling system. There are many new, more sustainable options, such as geothermal ground source heat or air source heat pumps. A programmable thermostat is a great, easy way to cut back on energy usage when you’re not home.

2.  Landscaping and water. When planning for your landscaping in 2020, opt for sustainable methods, such as growing native plants, incorporating permeable pavers, and using drip irrigation systems, all which help cut down on water usage. Planting large shade trees can help shade your home, cutting back on air-conditioning usage in the summer. Collecting rain water for watering your gardens on dry days will cut back on water usage. And of course, watering at the correct times of the day help the water properly absorb, like as the sun is rising, or when it is setting.

3.  Solar panels. These are growing more popular among homeowners with each passing year. The tax credit for the system cost is 26 percent in 2020, 22 percent in 2021, and 10 percent in 2022, so the sooner you add them, the more you’ll save! It’s wise to invest in solar panels and a battery storage system, to allow you to store energy when the sun isn’t shining. It’s an investment, but it can yield a huge decrease in energy costs over the long-run. For a less expensive approach, update your roof with light-colored shingles, which retain less heat.

4.  Lights. The cheapest source of lighting for your North Shore home is natural light! In the winter, always allow natural light to stream in during the day, warming your home and also making it more cheerful. For artificial lighting, LEDs are still the preferred choice. They use 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

Check out this sustainability article from Realtor Magazine for tips on how to make your home more sustainable in the areas of plumbing, natural materials, transportation, recycling and building materials as well. Lots of information is available to keep you busy this year!

When ready to achieve your North Shore real estate goals in 2020, give me a call! As your North Shore real estate agent, I am here and ready to help you achieve all of your home-selling and/or home-buying goals in the New Year.

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert

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