“What's the use of a fine house,” asked Henry David Thoreau “if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?” Though spoken over 150 years ago, his words ring truer than ever today, as climate change becomes an evermore pressing issue. It makes sense that our homes should be the first place where we try to decrease our energy consumption, and not just for our benefit. As green homes have become more desirable, so their value has increased too. Here are few innovations that could transform your property into an eco-home.
Solar roof panels are the most recognised eco-friendly apparatus and their implementation can often be subsidised by a governmental loan or tax incentive too. Each panel traps sunlight and converts it into power, which if not used in your own home, may be purchased from you by your local electricity supplier. Completely off-the-grid solar homes can store the excess power in batteries for use another time, or use it to heat water.
Starting from scratch
New builds or extensions can take advantage of green building materials. Concerns have been raised about the amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in traditional products such as laminate flooring and drywall bricks. This is due to the unhealthy vapours and gases that can be emitted from these sources, affecting human health. Green building with straw, recycled stone, bamboo or recycled metal however means much lower levels of toxicity and extra green points for using renewable resources.
Run your smart home with a smartphone
Some green inventions are so smart that they can detect whether you are at home or not, and react accordingly, saving both money and energy. Thermostats fitted with occupancy sensors conserve power by turning the heat up or down depending on the temperature. They can even adapt to your expected homecoming times, and create your preferred ambient temperature from the moment you step in the door. The added bonus is that all of this can be controlled remotely from a smartphone, so if you’re running late the thermostat won't waste energy heating an empty home. These brilliant energy saving devices are also hugely popular with buyers and have the potential to add a large amount of value to your property.
Clever windows and air quality control
Among the latest developments in green technology are smart windows, which automatically block or allow in heat depending on the weather conditions. Although not yet readily available they are set to become a highly desired addition to energy-conscious homes. An Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) is another handy device to regulate indoor temperature, while also improving the quality of incoming air by filtering out all particles, and boosting or lowering humidity on demand. The ERV also takes out stale household odours, chemicals from cleaning products and gases from cooking, replacing them with fresh air from outside. This can also result in significant benefits for those who suffer from allergies.
Engel & Völkers has been at the forefront of the real estate industry for 30 years and as a result we’re well-versed in the latest developments in green technology. For help and advice on how to maximise your home’s value with energy-saving features prior to selling, contact one of our expert local shops.