Portland’s Commitment to Sustainability: How to Make Your Home more Energy Efficient

SustainabilitySustainability is a priority for most homeowners in Portland, making energy efficiency one of the top features buyers are looking for. Whether you are looking for homes for sale in Portland or you want to sell your home in Portland, understanding what energy efficient features to look for is key. 

Investing in sustainable features is better for the environment, but it can also be better for you. By prioritizing these features, you make your home more appealing to buyers and increase its resale value. If you want to make your home in Portland more sustainable, whether it's updating your new home or getting yours ready to sell, consider this list of energy efficient upgrades.

Energy-Efficient Windows, Doors, and Insulation

High-performance windows with low-emissivity coatings and insulated frames can improve insulation and reduce heat transfer, helping to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.

The initial investment in newer windows is going to pay off in multiple ways. Right away, you will be able to notice a difference in your utility costs to heat and cool your home. When you are ready to sell, being able to advertise these new, energy-efficient windows is going to pay off again. Likewise, upgrading to energy-efficient doors with proper insulation can contribute to overall energy savings by reducing drafts and heat loss.

Proper insulation in walls, floors, and the attic helps maintain a consistent indoor temperature, another key update if your home is currenlty quite expensive to heat or cool. 

Solar Panels

This one might surprise you, as Portland is not known for its abundant sunshine. However, it's worth getting a free quote to see if it may make financial sense to incorporate solar energy into your home. Even if you can't harness enough energy from the sun to eliminate your need for other energy, any renewable source is going to make a difference on your carbon footprint and your bottom line. Many incentives and tax credits are available for solar installations in Oregon, as well. 

Energy-Efficient Appliances

Upgrading to Energy Star-rated appliances, including refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines, can significantly reduce energy consumption.

While replacing all of your home's appliances is a significant investment, consider just a few at a time. Over time, you can slowly update all of the appliances to make the home more efficient. Just about every appliance on the market today will offer more energy efficiency, so you can expect to steadily upgrade your home in this area as you make needed updates.

High-Efficiency HVAC and Water Systems

Upgrading to a high-efficiency heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can improve indoor comfort while reducing energy consumption. Consider systems with smart thermostats for better control. This use of smart home technology will allow your home to be optimized for a balance between comfort and energy use, without you having to think about it. 

Switching to a tankless or heat pump water heater can reduce energy usage for water heating. Consider installing low-flow faucets and showerheads to further conserve water. Collecting rainwater for outdoor use can reduce reliance on municipal water supplies, another great update to consdier. Rain barrels or a more extensive rainwater harvesting system can be incorporated.

Smart Home Technology

Implementing smart home features, such as smart thermostats, lighting controls, and automated window shades, allows for more efficient energy management. These features are also appealing to many buyers, offering convenience while the home is yours and a great ROI in the future. 

Low-VOC or Recycled Materials

Opt for construction materials with recycled content, and choose low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints and finishes to improve indoor air quality whenever possible. If you are not currently planning a renovation, this may not make financial sense. However, whenever home updates are in your plan the materials you choose should be a top priority.

Home Energy Audit

If you are unsure about what to prioritize to make your home in Portland more sustainable, consider a home energy audit. A professional can conduct a comprehensive home energy audit to identify areas for improvement. They can assess the home's energy performance and suggest tailored upgrades, helping you prioritize your investment to benefit both your wallet and our planet.

Ready to learn more about buying and selling a home in the Portland metro area? Contact us any time.

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