Sustainable Home Upgrades: Eco-Friendly and Energy-Efficient Ideas

In today’s world, sustainability and energy efficiency have become more important than ever. Not only do they benefit the environment, but they can also increase your property’s value. So, if you’re looking to make improvements to your home that are both eco-friendly and energy-efficient, you’re in the right place! In this blog, we’ll explore some fantastic sustainable home upgrade ideas that will not only reduce your carbon footprint but also enhance the value of your property.

Energy-Efficient Lighting

One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to start your sustainable home upgrade journey is by switching to energy-efficient lighting. Replace your old incandescent bulbs with LED or CFL (compact fluorescent) bulbs. LEDs use significantly less energy and last much longer, reducing the need for frequent replacements. Not only will you save on electricity bills, but you’ll also reduce your carbon emissions.

Solar Panels

Harnessing the power of the sun is an excellent way to make your home more sustainable and energy-efficient. Solar panels can generate electricity for your home while reducing your reliance on traditional power sources. With government incentives and falling solar panel prices, this investment pays off over time, increasing your property’s value while contributing to a greener future.

Energy-Efficient Windows

Windows play a vital role in a home’s energy efficiency. Consider upgrading to energy-efficient windows with double or triple glazing. These windows provide better insulation, keeping your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. They also reduce noise pollution, which can enhance your overall living experience and property value.


Proper insulation is crucial for maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature and reducing energy consumption. Insulate your walls, roof, and floors to prevent heat loss during the winter and keep your home cooler in the summer. Well-insulated homes are highly desirable in the real estate market, so this upgrade can significantly increase your property’s value.

Smart Thermostats

A smart thermostat is a convenient addition to any home, allowing you to control your heating and cooling systems remotely and adjust temperatures based on your schedule. These devices learn your preferences over time, optimizing energy usage and saving you money on utility bills. Potential buyers often appreciate the convenience of a smart thermostat, making your property more attractive.

Energy-Efficient Appliances

When it comes to sustainability, your choice of appliances matters. Invest in Energy Star-rated appliances that meet strict energy efficiency guidelines. Energy-efficient appliances use less electricity and water, which translates into lower utility bills and a more eco-friendly home. They are also a selling point when you decide to put your property on the market.

Rainwater Harvesting System

Reducing water waste is an essential aspect of sustainability. Install a rainwater harvesting system to collect and store rainwater for various household uses like irrigation, flushing toilets, and washing clothes. Not only will this reduce your reliance on municipal water sources, but it also decreases your water bills and makes your property more attractive to environmentally conscious buyers.

Green Roof

Green roofs are a unique and visually stunning way to upgrade your home’s sustainability. These roofs are covered with vegetation, providing natural insulation, reducing stormwater runoff, and improving air quality. Green roofs also add aesthetic value and can make your property stand out in the real estate market.

Low-Flow Plumbing Fixtures

Replace old, water-wasting plumbing fixtures with low-flow alternatives. Low-flow toilets, showerheads, and faucets can significantly reduce water consumption without sacrificing comfort. These upgrades are not only eco-friendly but also help lower your water bills and appeal to potential buyers.

Landscaping and Native Plants

Your outdoor space is just as important as the interior of your home when it comes to sustainability. Consider landscaping with native plants, which require less water and maintenance. Native plants also support local ecosystems and biodiversity. A well-designed and sustainable landscape can enhance your property’s curb appeal and overall value.


Making sustainable home upgrades is a win-win situation. Not only do these improvements benefit the environment by reducing your carbon footprint and conserving resources, but they also increase the value of your property. Whether you’re looking to sell your home in the future or simply want to live in a more eco-friendly and energy-efficient space, these upgrades are a smart investment for both you and the planet. So, start planning your sustainable home upgrades today and enjoy the benefits for years to come!


How pets can impact your home’s value

I once listed the home of a lovely woman who lived with the love-of-her-life, a young pit-bull, Jade.

Like most puppies, Jade had penchant for chewing – on EVERYTHING. My client came home from work one day to find her living room completely destroyed. The dog had torn the sofa to shreds – even the wood frame. The floor was a sea of shredded foam and chewed-up wood.

The dog had also taken a dislike to the baseboards and decided they had to go as well. Thankfully there were no showings that day and it took almost two weeks to get the unit back into showing condition (and a lock on the escape-artist dog’s crate).

Sure, this example is extreme, but pets damage homes, whether it’s the dark streak on a wall where they’ve rubbed themselves or cat urine in the carpet to even something as minor as hair everywhere. Pets can have a negative impact on your home’s value.

Other ways pets impact home value

Recently I read an interview with a Boston real estate agent who talked about selling a condo that belonged to a woman who owned multiple cats. It sold for $30,000 less than it should have because of the damage caused by her cats.

“When the damage is significant, however, a home could appraise at 2% to 5% less” than market value, appraiser Susan Martins-Phipps tells Beth DeCarbo at the Wall Street Journal.

Then there was an article in Business Insider that claims home values in a neighborhood with barking dogs are reduced between five and 10 percent. So not only might your pet bring down your home’s value, but your neighbor’s pets may impact it as well.

How to deal with existing and future impacts

Of course, you’ll need to repair pet damage before putting the home on the market. But you’ll also need to remove evidence of pets as well, such as hair, odors, stains, and pet paraphernalia, such as food dishes and litter boxes.

Urine in carpets is almost impossible to get out so you may want to think about replacing them. Painting the interior will get rid of rubbing marks on the walls and a lot of odor as well.

Here are a few other tips to ensure your home gives off a homey, not kennel vibes:

  • If pet odors are extra-heavy, consider hiring a professional to get rid of them.
  • Avoid the use of air fresheners, incense and scented candles. Certain scents can be turn-offs for some.
  • Keep your dog groomed during the marketing process.
  • Vacuum as often as possible.
  • Give your dog plenty of exercise and attention while the home is on the market. When he’s pooped out, he won’t be as likely to look for ways to beat boredom.
  • Don’t forget the backyard. If your pooch relieves herself there, you’ll need to ensure she hasn’t left any surprises for buyers who want to check out the area.

Finally, find a place to park the pets during showings. Ideally, that means removing them from the home. Park your pet at the groomer, drop it at the vet for a checkup, take it to doggie daycare, or hire a professional dog walker during showings and open houses.

Since it’s not always practical to remove the pet from the home, crate it, cover the crate with a blanket, and leave a note on the door that there are pets created in the room.