Everyone knows that the Denver real estate market is hot, and our 365 days of sunshine doesn’t hurt the cause. Along with our many days of sunshine comes a very real winter, and those living in and around Denver want their homes to be energy efficient. Even newer homes can lose energy—heat loss through the roof and windows is the most common culprit, as are clunky, older major appliances such as furnaces and water heaters. If you’re looking into buying a home in University Park or you already own property in the area, here are some energy-saving things to look for in an energy efficient home
1. Make sure your attic, walls, and the area around windows are well-insulated
Insulating materials slow down heat loss but don’t stop airflow entirely. Having properly sealed floors is crucial to maintaining a leak-free thermal barrier and is one of the most important steps you can take for conserving energy in your home.
2. Upgrade or replace windows
Much of a home’s heat loss occurs through the windows, so you can potentially cut your energy bill by 20% if you replace your single-paned windows with double-paned or triple-paned windows. Replace aluminum window frames; vinyl frames are more resistant to heat transfer.
3. Plant shade trees around your house
Deciduous trees, preferably planted on the west side of your University Park home, provide shade for your house and yard during the hottest months and times of day; they will naturally help cool your home during the summer. In the winter, the leaves will be gone, allowing the sun to warm your home during the day.
4. Replace older furnaces and appliances with a high-efficiency unit
Newer furnaces models burn less fuel and burn hotter and changing air filters allows air to circulate more easily, so your furnace doesn’t have to work as hard. New appliances are also more energy efficient than their older counterparts—and in addition to adding efficiency, new appliances are attractive and can add automatic aesthetic value to your home.
5. Improve the efficiency of your hot water system
Make sure your water heater is set to warm (120 degrees) firstly, then insulate your hot water lines so they hold in heat longer between uses. Using low-flow fixtures, such as showerheads and faucets, will save water. The newest technology is “on demand” hot water, which uses a small pump to deliver hot water to fixtures faster and more efficiently, with a heater that only fires when you need hot water.
6. Use fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent
Compact fluorescent bulbs last 8-12 times longer than incandescent bulbs and use much less wattage, though they cost a little more when you initially buy them.
7. Schedule a professional energy audit
This is the first step in assessing how much energy your home uses and how you can save energy. It should include a blower-door test for maximum effectiveness. This device works as a leak-detector, sucking most of the air out of the house and allowing the technician to locate gaps.
8. Take advantage of new tax incentives to improve your home
Available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, these incentives cover up to $1,500 of home improvements (windows, insulation, air conditioning, etc.) on an existing home.
Interested in finding the perfect, energy efficient home in Denver’s popular University Park neighborhood? Let our real estate experts at Elevation Realty guide you in your search for a modern, energy-efficient home. Check out our University Park market trends
for the area and give us a call at 303-579-3566