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In today's home market, the value of a home can fluctuate greatly depending on the "usual suspects" in a home's value - things like location, size, school district, and much more. There's one factor that is becoming more and more of a focal point - the home's energy efficiency and overall performance.

 

Many buyers, sellers and even home appraisers are taking a much closer look at a home's energy performance when determining how much that home is worth to them (or to the general market). It's becoming a hot topic; no pun intended. In this blog post series, we're going to take a look at some of the reasons why increasing your home's energy performance can lead to a higher value being placed on it. The second and final part in this series can be seen below:

 

  1. Energy assessments are now commonly occurring during the sales process. If you’ve ever been through a home buying/selling process, you may know that some basic energy efficiency knowledge exchange is common. Buyers will ask to see a typical energy bill from the home before purchasing. However, more and more buyers are asking for full home performance assessments to be carried out before an offer is made. Buyers are becoming much more savvy and interested when it comes to the home’s performance and efficiency. Ensuring your home is as efficient as possible will help your home pass an assessment with flying colors—and could be the factor that leads to buyers signing on the dotted line.
  1. An efficient home is up to code. Home building and improvement codes increasingly include home efficiency and performance measures. In many cases, you may have to increase your home’s efficiency to bring it up to code. The collective energy consumption, at both the state and federal level, is leading to many new rules and regulations for homeowners when it comes to keeping energy consumption down.
  2. The real “scores” are coming. At both a federal and state level, legislatures are discussing and working to implement actual numerical scores for the energy efficiency of homes. Once this occurs, it will provide a very simple metric for the housing market when it comes to valuing homes based on energy efficiency. Once these scores are implemented, an even higher (and more widely accepted) value will be placed on home performance.

 

The correlation between home efficiency and home value is increasing over time. As people become more aware of energy efficiency issues – not just how they affect their individual home, but the environment in general – the importance continues to rise. If you have any questions about the best ways to increase your home’s value through added efficiency, contact us today for a comprehensive home performance assessment.

In today's home market, the value of a home can fluctuate greatly depending on the "usual suspects" in a home's value - things like location, size, school district, and much more. There's one factor that is becoming more and more of a focal point - the home's energy efficiency and overall performance.

 

Many buyers, sellers and even home appraisers are taking a much closer look at a home's energy performance when determining how much that home is worth to them (or to the general market). It's becoming a hot topic; no pun intended. In this blog post series, we're going to take a look at some of the reasons why increasing your home's energy performance can lead to a higher value being placed on it. You'll find part 1 below:

 

  1.      An efficient home means lower cost of ownership. Most homebuyers aren’t solely looking at the price tag of a house on the market. They are thinking about other associated costs that would come after the purchase is made. Having a very energy efficient house means the owner pays lower bills. This lower cost of ownership is very attractive to buyers and the housing market, driving up the overall value of the home. Even if you’re not planning on selling, increasing your home’s overall efficiency can greatly increase its value for years to come.
  1.      Comfort means value. An energy-efficient home is typically a very comfortable home. The same can be said on the other side as well. Having a home that’s very inefficient not only decreases the comfort of the home, but can also quickly drive down the perceived value of the home in the mind of homebuyers or appraisers. Examples that could be detrimental to home performance and comfort could be poor insulation, drafty windows and doors, uneven temperatures from room to room, etc. A more comfortable home is a more desirable home. A more desirable home is a higher-value home.
  1.      Small increases can lead to big value. Even simple or “cheap” energy fixes can have an impact on the value of a home. According to The Appraisal Journal, a $1 reduction in energy cost can lead to more than a $20 increase in the value of the home.  While there is still yet to be a formalized adjustment process in the home appraisal market, these types of big adjustments are definitely happening.

 

The correlation between home efficiency and home value is increasing over time. As people become more aware of energy efficiency issues – not just how they affect their individual home, but the environment in general – the importance continues to rise. If you have any questions about the best ways to increase your home’s value through added efficiency, contact us today for a comprehensive home performance assessment.

Spring has finally sprung. The cold days are (well, for the most part) behind us but the heat of summer hasn’t yet arrived. Because of the “in between” nature of temperatures during the Spring season, many don’t think about home efficiency and energy. Spring is often a time when homeowners can get away with both little heat and still almost no air conditioning energy in the home to keep things comfortable.

 

The truth is, Spring is perhaps one of the best times to keep home energy and performance top of mind if you’re a homeowner. It’s a great time for maintenance, improvement projects and efficiency steps to help ensure your home is in tip top shape. One of the ways to take advantage of Spring is to have a home performance assessment. Doing so in this “off season” has a lot of different benefits.

 

First, a break in the cold weather from the winter months often means a break in the schedules of top contractors and home energy experts. Scheduling a comprehensive energy assessment may be easiest and most flexible during this time. Home energy professionals have spent the last few months not only carrying out assessments, but also answering to calls of heating emergencies. Theoretically, these emergencies become few and far between as things start to warm up. However, waiting too long can mean the busy summer season will kick into full swing. For these reasons, Spring may be the perfect time to explore having a home performance assessment done in your house.

 

As we’ve discussed on the blog, full home performance assessments, like those we perform at Bel Red, can include thermographic analysis—the use of infrared technology—to identify areas in your home where leaks occur and where efficiency can be improved. These tests only work when there is still a fairly drastic difference between the indoor temperature and outdoor temperature of your home. Waiting until it is warm outside during the summer means these tests aren’t often possible. During the Spring it still gets cold at night, making Spring mornings perfect for infrared testing. This enables home energy professionals to identify the biggest areas of heat loss in your home, which will also lead to keeping your cool air in during the upcoming summer.

 

Speaking of getting ready for summer, preparation and knowledge are the most powerful tools in battling the trials and tribulations of home efficiency. By determining how your home can be most efficient during an offseason like Spring, you can have some time to make improvements prior to another heavy energy usage season like Summer. Heightening your home’s performance before the first day of hot weather even hits is the best way to ensure you’ll be saving as much energy (and money) as possible.

 

If you’d like to explore the benefits of having your own Spring home performance assessment, contact us today at Bel Red.

Posted by on in Plumbing

Everybody knows it: it's 'conventional wisdom,' passed down generation to generation. It applies to anything and everything and unfortunately, in many cases, it's oversimplified or just plain wrong.

 

The conventional wisdom in plumbing is no different; there are many myths. Freshen your drains with lemon? Run water with the garbage disposal? Good ideas? Find out as we explore the top 10 plumbing myths that cost you money. We conclude this blog post series with the final few plumbing myths and alternatives below:

 

  •       Myth #8: Users manuals are only for people who don't know what they are doing.User manuals aren't just full of fancy labeled pictures and lists of parts. They actually contain some useful information as well. While they may not be the most entertaining read in the world, they can save you money and time in the long run.

The Better Alternative: Read the manual. Twice. User manuals contain information on warranties and proper usage that will increase the lifespan of the product.

 

  •       Myth #9: Plumbing fixtures are low maintenance. Ignoring plumbing fixtures because they are hard as stone and cold as steel is not only mean, it's detrimental to their performance. Lack of use allows a p-trap to evaporate, allowing dangerous sewer gas to smell up the house. If an electric water heater sits unused, it can create highly explosive hydrogen gas. In this case, you definitely want less bang for your buck.

 

The Better Alternative: Don't let your plumbing fixtures and equipment sit for long periods of time. Use them periodically to ensure health risks aren't created. The time it takes to turn them on every once in awhile could save you a fortune if you prevent your home from exploding.

 

  •       Myth #10: Ever Plumber Knows Exactly What to Do and How to Do It. Just because a plumber holds that title doesn't mean that they are educated in their field and licensed. Every plumber has opportunities to get continued plumbing education, certificates, and special cards to install some products. If a plumber installs something poorly or chooses the wrong fixture, you'll just have to spend more calling another plumber.

 

The Better Alternative: Use state boards and the BBB to ensure the plumber you are hiring is well qualified and well educated m the field.

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed this blog series with common plumbing myths and find benefit in the corresponding alternatives we’ve outlined. If you ever have plumbing questions or needs, you can always contact us for help – we’d be glad to give you the truth and nothing but the truth when it comes to plumbing!

 

 

 

Posted by on in Plumbing

Everybody knows it: it's 'conventional wisdom,' passed down generation to generation. It applies to anything and everything and unfortunately, in many cases, it's oversimplified or just plain wrong.

 

The conventional wisdom in plumbing is no different; there are many myths. Freshen your drains with lemon? Run water with the garbage disposal? Good ideas? Find out as we explore the top 10 plumbing myths that cost you money. Below, we’ve listed additional myths in the plumbing world with better alternatives:

 

  •       Myth #5: As long as stuff is going down the drain, everything is working correctly. Out of sight, out of mind doesn't really apply to the plumbing world. Even if you can't see it, food like pasta and rice will bloat in pipes causing clogs, blocking the passage for other waste to peacefully pass through the pipes. Without the proper amount of water to rinse it down, waste builds up in the pipes and makes drainage inefficient.

 

The Better Alternative: Prevent blockage and clogging problems by using sinks, toilets, and showers correctly. Make sure to fill basins with water before draining. For showers, place a hair screen in the drain to reduce the human hairballs that rival anything your cat coughs up.

 

  •       Myth #6: Water pressure regulators are always dependable. Water pressure regulators do give important information about water pressure, but don't place all of your trust in the readings they provide.

 

The Better Alternative: Personally check your water pressure! Doing so can save you a ton of hassle and money. How? Well, high water pressure is a major cause of floods, leaks, and that annoying sound your toilet makes as it continuously runs to relieve pressure.

 

  •       Myth #7: Water and Soap on Bathroom Fixtures Makes Them Just as Sparkly and Clean as Your Hands.You wash your hands at the sink and when you turn off the faucet, you leave a bit of soapy water on it. No big deal, right? Wrong! Water and soap cause faucets and fixtures to corrode, making them peel and bubble.

The Better Alternative: Wipe the fixtures off after use. This takes an extra second, but it will help prevent your fixtures from corroding. This will also protect your lifetime warranties on products, which are void when soap has rotted the finish.

 

 

We’ll be following up with one more plumbing myths post to conclude this series shortly. If you ever have plumbing questions or needs, you can always contact us for help – we’d be glad to give you the truth and nothing but the truth when it comes to plumbing!