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7 ways to enhance your property’s green credentials

By Sophia Wood-Burgess

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Adopting more sustainable practices are a win for the planet and your wallet.

This week, we’re discussing sustainable and green initiatives for London homes. Monday was World Habitat Day, which was created by the UN to get people thinking about our responsibilities to develop cities and towns in a sustainable way. It is a topic that’s close to heart for us at Foxtons. This year's theme is Accelerating Urban Action for a Carbon-Free World. The UK government plans to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, but why not take some steps now? These seven things can reduce emissions, and they'll save you money, too.

We have all become used to recycling, minimising waste and turning off the lights when we leave a room. However, there is much more than can be done, especially with regard to homes.

Research has found that going green can increase a property’s value by as much as 5%, and can reduce utility bill costs significantly, so not only does being more sustainable benefit the environment, but it can also be advantageous to homeowners looking to sell at some point in the future. It's just as important for home buyers, as we discussed on Monday’s blog post, What are green mortgages? The government is working to incentivise UK homeowners to get their EPC ratings up with green mortgages that allow home buyers to borrow more or get a lower interest rate.

3 bedroom house | Guildford

This new-build home is well insulated and features solar panels to increase its EPC ratings.

There are many ways to make your property more eco-friendly, but in this blog article, we will look at 7 of the most effective ways of enhancing your property’s green credentials.

1. Install a smart meter

Smart meters are a fantastic way of minimising wasted heat. They can be programmed to come on at specific times of the day, regardless of whether you are at home or not, which can massively reduce your carbon footprint while also ensuring the property is warm when it matters. Some can also be managed remotely, so if the day is especially hot or cold, the timings can be altered.

2. Use energy efficient lightbulbs

Energy efficient lightbulbs used to have a pretty poor reputation, but in recent years the technology has improved dramatically. Of course, they still provide a benefit for the environment. However, now there’s a second reason to go green with your lighting – energy efficient lightbulbs last a much longer time than regular ones, so you won’t have to go out and buy them nearly as often.

3. Get solar panels

Installing solar panels on your property is a long-term investment because the initial cost is quite expensive. However, over the years, they could end up saving you more on bills than the initial outlay, while reducing your property’s dependence on energy from fossil fuels.

4. Invest in double (or triple) glazing

This is another option that will require a significant financial outlay, but double and triple glazing can ensure heat isn’t wasted, which will play a role in cutting the cost of bills. Research has found that triple glazing can cut annual heating costs in half, so the improvement is liable to be significant.

5. Insulate your home

Effectively insulating a property could slash heating costs dramatically. There are numerous ways to insulate your home, from hanging heavy curtains to sealing doorways, insulating lofts and attics to sealing cracks. Think about the options that are most suitable for you and your property, and potentially even hire an expert to assess your home to see where improvements should be made.

6. Use environmentally-friendly paint

This is very easily overlooked, but your choice of paint can be important. If you’re thinking about a new colour, why not look at zero-VOC paint? It has been shown to improve a property’s air quality, reduce the concentration of contaminants that enter the ozone layer, and have a much more subtle odour.

7. Use a heat pump

Heat pumps are designed to warm – and sometimes cool – buildings. They are designed to use minimal energy, and are often seen as an alternative to a traditional boiler. Some research suggests that a heat pump can produce around three-quarters of the heat a property needs. They require very little maintenance, reduce carbon emissions and can operate effectively for decades, so they are definitely an option to carefully consider.

Did all that? Do this next.

If you’ve recently done anything to make your home more energy efficient, why not see how your hard work paid off? Our valuations are a great way to build a plan around your investment into your home, because you can see how much the property is currently worth and decide if/when to put it on the market. Take a look at our online and in-person valuations and request one today.

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