Making energy-efficient upgrades helps you save money on your heating, cooling, and other utility costs while protecting the planet we all share. Also, many improvements you can make to up the eco-friendliness of your home happen to also create a more appealing aesthetic!

The combination of increased beauty paired with conservation efforts can up your home’s resale value considerably, especially given that today’s generation of home buyers is more educated as to the importance of environmental sustainability. Here are six improvements you can make to your home to reduce your carbon footprint while increasing the home’s value.

  1. Invest in Energy Star Certified Appliances

Appliances earning the government-backed Energy Star Certified label must meet six stringent qualifications. Products labeled as Energy Star Certified must produce nationwide energy savings, meet strict performance standards and allow consumers to recoup their expenditure in lowered utility bill costs in a reasonable period of time.

Not only will Energy Star appliances pay for themselves, you can deduct the cost of such appliances on your tax return. By filling out IRS form 5695, you can claim up to 30 percent of the cost of such improvements. Some states also allow deductions for energy-saving upgrades, so check with your state’s department of revenue.

  1. Install Solar Panels (Even If You Rent!)

If you want to save money on your electric bill, there’s no better way than going solar. Going solar, depending upon where you live, can save you over $100 on your bill each month. And solar panels also qualify for a tax deduction.

Additionally, renters no longer need to wish they could save on energy costs the same way. Due to the demand for off-the-grid living, manufacturers now make portable solar panels renters can install without damaging the property. They may not reap the same savings as they would with a full roof of panels, but they can still help people pinch pennies.

  1. Replace Bathroom Fixtures with Low-Flow Models

Low-flow inserts for toilets and low-flow showerheads cost relatively little in terms of initial investment but can result in a two to three percent higher resale value on your home. Plus, these devices install easily with few — if any — tools needed.

  1. Invest in Better Lighting

Making minor adjustments to your home’s lighting can result in big-time energy savings. One easy way to save is by installing dimmer switches. This allows you to reduce the wattage output of lights by turning a dial (and can help you set a romantic mood for date night with your sweetie).

Another way to save is opting for long-lasting LED lighting over incandescent or fluorescent models. Not only do these lights last longer, but they also cast fewer harsh shadows. And both floor and table lamps emit less light than overhead lights, so go wild at Ikea to save even more moolah.

  1. Tint Your Windows or Upgrade Curtains and Blinds

Window film can help you improve your home’s value and save money in multiple ways. Window tint helps to insulate, saving money for those residing in the cool Northeast or Midwest. Live in a hot area? Window tinting can help save major bucks on AC bills by reflecting heat away from panes.

Window tints also improve your home’s curb appeal and increase privacy. Adore big picture windows but don’t relish the thought of the neighbors spying on you? The right tint can make sure you can see out, but they can’t see in.

  1. Xeriscape Instead of Landscape

Let’s face it: Few people looking to sell their homes relish the thought of mowing the lawn not once, but twice, each week to keep the property ready to show. Instead of wasting money on a costly lawn requiring constant maintenance, save pennies and your back by xeriscaping. Xeriscaping means landscaping using indigenous plants which require little watering and upkeep.

A xeriscaped property looks gorgeous but requires little attention. And with all the time and money you’ll save on fuel for the mower and not running the drip system constantly, you can (almost) take the family to Disney World.

Eco-Friendly Homes Demand Higher Value

People today care about their carbon footprints, meaning one of the best ways to increase your home’s resale value is to make eco-friendly improvements. Now that you know what to do, what are you waiting for? It’s time to head to the store.

Kate Harveston
Kate Harveston is a freelance writer from Pennsylvania. She mainly writes about legal issues and the political realm, but her work has covered a wide range of topics. If you like her writing, you can follow her on Twitter or subscribe to her blog,