Home buyers have returned to the market early this year, likely eager for spring after a long winter, and green has been a popular color. If buyers want green homes, sellers must find ways to provide.

There are some green home certifications, but the best advice for any seller is to highlight a home’s greener side with features and fixtures that are cost efficient and environmentally friendly.

Green staging should not lead to excessive green spending. There are simple and effective ways to furnish an environmentally smart home without spending a fortune.

Green Staging Lessons

It is best to begin with the little things and work your way toward the larger and more complicated tasks. We recommend starting with the light bulbs.

Swapping incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent lights (CFL) is a 10-minute task, depending on how many family members it takes to change a bulb. CFL bulbs are a fantastic way to conserve energy and save money over the long run. While CFL light bulbs initially cost more than incandescent light bulbs, they use 25% of the energy of a regular incandescent bulb to deliver the same amount of light. Plus, they last 10 times longer. Compact fluorescent light bulbs also emit less heat, while incandescent bulbs spend 90 percent of their energy giving off heat and 10 percent giving off light, so incandescent bulbs actually waste more energy than necessary.  Showing potential buyers a low electric bill might be enough to inspire an offer.

Low-flow showerheads have come a long way in the past 5 years. If you remember the old hardware, that took 5 minutes to rinse the shampoo, it will be refreshing to realize that you can save while still showering with ample water pressure. Low-flow heads can cut down water used for bathing by 50-70% so you can assure potential buyers that they are saving on the water bill and conserving natural resources without sacrificing shower-time satisfaction. These showerheads are easy to install and can be purchased at any local hardware store with prices starting at under $10.

Programmable thermostat might return more to a room than you realize. In addition tech-savvy glow, like the popular Nest models, installation is easy, economical and immediately beneficial. Programmable thermostats can be set and adjusted according to your own schedule, cutting out wasted energy and slimming down your utility bill. Not only are these programmable thermostats helping homeowners save hundreds of dollars each year, but you are actually lessoning the amount of greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere.

Properly sealed homes can save a fortune, especially during one of these cold Pittsburgh winters.  Older homes develop gaps and cracks near windows or doors that can be quickly sealed to keep air inside. Seal these spaces from both interior and exterior with caulk or foam filler and quickly see the difference on your heating or cooling bill.  For more this, see our post on winter heat loss reduction.

Ceiling fans are a cost-effective way to beat the heat in the summer and save the heat in the winter. While it’s true that both a fan and an AC unit both use energy, choosing the fan over the AC will dramatically cut down on the electric bill. Ceiling fans take much less energy to run than any AC unit and many older units rely on chlorofluorocarbons, a refrigerant that is harmful to the Ozone Layer, so you can assure potential buyers that they are saving on bills while doing the right thing for our atmosphere.

Pick your battles and enlist your helpers. It’s about to be an excellent weekend for your house, energy bills and resale value. Good luck out there!

About Adam Packard

Adam Packard has been a marketing professional for over 10 years. During that span he has spent time in the gaming, racing, entertainment and real estate industries. Outside of the office, he enjoys all types of sports, including basketball, baseball, golf & harness racing. He resides in Moon Township, with his wife Jackie and two sons Nicholas & Jacob.