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Increasing the value of your property with eco-friendly home improvements is not always an easy task. Considering we spend a lot of time in our homes, having one that offers comfort while caring for the environment has a lot of benefits — for both your health and finances.

Eco-friendly upgrades don't always have to be expensive, and they can help to create a less toxic environment in your home. If you're thinking about renovating your home, consider these ideas to ensure that the renovations are as green as possible.

Solar Pannels

The first thing most people consider when thinking about eco-friendly home improvements are solar panels — and there's a good reason for that. You will recoup your investment and then some if you sell the energy you generate.

While it may be a hefty upfront investment, it's feasible you won't need to pay for electricity ever again. While this is dependent on where you live and how much sun your roof gets, you'll still be able to offset the costs with government incentives and rebates.

As for selling the energy you generate, over 40 states have programs where power companies send residents checks for excess energy sent to their grid; this is also known as "net metering." Rules and regulations differ, so you'll want to check with the appropriate offices to see how you can take advantage of these rebates.

Insulation

Did you know that you can increase the value of your home through insulation? Whether it's for a home office or an extra bedroom, insulating properly can help you reduce heat loss and lower your energy bills in the process.

Fortunately, there are a lot of eco-friendly insulation options for a wide range of budgets. Materials such as sheep's wool and cotton (mostly from scrap cotton denim pieces) are sustainable and affordable. Although more expensive, another option is to use Icynene (made from castor oil). Insulation lasts a long time, so even if you spend more, you should be more than able to recoup your investment with your energy savings.

Energy-Efficient Windows

Adding energy-efficient windows improves your home's appearance and adds natural lighting. Windows that are airtight have double glazing (double pane windows) that help to minimize noise, plus the air gap between the two glass panes acts as extra insulation. It'll help you reduce your energy costs since having airtight windows helps prevent air from leaking. You may even notice your air conditioner or heat kicking on less.

How to Afford Eco-Friendly Home Improvement Projects

Making upgrades to your home has many cost and energy-savings advantages. Speak with a financial advisor to make sure you're making the right financial decisions for your situation. If you've done your research and calculated approximate costs, consider a home equity loan or refinancing your mortgage.

Disclosures

This information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable, but is not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither KeyBank nor its affiliates are acting as your agent or is offering any tax, accounting, or legal advice.

By selecting any external link on www.Key.com, you will leave the KeyBank website and jump to an unaffiliated third party website that may offer a different privacy policy and level of security. The third party is responsible for website content and system availability. KeyBank does not offer, endorse, recommend, or guarantee any product or service available on that entity's website.

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