Bozeman Real Estate
by Tim Ford
With Earth Day coming up on the 22nd and hopefully some green grass right around the corner, April is a great month to look at some ways to make a home more energy efficient. The great thing about energy efficient upgrades is that they can have three (or more!) benefits by increasing a home’s value, cutting the costs of heating and cooling, and helping out the environment.
A great first step is to consider an energy audit from NorthWestern Energy. These audits are free to NorthWestern Energy customers that meet the qualifications. Customers receive a report specific to their home and energy use habits. The report can offer tips on energy efficient practices and cost- effective weatherization measures. For more info, call 800-823-5995 or check out northwesternenergy.com.
Sealing leaks around walls, windows, and doors with caulk or spray foam insulation and weather stripping can reduce drafts by up to 30%, according to energy.gov. It also states that adding insulation to the attic or crawl space is one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to reduce wasted energy use.
When adding insulation to an attic, it’s also worth ensuring there is adequate ventilation. An attic should have eve vents and vents near the ridge to allow air to move freely through the attic. This not only helps keep the home cooler in the summer, it can also prevent damaging ice dams in the winter.
Programable thermostats are also a great way to reduce energy when not at home. There are a lot of new smart thermostats that offer some neat options. In addition, keeping up on basic maintenance of boilers and furnaces can ensure the unit is operating at peak efficiency. If you’ve already taken these steps and want to take it a step further, consider sealing or insulating your ducts and making sure there are not any holes, disconnections, or leaks.
Solar panels are becoming an increasingly popular way of generating electricity, and there are still tax credits in place. While these tax credits could be on the chopping block, they’re in place for 2018 and could help you recoup up to 30% of the cost of installation.
As usual, I have included data for the number of homes sold during the first two months of 2018. In addition to the 115 homes sold during this time period, another 162 homes are currently pending, or under contract, as of the date of writing this article. This is compared to 156 pending sales at this same time period last year.
The included data reflects sales of single family homes in the greater Bozeman area, including Four Corners, Gallatin Gateway, Bridger Canyon, and Bozeman city limits. The data includes home sales reported through the local Big Sky Country MLS, and does not include private party sales, Condominiums, or Townhouses.