The environmental advantages of reducing your energy output at home are beyond question, with a government study finding that houses account for 30% of the UK’s total energy use. The financial benefits are just as profound, with the same study finding that a 25% improvement in resource efficiency was likely to reduce your utility bills by around £138 per year.
The increased demand for eco-friendly home improvements can be seen online, with social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok rife with photos and videos of home renovations. With this in mind, the mortgage comparison experts at Uswitch sought to find out which eco-friendly home items were trending the most online.
Looking at metrics like average monthly searches, TikTok views, and Instagram hashtags, we gave a list of popular eco-home renovations an overall score out of 10, to determine the most on-trend. Following this, we calculated how much each one could add to the value of your home.
With their ability to add style and ambiance to household areas like kitchens, bathrooms, and living rooms, it’s no surprise that LED lighting was found to be the most on-trend eco-home renovation. It achieved an excellent overall score of 9.67. With high scores in all of our categories, including nearly 700,000 Instagram hashtags and over 5 billion TikTok views, the energy-efficient light source was found to add an average of £1,000 to your homes value.
With nearly 134 million TikTok views, solar panels were second on our list. Aside from TikTok, the sun absorbing device also featured in over 800,000 Instagram hashtags and more than 700,000 monthly searches. While an excellent average score of 9.5 is indicative of their popularity, solar panels were not found to add any value to your property.
Joint third place was shared by three eco-home refurbishments, with rainwater harvesting systems, reclaimed wood, and underfloor heating, all receiving scores of 8. While a high score of over 2.3 million Instagram hashtags was responsible for reclaimed wood’s position on the table, the other two renovations achieved their rating by scoring steadily across all categories.
With an estimated increase of £1,000, underfloor heating was found to add the most household value of the three, with rainwater harvesting systems adding half that at an average of £500. We found reclaimed wood did not increase the value of house prices at all.
Appearing in just under 80,000 average monthly searches, smart meters were the sixth highest item on our list, with a score of 7.67. Despite lacking the aesthetic appeal of some of the other renovations on our list, the energy reading device achieved surprisingly high social media scores, with over 18,000 Instagram hashtags and more than 5 million TikTok views. For all their money-saving capabilities, smart meters were not found to increase the value of your home.
With an overall score of 6.5, reclaimed furniture was the seventh highest renovation on our list. The repurposed wood furnishing was particularly popular on Instagram, appearing in over 126,000 hashtags. As a popular style choice for kitchen tables and cabinets, reclaimed furniture was found to increase your home value by an average of £2,000.
Wooden window frames and bamboo flooring were joint eighth on our list, achieving average ratings of 6. Although bamboo flooring was found in more search results, wooden window frames were significantly more popular on social media, garnering nearly 660,000 TikTok views. Whereas the eco-friendly flooring design was found to add between £1,000 and £3,000 to your home value, wooden window frames were not expected to add anything to your property price.
Rounding off our top 10 was air-source heat pumps, with the water generating device receiving an overall rating of 5.33. A high average monthly search count of 51,900 was the driving factor behind the renovation’s respectable score.
Despite their environmental benefits, air-source heat pumps were found to potentially decrease your property value by up to £2,000. The lack of knowledge many buyers have on the costs and technology required to use the renewable heat source was thought to be the main factor behind the prospective price drop.
Appearing in just 68 Instagram hashtags and 380 average monthly searches, recycled worktops were the least on-trend eco-home renovation with an overall rating of 0. Despite their sustainability benefits, recycled worktops were not found to increase home value.
Low VOC paint was the next renovation on our list, with low scores across the board contributing to an overall score of 1.17. Like recycled worktops, the low emission paint was not expected to have any impact on your house price.
Low-flow showers were the third-least trending refurbishment, with a lowly Instagram hashtag count of 160 contributing to a 1.5 rating. As with the other two low-trending renovations covered so far, the eco-friendly showers had no effect on home value.
Despite a solid TikTok view count of over 233,000, poor scores in other categories gave solid wall insulation a modest rating of 2.33. The low-trending score had no impact on home value; however, the heat-storing renovation was found to add a substantial £3,000 to the price of your property.
Biomass boilers were the 5th lowest renovation in our study, with minimal Instagram hashtags resulting in an overall score of 2.5. The economic effect of these energy-efficient heaters will depend on your current home setup. While they can add up to £5,000 to the value of homes using oil-powered boilers, they were not found to have any financial impact when replacing gas-powered systems.
Ground-source heat pumps were the sixth lowest item on our list, with their sparse TikTok view count of 1,547 contributing to a 2.83 rating. Like air-source heat pumps, concerns over price and useability could see this water generating device reduce your home value by up to £2,000.
Log burning stoves, cavity walls, and double-glazed windows all shared the joint seventh position, with all three renovations receiving an overall score of 3.83. With an increase of £5,000, double glazing had the most significant effect on home value, with rises of £2,000 and £1,000 expected for cavity walls and log-burning stoves, respectively.
Sun tunnels were the 10th lowest trending renovation on our list, achieving an average rating of 4.17. Despite underwhelming monthly search results of 15,190, the light distributing device can increase your home value by £2,000.
Making your home more eco-friendly can have multiple benefits. Not only will building a more sustainable household help tackle the environmental crisis, but it can also save you money on your bills. Mortgage comparison expert, Florence Codjoe, tells us how:
“Becoming more eco-friendly isn’t as difficult as you might imagine. There are numerous changes you can make in your home which require little work, but can help you save energy right away.
Installing a smart meter is a great way to become more economical with your energy. By monitoring exactly how much you’ve spent on gas and electricity, you’re likely to become more resourceful, which will be great news for the environment and your finances.
With so many sleek, modern refurbishments like LED lights and bamboo flooring now readily available, it’s easier than ever to build a home that’s both resourceful and stylish.”