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4 Steps to Saving on Energy Costs

published on August 26, 2011

Guest Post:

Whether you are shopping for a new home or you have already moved into the home of your dreams, keeping down energy costs is likely one of your top concerns. After all, why pay extra toward your energy bill if a few simple preventative measures will help keep the costs down?

When selling Austin real estate or homes in other eco-conscious climates, a good energy efficiency is high amongst the list of factors in the mind of buyers. To that end, here are a few easy steps you can take to keep your energy costs under control.

Step #1: Install Energy-Efficient Insulation
One simple way to keep energy from being lost is to install energy-efficient insulation in your attic. If you are shopping for a home, you can save some money in the long-run by purchasing one with the appropriate R-value for your climate. If your home does not have the right insulation currently installed, you can certainly save some money in the long-run by adding a more energy-efficient insulation to your attic.

Step #2: Seal Leaks
You just might be surprised by the amount of energy that is lost through simple leaks throughout your home. Something as simple as fixing a leaky faucet can save 20 kilowatts per month. You can also fix leaks by sealing drafty doors with and windows with weather-stripping and by caulking over cracks and small holes in windows and exterior walls. When considering a home for purchase, be sure to look for leaks around telephone wires, sink and bathtub drains, plumbing pipes and dryer vents. If you catch these leaks before you buy, you may be able to get them repaired by the current owner.

Step #3: Keep an Eye on the Thermostat
Doing something as simple as turning down your thermostat by two degrees can save 24 kilowatt hours each month. You can make the process even easier by installing a programmable thermostat that turns down while you are away and while you are asleep – a common inclusion for many new construction neighborhoods such as Steiner Ranch. By programming the thermostat to turn up half an hour before you come home or half an hour before you get up in the morning, you can still enjoy a comfortable temperature without unnecessary energy use. If you are purchasing a home, you might want to consider negotiating the installation of a programmable thermostat as part of your purchase agreement.

Step #4: Purchase Energy-Saving Appliances
If you are looking for a new home, keep an eye out for those with Energy Star appliances. All appliances with the Energy Star sticker either meet or exceed the standards that have been established by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. Therefore, you can be sure they will save more energy than most other appliances on the market. If you have already purchased a home and it is time to replace your appliances, set your sights on those with the Energy Star sticker.

About the Author – Eric Bramlett is co-owner and broker of One Source Realty and specializes in Downtown Austin condos for sale.

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