Moving to a new home involves many steps - make sure that energy improvements are on your to-do list. If you are looking to lower your energy costs, the U.S. Department of Energy has provided some tips in their EnergySavers guide. Buy Energy Efficient Appliances Moving a household often involves buying appliances, so make sure they are energy efficient. Look for ENERGY STAR® labels on appliances, which indicate they were manufactured to be energy efficient. The U.S. Department of Energy sets guidelines for energy efficiency, and the ENERGY STAR® label shows a passing grade. Appliances with the ENERGY STAR® label use 20-40+% less energy than comparable appliances that don't have one. The same applies to big ticket items like water heaters, furnaces and air conditioning units. Make Home Improvements to Conserve Energy It will also be beneficial to ensure there is adequate insulation in the attic, crawlspace or basement. Don't let the cold/warm air escape from your home - upgrade to energy efficient double-pane glass windows. Some government agencies provide tax credits and rebates for improvements - go to www.energy.gov/savings for details. Lower Cost Improvements to Consider If you don't have the money for big-ticket items, there are smaller items you can buy than can save you money over time. You can turn down the heat and air-conditioning throughout the day by installing a programmable thermostat. Your home can use many light bulbs - make sure that are of the energy efficient variety (i.e. CFL/LED bulbs). A few bucks spent on caulk or expansion foam can go a long way to reducing drafts from outside pipes, wires and vents.
Taking the proactive measures mentioned above will repay themselves year after year in lower utility bills.
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