Top 5 in Real Estate Network® Members are dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date, helpful real estate information. This monthly newsletter, "Real Estate Matters," offers articles on a range of topics that will inform you in your real estate pursuits.

Regional: 4 Energy-Efficient Renovations Homeowners Should Consider

Are you doing as much as you can to make your home energy-efficient? You should; it could save you a significant amount of money.
As a member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I am well versed in some of the ways you can optimize the energy-efficiency of your home. Here are some little ideas that can result in big changes, courtesy of HouseMaster:
Windows and Doors
Holes in windows and doors allow conditioned air to leak from your home and allow outdoor air to infiltrate, which can tax your heating and cooling systems and raise your energy bills. Caulk around windows and doors where there are gaps. Also, caulk areas where plumbing lines or electrical wiring extend to the exterior of the home.

Floor and Wall Insulation
Insulation acts as a barrier to heat movement and helps keep any home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter—all while using less energy. Making sure insulation is used at potential gaps such as around an attic stairway or over the attic access door is important as well.

Shedding a Little Light on a Simple Solution
By replacing traditional incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents, you can use up to 75% less energy on lighting alone. A wide assortment of CFLs is now available for almost any type fixture found in a home.

Appliances and HVAC Systems
Your major household appliances are a good place to focus on to make your home more eco-friendly. Start by changing the filters of your HVAC systems regularly and consider upgrading older appliances to take advantage of newer, more efficient designs.

Buy a Programmable Thermostat
This energy-saving step can have a positive and noticeable impact right away. Programmable thermostats are fairly easy to install and once they are set up a homeowner can adjust them as the weather changes. For every degree that a thermostat is set back, you may realize a savings between 1-3% on your heating or cooling bills.

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