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By Tammy Hayes | Agent in Port Charlotte, FL

Simple tips for making your home more energy efficient

You might assume that making your home energy efficient requires a lot of time and money, but generally that's not the case. Often small fixes can have a big impact on your heating, cooling, and other utility bills. Here are some easy things you can do to make your home more efficient right now:

Tip #1: Don't turn that dial

Keep your thermostat set at one temperature and leave it! In the winter around 68 degrees should be right, and 75 degrees in summer (in homes with a cooling system, of course). Avoiding constant adjustments will keep your energy bills stable.

Tip #2: Stop the drip-drips

Leaky showerheads and faucets are hard-to-miss energy wasters. Toilets that run can also cost you on your water bill. The majority of required repairs are covered in the most basic do-it-yourself handbook.

Tip #3: Go fluorescent

While compact fluorescent light bulbs cost more than the standard incandescent bulbs that you're used to, they last up to five times longer and use only a quarter of the electricity. Many of these bulbs last over five years, and each energy-saving fluorescent bulb will save you $40 to $60 on your electric bill over the course of its lifetime.

Tip #4: Watch that fireplace

Energy can really leak out of that fireplace. Check the dampers and screens to make sure that energy isn't leaking when the fireplace is not in use. If the fireplace is just for decoration, cover the chimney. A well maintained fireplace should be an economical way to heat your house and add a warm atmosphere as well.

Tip #5: Keep those appliances humming

Clean air conditioning and furnace filters frequently, and have your appliances inspected once a year. Efficient appliances lower energy bills and future repair costs.

Tip #6: Windows that waste

Windows are the most common energy waster. Make sure that all the weather-stripping is in good condition, and consider double-paned windows and storm shutters to reduce the energy drain.

Hopefully these ideas help you create a more energy efficient home. Energy efficiency is not only an important part of conservation; it's also a great way to save money. More homeowners tips are available on my website. If you have any questions about your home, I'm only a phone call away.

Tammy Hayes, Realtor, Re/Max Palm Realty, Port Charlotte, FL, tammyhayesre@gmail.com

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