Posted: April 4, 2010

BOUND BROOK, NJ — 04/13/10 — HouseMaster, a home inspection organization, urges homeowners to be proactive in making energy-efficient home renovations in order to receive the rebates outlined in President Obama’s new “Home Star Retrofit Rebate” program, recently introduced in Congress. If passed, the proposed $6 billion program could reduce energy costs for middle-class families by hundreds of dollars a year.

HouseMaster provides some easy check-ups every homeowner can do to optimize the energy efficiency of their home in its reissued home inspection guide:

1. 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.

2. 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.

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

4. Appliances and HVAC Systems Your major household appliances are a good place to focus on for ways 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.

5. 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 one and three percent on your heating or cooling bills.

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