When purchasing a new house you want to ensure everything is in good working order and the structure is sound. With the rising cost of energy prices there are certain perks to watch for that may minimize those monthly utility bills. If you're selling a house that has any of these features, make sure to mention it to your agent when marketing your home.
Energy Star Rating: This is an energy rating introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1992 to identify energy-efficient products and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If any appliances or lighting are included with your home purchase, look for this rating. These products are designed to save money while consuming less energy. An entire house can also have this rating if the homeowner participated in an Energy Star program, and the rating would appear on the inside of the circuit breaker. A home with this designation performs at least 30 percent more efficiently, a definite plus for any home buyer.
Insulation: A poorly insulated house can waste your valuable heating energy by 25 to 40 percent. If your home has, an R-value is higher than locally required, extra insulation in attics, crawlspaces, or any other wraps or sealant applied to reduce air escaping from gaps in the construction, it's worth pointing out.
Windows: 25 to 50 percent of your heating and cooling comes from your windows, and new technology has led to even more effective ways of managing this. If you have newer windows with insulated frames and a low U-factor rating, this is a feature to make prospective buyers aware of.
Heating and Cooling Systems: A furnace is measured by the annual fuel utilization efficiency rating, or AFUE. A minimum fuel to heat conversion rating is 78 percent. If you have a furnace with an Energy Star label, your rating is higher than 90 percent, much more desirable when paying high fuel prices. For warmer months, an air conditioner should have at least a 10 seasonal energy efficiency ratio, or SEER. That rating would be 12 or higher for an Energy Star label.
Other system perks include the type of unit you have such as a heat pump. Depending on the temperature zone, these can provide economical year round heating and air conditioning. A tankless hot water heater provides an endless supply of hot water and can save 20 to 30 percent of your energy bill. These systems are more expensive than some of the conventional methods of heating and provide a definite selling asset for any homeowner. In addition to actual heating and cooling devices, point out other energy savers such as programmable thermostats with timers, ceiling fans or radiant flooring.
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