Energy efficiency is an important feature many buyers consider when looking at a new home. There are simple changes to make sure a house is as energy efficient as possible.

“A buyer might want to check to see if an energy audit was performed on the house,” said Shanna Terroso, executive officer of the Realtors Association of York & Adams Counties. “If one hasn’t been conducted, they can request one during the home inspection.”

Here are some cost-effective steps to improve energy efficiency:

• Caulk and seal around entries into the house. Take the time to caulk and seal around windows, doors, plumbing lines and electrical wires. It takes time, but the benefits are worth it.

• Replace lighting with CFLs or LEDs. Old incandescent light bulbs use much more electricity.

• Program the thermostat. Many homeowners don’t take advantage of their programmable thermostats. Using the programmable feature ensures the furnace isn’t heating or the air conditioning is cooling the house at the same level while they’re gone or sleeping.

• Check the temperature on the water heater. Homeowners can lower the temperature to 120 degrees on a tank water heater and it will maintain a certain amount of hot water throughout the day.

“Taking these few steps will help homeowners save money on energy costs,” Terroso said. “Another option is to consider ways to reduce the electricity used by appliances. Running the washer, dryer and dishwasher early in the morning or later in the evening reduces the cost. If you have the money, replacing inefficient older appliances with energy efficient models is also an option.”

“While these changes aren’t as exciting as other home improvements, they do help reduce your costs,” she added.

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