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Energy-saving tips for home buyers

(NC) If you're purchasing a house this year, performing some simple tasks when you move in could help you save on your energy bills and reduce the chance of costly repairs.

Dave Walton, the director of home ideas at Direct Energy, shares his top five tips to make all the difference:

Book a home energy audit – This will help you learn more about how your house uses energy and provides recommendations on how to improve the efficiency of your home.

Have your ducts cleaned – Consider professionals for this job especially if the previous owners had pets or if the house has recently been renovated.

Replace furnace filters This allows the furnace or air conditioner to run more efficiently. Clogged filters mean that furnace motors must work harder and use more energy. Filters should be replaced at least every three months.

Inspect the HVAC system – Schedule a professional to inspect the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system before you move in to ensure they are all working properly. If there's an issue, you may be able to negotiate a replacement or price reduction.

Install a programmable or learning thermostat – This new technology can schedule the indoor temperature based on your living patterns to control your energy usage. New 'learning' thermostats monitor your usage and adjust temperatures automatically.

More information on this topic is available online at

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