With winter right around the corner, Maine’s weather is about to change big-time. You know what that means: Mind-numbing cold and Old Man Winter bound and determined to affect your life from now through March.

One thing winter DOESN’T have to mean is ridiculously high home-heating bills. Here at Maine Source Homes, we specialize in building “smart” new homes that build energy-efficiency into every square inch. You can also achieve maximum energy-efficiency in your existing home, in 5 key ways. They are:

# 1 . . . Install/Update Insulation and Seal Your Attic

A high percentage of homes in Maine are older, and that means they may not have the best insulation. Adding blanket or blown-in insulation to your walls and attic can save you hundreds of dollars each year. If you’re unsure what you need, getting an energy assessment or home-energy audit is a smart investment and a way to achieve BIG savings long-term.

#2 . . . Update Windows and Doors

Your windows and doors can be major sources of energy leaks. If you still have single-pane windows, you should seriously consider swapping them with today’s replacement windows. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you’ll save $125 to $465 PER YEAR just by taking this one step. And you should do the same with old doors.

# 3 . . . Replace Lightbulbs

If you still light your home with “old-fashioned” (incandescent) bulbs, the easiest way to achieve energy-efficiency is to replace those bulbs with CFL or LED ones. According to Xcel Energy, a house with 47 “old-fashioned” bulbs would generate an average monthly bill of $50.25. But if you use CFL bulbs, your bill should shrink to just $11.73 per month—and to just $7.97 if you use LED bulbs!

#4 . . . Replace Showerheads, Faucets, and Toilets

Another important aspect of energy-efficiency is your water bill. If yours is frustratingly high, it’s time to replace those water-guzzling showerheads, faucets, and toilets with low-flow models. According to recent research, replacing old toilets can save you up to 77 percent per month.

# 5 . . . Replace Your Energy/Heat Source

Today, many Mainers are exploring cheaper, alternative heating solutions, including wood-pellet-burning stoves and solar- or geothermal-based solutions. The key here is to do your homework. What are your neighbors or friends using? What has been their experience with alternative and/or “greener” heating solutions? Technology is constantly improving, and you no longer need to have a heating source whose cost makes you shiver.

MAINE SOURCE HOMES & REALTY is dedicated to helping you find your perfect home-ownership solution. Whether you wish to buy, sell, or build a home, Maine Source Homes & Realty invites you to benefit from our 46 years of trustworthy experience and expertise.

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