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Real Estate

Six ways to 'green' a home this spring

More homeowners and buyers are ranking energy-efficient and environmentally friendly home features high in surveys.

AOL Real Estate recently highlighted a few easy steps homeowners can take this spring to make their homes more "green":

Swap out the light bulbs: LED light bulbs are known as being 80 percent more energy efficient and lasting as much as 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

Have a programmable thermostat: These devices that allow you more easily to adjust the temperature can save a home owner about $180 a year in energy costs, according to Energy Star.

Check the old water heater: A heat pump hot water heater is known to be more than twice as efficient as standard electric resistance tanks.

Add aerators to faucets and showerheads: These devices can limit the amount of water that is used.

Add ceiling fans: "Energy Star-qualified fans are 50 percent more efficient than conventional units and can save up to $15 per year on utility bills," according to AOL Real Estate.

Use Energy Star appliances: For example, replacing a dishwasher that was made before 1994 with a newer one can save $40 on utility bills by using less water. Energy Star-rated refrigerators can save homeowners from $200 to $1,100 over the life of the appliance.

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