High Energy Costs Predicted to Increase Further Through 2008

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Energy-saving tips to cool down without heating up the budget.

Inspect-It 1st

People typically only think of a home inspection when they are either buying or selling

The United States Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates the average family will spend $2,350 on energy at home and $3,950 on gas for cars or trucks, totaling $6,300 per household in 2008. With rising gas prices, higher utilities and overall energy costs at an all-time high, Americans are struggling to manage their budgets.

"People typically only think of a home inspection when they are either buying or selling," states Kylene Golubski, VP Business Planning & Development for Inspect-It Property Inspection. "We can also help homeowners protect their home investment on an ongoing basis and potentially help decrease energy bills through annual maintenance inspections and home energy audits. You go to the doctor for a check-up, get tune-ups for your car, but what are you doing to maintain your largest investment? The old adage applies: 'An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.'"

Common energy and non-energy related defects discovered in a maintenance inspection include: compromised roof surfaces; improper ventilation; faulty electrical wiring; inadequate heating and cooling capacity for the structure; and substandard windows.

"Maintenance inspections give the homeowners the information they need to make smart investments," stated Golubski. The average person doesn't have the trained eye to identify these issues resulting in prolonged home inefficiency, or significant damage when the system or component actually fails."

The Alliance to Save Energy recommends homeowners take the following measures to help reduce energy costs:

1.    Cook with your microwave. It uses 2/3 less energy than your stove.
2.    Use your dishwasher (wait for a full load). It uses less water than washing dishes by hand.
3.    Keep your fridge full. It keeps it from warming up too fast when the door is open.
4.    Turn up your thermostat, and turn off the AC when you aren't home. You save 1-3% per degree for each degree the thermostat is set above 72 degrees.
5.    Use cold or warm water when washing clothes, and always rinse in cold water.
6.    Line dry clothes whenever possible, but only run the dryer with full loads.
7.    Turn off appliances, lights and equipment when not in use.
8.    Unplug electronic devices when not in use, as many use electricity even when switched off.
9.    Replace AC filters monthly.
10.    Weather strip, seal and caulk leaky doors and windows.
11.    Use fans instead of AC units. They use less energy.
12.    Replace old appliances with new and more energy efficient appliances.

Inspect-It 1st® is a rapidly growing franchise system of home inspectors offering property inspections for homeowners and business owners, and is a subsidiary of Merrymeeting, Inc. (MMI), a Cleveland-based investment firm specializing in the acquisition and development of franchise brands. Each franchise is independently owned and operated. MMI currently operates seven franchise systems with more than 1,700 franchised locations worldwide. To learn more, please visit http://www.inspectit1st.com or http://www.merrymtg.com.

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Kylene Golubski
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