Lynne Eliopoulos
ERA Key Realty Services | 508-832-1032 | [email protected]


Posted by Lynne Eliopoulos on 1/31/2021

Photo by Halfpoint via Shutterstock

When it comes to conserving energy, homeowners wanting to go green often spare no expense. Here are a few ways to upgrade your home without lightening your wallet.

Smart Thermostat

A powerful method to control your power use while saving money on your air conditioning bills in the summer and heating bills each winter is by installing a smart thermostat. Utilizing a system that monitors the indoor and outdoor humidity and temperatures to adjust your system keeps your home on an even keel and your bills steady. Choose one with multiple sensors so that you donít end up with hot spots or cold rooms around your home. You can adjust your thermostat manually, but the best way to make it smart is to connect it to a smartphone or voice-controlled device.

Motion Sensing Dimmers

You try your best, but thereís always one room where it seems the lights get left on more often than youíd like. The challenge is, itís the same room thatís often empty most of the day, so no one even notices the lights burning. To combat this issue, replace the standard light switch with a sensing dimmer switch. That way, if someoneís in the room, the light turns on, but when thereís no one moving around, off it goes. And, when daylight comes in the windows, the sensor knows to keep the light off.

If youíre retrofitting an older home, replace pull-chain lights in basements and utility rooms with a motion-sensing light so that you never have to stumble around waving your arms in front of you trying to grab the string to the pull-chain.

Adjustable LEDs

On the subject of lights, Take it up (or down) a notch with a 3-way LED. The equivalent of a 60-watt bulb can adjust from soft, warm light to bright, daylight with built-in wireless technology at the sound of your voice when connected to your smartphone or smart home.

If youíre looking for ways to make your home appeal to a more energy-conscious set of buyers, try utilizing these inexpensive, smart home technologies.




Categories: homeowner   Home improvement  


Posted by Lynne Eliopoulos on 1/3/2021

Image by B. Forenius from Shutterstock

There are some overlooked places in your home that need proper lighting. A good example is a closet. Whether a closet is small or large, proper lighting is essential for safety and good illumination. When building a new space or upgrading an existing one, these tips will help you choose the ideal lighting. 

Safety first

Closet lighting fixtures should be installed at least 12 inches away from where your clothes will be stored. Light and heat from bulbs can be harmful to your clothes especially if exposed for extended periods. Avoid heat issues by choosing LED or compact fluorescent (CFL) over incandescent lights. Using LEDs or CFLs in your closet provides the right amount of light, gives off less heat and saves energy. 

Halogen lights generate a significant amount of heat. They are not suitable for enclosed spaces like closets so avoid halogen fixtures in this application. 

Color temperature

Consider the color temperature of the lightbulbs you select. A color temperature within the range of 3000k-3500k provides bright, white light that is perfect for a closet. Selecting the right color temperature allows you to see the color of your clothes more accurately: no more guessing if your pants are black or dark blue.

Illuminate dark areas

Many closets include shelves and cabinets. Natural light or wall-mounted fixtures may not reach the far corners of these spaces. Consider installing under cabinet lighting to brighten the darker corners. Under-cabinet lighting comes in assorted sizes that can be customized for your closet. LED tape lights offer endless possibilities because of their thin profile and flexibility.

Choosing the perfect light for your closet can make big impact on your space. Keep these tips in mind as you plan your updates. If you do not have existing fixtures, consult with an experienced electrician to help with installation and placement.




Categories: Home improvement  


Posted by Lynne Eliopoulos on 6/21/2020

Photo by Sumanley xulx via Pixabay

Homeowners looking to get top dollar for their house often invest in improvements to make their home more appealing to prospective buyers. Sure, they can slap up a coat of paint and make other minor cosmetic improvements, but these won’t necessarily increase their home’s value.

In a survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors®, eco-friendly homes and energy-efficient products are in high demand with 59% of realtors® responding homeowners were “very” or “somewhat” interested in sustainability. Agents also indicate promoting energy efficiency in their listings increases buyer response.

Adding Energy-Star rated appliances is a great start—here are other top green features you can consider adding to your home.

1. New Windows and Doors

Older windows and doors allow drafts, burning extra fuel and electricity for heating and cooling.  Installing Energy-Star rated (or triple-pane, glass, insulated) windows and a high-quality door promote energy efficiency. As a bonus, they boost a home’s resale value. Homeowners who install windows see a return of investment (ROI) of roughly 70% and steel doors about 75%. They also save 7% to 15% on their energy bill after the installation. Not a bad ROI!

2. Add a Solar Water Heater

Solar water heaters cost between $6,000 and $17,000, so it’s not a cheap upgrade, but you might want to consider this investment. Solar heaters increase the value and marketability of your home and can add a 4% to 4.5% resale value. Plus, you’ll save on your energy bills while you’re still in your home.

3. Replace Bathroom Fixtures

Toilets, sinks, and shower heads installed prior to the mid-1990s are water hogs and don’t meet current federal, water-saving standards for fixtures. The U.S. Department of Environmental Protection Agency recommends homeowners buy fixtures with the “WaterSense” labels. With these upgrades, you can save big on water and on utility bills. Some statistics suggest even minor bathroom upgrades will bring you a 102% ROI. A renovated kitchen and bathroom definitely perk a buyer’s interest, but these days energy-efficient upgrades will get you a better ROI than the usual remodels.

4. Upgrade Insulation

The quality of home insulation matters because it has a direct impact on your heating and cooling bills. Angie’s List reports two-thirds of homes in the U.S. aren’t properly insulated. Homes over 10 years old are likely not insulated to current standards. If you want to upgrade your insulation, a good place to start is in the attic because you can recoup 116% of your costs.

By adding green features, you’ll increase your home’s appeal and better solidify your asking price. If you want to learn more about Energy Star appliances or how green features add value to a home, feel free to reach out!