Making Your Home More Energy Efficient this Winter

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Experts say buildings consume forty percent of the total energy in the United States. For that reason, they say it's important to make things like our homes as energy efficient as possible.

"With both energy security and global climate change, buildings are in the front line," said energy expert Dr. Joseph Lstiburek.

Many new homes are built with the most up to date energy saving technologies. But for those in the Grand Valley with older homes, a few extra steps are all it takes to conserve energy.

Experts say the best thing to do is check the insulation and air ducts.

"The most important thing to do is get rid of the big holes, to draft stop, and air seal," said Dr. Lstiburek.

While experts say this is where the most heat is lost, there are other, easier improvements that can be made to a home to the most out of your energy.

"What we're talking about here is how to install a window," said Dr. Lstiburek. "I know that sounds pretty fundamental and simple, but sometimes the simple things have the most impact."

It can be as simple as keeping your thermostat at the EPA recommended 68 degrees. It could also be as simple as investing in Energy Star certified products this winter like compact florescent lights.

"If I see Energy Star, it's truly efficient," said Sam Rashkin, National Director of Energy Star for Homes. "In addition they know that the product will perform as good or better than other products that don't meet energy star."

While many of these steps may take a hefty investment, experts say it's worth it when it's time to pay the utility bill.

"Energy efficient products cost much, much less."

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