Making Your Home More Energy Efficient

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As the cost of petroleum products continues to skyrocket and natural resources become more scarce, many people say it's time to go green. Organizers of the 2008 Home Improvement & Remodeling Show the transformation should begin with our houses.

So how can you make your home more energy efficient?

Some vendors say it's as easy as making sure your windows are properly sealed.

"When you're heating or cooling your house, it's going to leave the inside of your house more consistent," said Brad Thompson of Clear Choice Window & Door. "So therefore your heater will work less hard and your air conditioner is going to work less hard."

Experts say if you use vinyl or wood windows and double paned windows, there is an almost immediate change in your monthly energy bill.

Others say energy efficiency is about understanding where you live and using the tools that best suit the climate.

"With an evaporative cooler, you're using much less energy," said Mike Hejny of Haining Plumbing and Heating. "One-hundred ten volts, typicially, and five amps versus two-hundred forty volts, fifty amps."

With a rebate Xcel Energy is currently offering that will cover half the cost, some experts say there is no better time to turn to solar energy.

"Solar electric is about as green as you can truly get," said Heidi Ihrke of High Noon Solar. "It's renewable power, it's something that doesn't produce any pollutants that go into the air, and something that's very sustainable and long lasting."

While many of these newer technologies cost a pretty penny, some say becoming energy efficient doesn't have to break the bank. Energy saving florescent light bulbs only cost a few dollars.

"It will lower your utility bill and it will save a lot of extra heat that comes off of your bulbs as well," said Kymberlee Wood of One Source Lighting.

This year's expo featured more than thirty vendors who sell green products.



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