I have been saying this for 35 years and it still needs to be done…Big Sigh

Energy-neutral products take homeowners to the next level for eco-friendly additions


With the “green” trend con­tinually growing, many home­owners are swapping old air conditioning units, heaters and appliances with more en­ergy efficient models. While purchasing Energy Star appli­ances and green rated prod­ucts is a major step forward in being environmentally con­scious, there are additional options for homeowners to take eco-friendly living to the next level.

Energy neutral upgrades and products, ranging from awnings to radiant barriers, provide an additional reduc­tion in cooling energy con­sumption and costs associat­ed with even the most energy-efficient appliances.

According to futurist Mark Justman of Social Technolo­gies, a global research and consulting firm, there is a growing nucleus of home­owners who value ethical consumption, but often con­sider a big appliance pur­chase the only solution.

“While investing in an En­ergy Star appliance or green product is extremely benefi­cial for energy consumption, there are many additional en­ergy-neutral products that are just as economical,” said Just­man. “To top it off, they also have benefits beyond energy efficiency like convenience or aesthetics, making it more of an investment rather than an expense.”

Energy-neutral home solu­tions that Justman recom­mends include:

Awnings – when added above a window or door, an  awning reduces the amount. 0f heat that enters a home by blocking the sun’s rays from
penetrating the glass. Keep­ing excess heat out reduces the load on the air condition­er, allowing the unit to cool the space more efficiently.

Learn more at: www.awningstoday.com/reVenergyneutral.htm 

Solar window screens – screens that install on the outside of windows, allowing protection from the sun’s heat and a little added privacy.

    Radiant barriers – struc­tures made of highly reflective material, typically installed in attics, that reflect radiant heat upward, prevent­
ing it from entering trie home.

   Conservation landscaping- includes planting of shade trees or hedges near a house to block sun from penetrating windows during the summer.
Conservation landscaping can also act as a windbreak, pro­tecting homes from icy winds in the winter.

   Caulking and weather stripping – when installed around windows, doors and cracks, it reduces air infiltra­tion, keeping cool air in

dur­ing the summer and out during the winter.   Programmable thermo­stats – they automatically ad­just a home’s temperature settings, allowing homeown­ers to save energy while away
or sleeping. Programmable thermostats are better for the environment, since using less
energy helps reduce green­house gas emissions associat­ed with energy production.

With heating and cooling accounting for about 56 per­cent of the energy used in a typical U.S. home, according to the U.S. Department of En­ergy, homeowners are able to utilize energy neutral prod­ucts to improve their home’s energy efficiency.

“Solar radiation through glass is responsible for nearly 20 percent of the load on an air conditioner,” said Michelle Sahlin, managing director of the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association. “Awnings have the ability to limit the sun’s rays through glass, which directly reduces the impact of global warming from greenhouse gas emis­sions. In addition, if a neigh­borhood collectively uses awnings, it reduces the over­all demand on the energy in­frastructure, subsequently preventing blackouts


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