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Posted: Friday, February 26, 2010 12:00 am

No one ever said saving the planet would be cheap or simple.

But it can be as easy as 1-2-3.

Now could be a good time to save serious money while making your home a little healthier with some simple projects that help reduce energy consumption and help the planet.

 

1 Simple to complex home improvements

Saving money and improving the energy efficiency of a home can be as straightforward as checking the weatherproofing around doors and windows, or more complex, including beefing up the insulation in attics.

Gary Strum, a licensed contractor says that the older homes in Ahwatukee Foothills almost always tend to be thin on attic insulation, which can result in expensive cooling and heating bills.

“Go ahead and blow that sucker full. It’s not a very fun job, but it’s well worth the effort. You’ll notice (savings) right off the bat,” said Strum, who lives in Ahwatukee Foothills.

Less daunting, and less expensive, is replacing old and cracked weather-stripping around doors and windows. Worn weather stripping allows the heat in summer and the cold in winter to get into a home.

And SRP will chip in with a special offer where if you buy two packages of Ace weather-stripping they will give you one for free. The only catch is to bring a coupon you can find at www.savewithsrp.com to a participating Ace Hardware store before the end of March.

 

2 Rebates can help

Weather-stripping isn’t the only rebate offer available from SRP. It also offers discounts on air-conditioning checkups and rebates of $20 to $75 for the purchase of super-efficient appliances.

And the federal government also is set to offer consumers rebates from $75 to $425 for energy-efficient appliances starting next month.

Part of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Arizona will have $6.2 million available for rebates to encourage consumers to purchase super-efficient clothes washers, dishwashers and water heaters.

The three categories of appliances were selected because they can cut energy bills dramatically and reduce water consumption.

The program is set to begin sometime in March, according to the Arizona Department of Commerce at www.azcommerce.com.

And don’t forget that bigger projects, including solar electrical panels, wind generators and solar hot water heaters can be eligible for up to a 30 percent federal tax credit.

 

3 Green products easy on the planet

Lastly, for a healthy and chemically free home, consider buying cleaning and home products with the Design for the Environment label.

It’s a standard set by the federal Environmental Protection Agency that compares products and awards the DfE logo to the ones that don’t use harmful chemicals or hazardous solvents, and still get the job done.

The EPA has a Web site where it lists the manufacturers and products that have been tested and qualify to use the logo (www.epa.gov/dfe), but an easier way is to simply look for the logo or read the labels when shopping for cleaning products. 

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