Best for Energy Efficiency: Sustainable Home Products

Cut your utility bills—and conserve fossil fuels—by replacing your home’s biggest energy hogs with efficient, effective new products.

| January/February 2010

  • Renewal by Andersen Fibrex window frames contain 40 percent reclaimed wood fiber by weight.
    Photo Courtesy Renewal by Andersen
  • BioBased soy-foam insulation is nontoxic.
    Photo Courtesy BioBased Insulation
  • Classic Metal Roofing Systems' reflective metal roofs meet Energy Star requirements for federal tax credits.
    Photo Courtesy Classic Metal Roofing Systems
  • Rinnai tankless water heaters save energy.
    Photo Courtesy Rinnai
  • On average, solar water heating systems reduce water heating bills by 50 to 80 percent, according to the Department of Energy.

Improving the efficiency of big-ticket items makes a major dent in your bills and your home’s carbon output. Until December 31, 2010, energy-efficiency upgrades may qualify for one or more federal tax credits worth hundreds—even thousands—of dollars. The tax credit has restrictions, so read the fine print. Many products require professional installation and customization, so pricing varies. Get a detailed written estimate along with a certificate verifying the product’s federal tax credit qualifications. These items can make the biggest difference in your home’s efficiency.

Get into hot water

Water heating makes up a third of the typical home’s energy bill. A tankless water heater will use about 30 percent less energy than a tank-style. Or choose a solar hot water system for long-term payoffs. Either way, it’s an investment—but the tax credit makes your initial cash outlay much smaller.

Tankless hot water systems

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12/13/2017 9:47:46 AM

Gorgeous windows and great points. Windows, hot water heaters, efficient appliances, efficient lighting all make a big difference in any size home. Heather @

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