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Beat the heat and save some green with these warm weather energy saving ideas

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Updated: 7/08 3:03 pm

(BPT) - There are plenty of reasons to be excited that summer is finally here. Among them: the distant memory of those expensive heating bills you paid in the winter. But just because warmer weather is here doesn't mean your bills are gone. In fact, if your home isn't as energy efficient as it could be, your summer cooling bills could be just as costly.

If you'd like to make a change, here's how you can invest in your home to increase its value, make it more energy efficient, improve your comfort, and save money in the long run.

* Make sure your system is running properly. Any plan to improve energy efficiency in your home should start with a thorough review of your heating and cooling system. Sealing leaky ducts can improve your cooling efficiency by 20 percent. That means big savings on your monthly cooling bills.

* Invest in new windows. Replacing your current windows with new products like Mezzo Windows from Alside offers you the chance to meet 2015 ENERGY STAR requirements today. Mezzo's dual-pane insulated glass helps prevent cool air from leaving your home and warm air from entering, making your home more energy efficient. Its narrow-line frame provides a larger glass area for unobstructed views and an extensive collection of color and grid options mean Mezzo fits most any architectural style.

* Replace outdated incandescent light bulbs in your home with ENERGY STAR qualified light bulbs. These bulbs have a longer shelf life and are 75 percent more energy efficient than traditional bulbs. Replacing every bulb in your home with an ENERGY STAR bulb will lead to big energy savings in the months and years ahead.

* Make sure your home's envelope is secure. Your home's envelope includes its outer walls, ceiling, windows and floors. Consider the benefits of insulated siding products. Prodigy Insulated Siding from Alside is up to 1.5 inches thick, making it an exceptional option to improve the R-value of your exterior walls which can help you save energy and money. In addition, the siding's clean lines and wide array of rich colors offer your home a modern look that increases its curb appeal.

* Get audited. No one wants to be financially audited, but inviting an energy auditor to your home allows you to explore new energy-saving options. Your energy auditor will evaluate your home and offer you cost-effective measures to help you save energy and money. Expect to pay a small fee up front for the assessment, but you will easily recoup that money by acting on the information you receive.

Warmer weather doesn't need to equal higher energy bills. Following these tips can help lower your energy expenses and improve the look of your home at the same time. To learn more about how new, low-maintenance windows and siding can increase your home's energy efficiency and curb appeal, visit alside.com.

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