Beat heat, save green with energy saving ideas
New windows, a tightly sealed home and plenty of shade can help keep homes cool and save energy costs when the heat of summer arrives soon.

There are plenty of reasons to be excited that winter is finally over.

Among them are these: no more slick roads, heavy jackets, freezing temperatures or dry skin.

Spring’s arrival also means an end to those expensive heating bills you paid all season. But just because warmer weather is here does not mean your bills are gone. In fact, if your home is not as energy effi-cient as it could be, your summer cooling bills could be just as costly.

If you would like to make a change, here is 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¦ Replace outdated incandescent light bulbs in your home with Energy Star qualified light bulbs.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

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