Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Going Green When Remodeling: Good For Your Wallet and Your Health

The following is an article submitted by Richard Moyle, the National Awareness Coordinator for the Mesothelioma Cancer Center (asbestos.com):

"Going Green" When Remodeling: Good For Your Wallet and Your Health

We all know that "going green" is great way to conserve energy and even save money. Many people have begun taking measures to cut back on water and electricity usage. But there are many who are not aware of the fact that you can receive tax credits simply by remodeling your existing home using energy efficient and eco-friendly materials.

Homeowners can get credits for installing efficient air conditioners and heat pumps; gas or oil furnaces and furnace fans; and gas, oil, or electric heat pump water heaters in new or existing homes. They can also get credits for energy improvements to their homes, such as windows, insulation, and envelope and duct sealing.

In some cases, making these types of modifications to your home are not only better for the environment, but for your health and safety as well. Asbestos, for example, was consistently used as insulation in houses for most of the 20th century. Exposure to asbestos is the only known cause of an aggressive type of cancer known as mesothelioma. A person with mesothelioma usually wonít exhibit symptoms until 15 to 25 years after exposure. By the time they are diagnosed and sent to a mesothelioma doctor to be treated, it is usually too late for any type of treatment to be effective.

Eco-friendly products can cut energy costs by 25 to 35% per year. Instead of expensive and mal-treated wood, interior walls can be made from steel and concrete. This avoids many of the problems associated with asbestos and other insulation methods. Green alternatives to asbestos include cotton fiber, lycene foam and cellulose.

There are a number of other alternative types of insulation that can be used that are more eco-friendly than asbestos and donít pose any danger to your health. The United States Department of Energy has a list of insulation "Energy Savers" you can use when making plans to remodel your home.

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