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Home Energy Improvements Pay Off at Tax Time

If you made improvements last year to your home to make it more energy-efficient, Uncle Sam wants to help — but not as much as he previously did. For the 2011 tax year, the nonbusiness energy property credit is worth a maximum of $500. That’s just a third of the credit that was available the … Read More »

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Air Conditioning Is Not The Only Answer

Feeling comfortable in hot weather requires two things to happen together. The temperature and the relative humidity (RH) of the air must both be low enough to keep you from sweating. The lower the RH, the higher the temperature can be for you to feel comfortable. Think about dry heat in places, like Arizona, where … Read More »

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Four Worthwhile Home Energy Retrofits

Almost every homeowner at some point asks the question, “What are the best energy improvements I can make to my house?” The answer to that very important question is “it depends.” It depends on the climate (cold, hot, or mixed; humid or dry), the condition of the house, and what specific problems the homeowner is … Read More »

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Home improvement products that are wrong for the job

Just as there’s a right tool for every job, there are plenty of wrong tools for the same job, not to mention others that might work alright but should be used only in a pinch. Duct tape is a case in point. It’s great for taping virtually everything on the planet, but it’s lousy for … Read More »

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Regional Solutions for Keeping Your House Cool

Green Tips for a Cool Summer Keeping our houses cool with air conditioners costs Americans about $11 billion a year. And those air conditioners release about 100 million tons of carbon dioxide into the air annually — two tons for each home that has one. With the demand for home air-conditioning systems in the U.S. … Read More »

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