"Going green" can save money, environment around the home

Replacing or sealing leaky windows can help you save energy.
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Going green can save you money and help the Earth at the same time.

Carmel resident Jud Brouse has made a commitment to the Earth and his home.

"We had done some other things a few years ago, like we replaced the furnace with a high efficiency gas furnace and we replaced the air conditioner with a high efficiency," Brouse said.

For Brouse, high efficiency appliances meant he saved money.

"The year before last, for June, July, August, September and October, our electric bill was around $800-something and this year, and I think it was hotter this year, it was more like $560," he said.

Going green on your next remodeling project will cost you more, but it could help you out over time. If you can't afford to replace a big energy hog, focus on the windows and doors.

"Make sure your house is sealed well. Check for air leaks and that doors and windows are sealed well, vents are sealed well, but also be sure that you've got a carbon monoxide detector in your house, too, because you don't want to get your house sealed too tight and you end up having issues with carbon monoxide," said Angie Hicks, Angie's List.

You can even choose eco-friendly flooring that shrinks your carbon footprint.

"One of those that has always been around is wool. Wool is a very viable source for using as green, it's a natural material. Other things, if we are talking about carpet, would be carpet tiles, rather than having some of the other, you know, broad lumen-type carpets," said Tony Rebuo, ReNew Service Group. "Some of the other options would be if you are looking for a hard floor surface, we have cork and bamboo that's a renewable, highly renewable source. It's very cost-efficient and it's eco-friendly."

Once you have decided to go green, do your research to find contractors that are green. One way to tell is if they have Green Seal Certification and a good, local reputation for doing work.