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april3homespunweb.gifRISMEDIA, April 3, 2008-Four out of five people are interested in being “green,” according to a nationwide survey among homeowners. And, nine out of 10 homeowners agree that improving the energy efficiency of their homes is one of the most useful actions to help the environment. This notion is a step in the right direction, as the home is a leading source of pollution. In fact, about 17 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are generated from the energy used in houses nationwide.This spring homeowners can go green with quick and easy home energy tune-ups. Survey respondents listed the following as the top three easy and inexpensive ways to increase a home’s energy efficiency.

1. Caulk gaps and cracks
2. Switch to Energy Star qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs)
3. Install a low-flow showerhead.

According to Energy Star, the most cost-effective action homeowners can take to improve energy efficiency is sealing and insulating their homes. Sealing gaps and cracks with silicone caulk, and insulating the home can reduce total energy costs by up to 10 percent.

CFLs use up to 75 percent less energy than regular incandescent bulbs. High efficiency showerheads can cut hot water demand by an estimated 40 percent. Together, these three easy actions can save homeowners hundreds of dollars a year in energy costs and remove hundreds of pounds of greenhouse gases from the environment.

“Caulking is a small expense for a big step towards a greener world,” said Rodney Hawkins, general manager of Momentive Performance Materials, an exclusive licensee of General Electric. “The key is to be sure to use GE silicone, not acrylic caulk, when sealing. If it’s not silicone, you may not get the same impact.”

Silicone is waterproof, permanently flexible and won’t shrink or crack, unlike acrylic caulk. Acrylics shrink up to 25 percent, leaving cracks and gaps for air and water to leak through, meaning an additional afternoon spent re-sealing the home, and more waste put in the environment. Also, GE Silicone II XST, a paintable silicone formula, has the benefits of silicone and the paintability of acrylic all in one.

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