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Easy green upgrades can increase the property value

(NC) With the big push for environmental and energy conservation, homeowners are being presented with a wide range of options and initiatives for greener living. Not only do these solutions help save the planet, but they also help us save money.

The most valuable 'green home' improvements are able to facilitate reduced utility bills, as well as provide year round comfort to occupants. Your home's envelope, or the exterior-facing surfaces of the building, is typically regarded as the weakest link since it is constantly exposed to the elements like battling back the cold, reflecting the sun, guarding against rain, and pushing back the wind.

It's important that your house can accomplish all these tasks (and more) without turning up the thermostat and without the need to constantly repair lost shingles, loose boards and damaged siding. Reinforcing from the inside can have a strong positive impact on how green and earth-friendly a home can become.

One area of the building envelope that can be boosted is the insulation. While traditional insulation materials provide thermal comfort, they fall behind on air-sealing and on their ability to create a greener home. Spray foam insulation is an advanced alternative that can eliminate heating and cooling problems while reducing a reliance on energy consumption. Leading brand, Icynene, explains how this is achieved:

Sprayed as a liquid, spray foam insulation expands to fill all the spaces inside a wall cavity providing a total seal of all surfaces and reinforcing the integrity of the building. This modern alternative creates a barrier that leads to significant savings over the long term – both in terms of energy consumption and HVAC bills. Spray foam insulation has been known to provide homeowners as much as a 50 percent saving on their monthly heating and cooling bills due to its ability to air-seal and insulate in one step.

With this kind of green living, homeowners are doing their part in creating a greener planet and reducing their carbon footprint. More information can be found at

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