Green Home Improvement Product Roundup

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Summary: Tom Kraeutler, host of the Money Pit home improvement radio show, shares some of his favorite green products for 2009. Items featured include a Moen Envi Eco-Performance Rainshower Showerhead, the APC Back-UPS ES 750G battery back-up, KILZ Clean Start Primer, and the new GE Hybrid Electric Heat Pump Water Heater.

TOM: When it comes to going green we all tend to get somewhat overwhelmed by all the choices. I think the way to make it simple is to think about it as shades of green. Start with the light green and move to the darker green. For example, replacing a showerhead. Easy home improvement project, you could easily bang it out in a weekend.

This is Moen Envi Eco-Performance Rainshower Showerhead. What’s unique about this is it’s a full 8-inch rain shower showerhead, you have between 30 and 100 nozzles, you can get a great shower out of it. Most importantly, this uses only about two gallons of water per minute, that’s about 20% less than a standard showerhead. It’s going to save you some money on the water usage too.

Let’s talk about your home office. Here’s a place where you use a lot of electricity for the computers, the monitors, the printers. The problem is that even when they’re in the off position, they drain electricity. It’s called vampire electricity. It leaks out. The solution is the APC Back-UPS ES 750G. Not only is this a battery back-up which will deliver power when your electricity goes out in your house, allowing you to shut down your computer properly. This will totally stop that vampire drain of electricity and that could save you about $40 a year in electrical use.

If you’re thinking about doing a painting project, the best place to start is with a high performance primer. This is the Kilz Clean Start Primer. This is a no-VOC primer. It’s very environmentally friendly, very safe to use and low odor. If you use a good quality primer like this, you’ll need fewer top coats.

If you’re thinking about replacing your water heater, there’s a brand new product on the market that I’m really excited about because it uses about half the electricity of a standard water heater. It’s called the GE Hybrid Electric Heat Pump Water Heater. This combines the technology of a heat pump and a standard water heater to use a lot less power.

A typical water heater is going to use 4,800 kilowatts of electricity per hour. This one is going to use about 2,300, less than half of the power. What’s that mean to you? It means about $250 a year in energy savings. Add it all up, light green to dark green, there’s a home improvement project that you can do this weekend that’s going to make your home safer and more environmentally friendly for you and for your family.

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