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Make Your Home Healthier with Energy Efficiency

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Energy-efficiency measures can create cleaner, healthier air inside the home. (AdobeStock)
Energy-efficiency measures can create cleaner, healthier air inside the home. (AdobeStock)
 By Mary Schuermann Kuhlman, Public News Service - MO - Producer, Contact
October 29, 2020

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Energy efficiency is often praised as a way to save money, but consumer advocates say other personal benefits go beyond the pocketbook.

During Energy Awareness Month in October, Renew Missouri has been spreading the word about how energy- efficiency measures lead to better health outcomes.

James Owen, executive director of Renew Missouri, said measures include weatherizing windows, upgrading appliances and improving equipment that delivers heat into the home.

"Those improvements generally lead to healthier, safer products being used, which means that they are producing less air pollution," Owen explained. "You're also getting rid of risks including radon, asbestos. You're fixing all of those things, too."

Owen said national research has found weatherization measures in the home can reduce asthma triggers including insect allergens, molds, dust mites and outdoor allergens.

He said the best place to get started is to call your utility company to find out about energy-efficiency programs that might be available to customers at low to no cost.

Owen noted there are many energy-efficiency improvements that can be accomplished with a quick trip to the local hardware store.

"LED lights, strips on your windows, changing the filters on your heating unit or your air conditioning unit," Owen outlined. "Just simple things like that can make a big difference."

He said saving energy through energy efficiency is also environmentally important, and results in cost savings down the line.

"When utility companies don't have to produce that much power, that puts less stress on the grid, that means less maintenance, that means less cost for operations," Owen added. "There's less need to build more power plants. All of that adds up because then none of that gets added to your rates."

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