Green Products That Save You Green

What could be "greener" than wood trim on your home? How about synthetic trim that resists termites, severe weather and rotting? These days, green products are defined more by their longevity on the home than their natural origins.

"The durability and long life span of many man-made products provide long-term savings for homeowners," says Mark Clement, co-host of MyFixItUpLife radio show. "I've used synthetic slate roofing tiles that are so realistic-looking that people standing right next to the house don't believe it's not real slate.

"There are DaVinci EcoBlend 'green roofing tiles' guaranteed for 50 years that have been rated by the Cool Roof Rating Council to reflect sunlight and heat away from the home. Research shows that this type of roof will save homeowners between seven and 15 percent annually on total cooling costs because the roof is actually helping reduce the temperature fluctuations inside the home. That's a green product that saves green."

On his home, Clement chose to match synthetic roofing tiles with energy-efficient vinyl windows from Simonton Windows. The low-maintenance ENERGY STAR qualified windows have fusion welded vinyl frames that serve as a strong insulator. According to the Vinyl Institute, vinyl products have no negative impact on indoor air quality and they're often specified in green certified homes. The realistic-looking roofing tiles and attractive windows also add both beauty and comfort to the home.

"A synthetic product, like an installed Solar Block acrylic block window, is constructed to reduce the amount of ultraviolet rays that penetrate into your home," says Clement. "In turn, that reduces your overall energy bills. Any homeowner eager to save money while looking to purchase environmentally-friendly products can do so by exploring the synthetic options available in the marketplace."

According to Clement, who serves as the tool and how-to expert for HGTVPro.com, synthetic products are made to outlast many natural products.

"The Fypon urethane door surrounds and PVC trimboards I've installed on the exterior of homes years ago look as good today as when I put them up," says Clement. "The pieces don't rot, twist, warp or absorb water. The end result is that, once installed, you save on long-term maintenance and have trim pieces that will outlast the majority of real wood products."

For additional information on synthetic products for the home, visit www.myfixituplife.com.

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