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2018

Be smart with lighting

Light bulb technology has come a long way since the days of Thomas Edison and we think he’d be rather proud. Today’s bulbs last longer, use far less energy and some even have smart capabilities that can modernize your home in exciting new ways.

Smart lighting is lighting technology designed for enhanced energy efficiency and convenience. Have you ever imagined controlling your lights with your voice, having a setting for watching movies or programming the lights to turn on as you come home? This is all possible with the right smart lighting setup.

Helpful hints for better indoor air quality

Healthy indoor air is key to any home environment, but it does take some upkeep to fend off common threats. Pollutants such as mold, lead within house dust, allergens and chemicals can affect you and your family, especially with repeated exposure. Houseplants are a great all-natural solution for air purifying, but with a few other simple steps, you can make a big difference in your home's air quality.

Michigan builders awarded for Excellence in Energy Efficiency

Pictured: Theresa Schmidt (Consumers Energy), Kimberly Howe Morgan (Pistro Builders), Charles Pistro (Pistro Builders), Ted Ykimoff (Consumers Energy)

The accolades keep coming for Michigan’s ENERGY STAR® home builders. This year’s Excellence in Energy Efficiency (E3) awards ceremony, held at Michigan International Speedway, saw five builders recognized for their energy-saving achievements in 2017.

What makes smart homes so smart?

If you’re in the market for a new home, or looking to upgrade your current one, smart tech is the smart choice. From thermostats to ceiling fans, smart, connected devices offer a convenient way to elevate your home’s efficiency and comfort.

While the term “smart” has a loose definition, most smart devices can be controlled via smartphone and automatically respond to various preset conditions or spontaneous environmental changes. Working as a connected system throughout your home, smart devices have the power to make every day a little easier.

Breathe new life into your home

With most Americans spending around 90 percent of their day inside, maintaining a high indoor air quality (IAQ) inside your home is vital to your comfort and health.

Types of air pollutants
The air inside your home could be polluted by anything from lead-contaminated dust and mold to formaldehyde, fire retardants and radon. In addition to these, there are volatile chemicals from cleaner fragrances, air fresheners, new mattresses or furniture, carpet cleaners or paint.

Help for high bills

Michigan’s cold winter temperatures are causing most residents to decide to stay safe and warm inside. For many, though, the extra cold weather brings higher than normal heating bills.

In January 2018 alone, the Lansing area recorded five days below zero – the most days in January since 2014.

Natural gas use is up compared to last year. Electricity use is also up in order to power various appliances such as furnace blower motors, fireplace fans, geothermal pumps and space heaters.