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Energy efficiency starts at the home

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OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -

As more Americans go green and work to leave a smaller carbon footprint, some Kansas City area homeowners and homebuilders are on board with the movement.

"There are three things that go into making your home green," said local homebuilder Gerry Starr.

Starr said this is making the home as energy efficient as possible. Improving the air quality makes the home more liveable on the inside plus using resources that are energy efficient.

Starr specializes in the construction of "green homes," like one he built in Overland Park. The home's features include high quality glass for all windows, which will bring big savings, he said.

"It gives you a 35 percent reduction in your solar heat gain," Starr told KCTV5. "And it blocks about 90 percent of the UV rays, so it's better on fabrics and things like that inside the house."

Improved insulation can save substantial money in heating and cooling costs. A state-of-the-art air filtration system can bring fresh air from outside while being energy efficient.

And it's not just about savings, it's also about better return on your investment. That was the message KCTV5 heard from home appraiser Sandy Adomatis.

"The payback they can get on a resale, if it's marketed properly, can mean thousands of dollars," Adomatis said.

Adomatis says "green" homes can bring back substantially more money than traditional ones,

"If the potential buyer can understand what makes a home energy efficient, what makes it high performing, they can understand how it's going to pay back, month after month," Adomatis told us.

If you're considering "going green" with your home, Starr says the best fit is new construction, but he says an existing home can be retrofit to make it "green." It just may cost a bit more.

Starr says homeowners can immediately notice the benefits of a greener home just by the smell.  He said those homes have glues, dyes and formaldehydes used, which put off odors.

Those supporting the greener homes are working to educate home buyers about the benefits.

"If the potential buyer can understand what makes a home energy efficient, what makes it high performing, they can understand how it's going to pay back money after month," Adomatis said.

KCTV5 is the media partner for Concert for the Climate, which is helping raise awareness about issues like this. The free event will be held on Sept. 28 from 11 a.m. -6 p.m. at Kaw Point Riverfront Park. You can find more information by clicking here.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp). All rights reserved.

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