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Vibrant Colors Highlight Style Regional Color Palettes Colorful Ranges Preventative Maintenance Tips Modern Vent-Free Fireplaces Geothermal Energy Systems Reliable Backup Power Cost-Effective Insulation

Vibrant Colors Highlight Your Sense Of Style

(NAPSI)—Here’s a bright idea: Give your home some added zest by repainting your rooms in the latest shades. From bold and elegant to eclectic and worldly, paint today comes in a range of color palettes and décor styles to serve as creative inspiration for your next do-it-yourself project.

To help, color expert Erika Woelfel, director of color marketing for Behr Paints, identified four trends as the top styles to foster creative expression in the home:

• Classic Caprice—Pay homage to traditional design elements while incorporating a fun, modern twist with Classic Caprice. A new take on elegance, this trend creates an appealing contrast of old and new by adding spice to formal rooms with sizzling magenta walls or painting black borders to frame the wall and showcase the architectural details. Traditional antique accents and sleek furnishings amplify this contrast, creating a space that is ornate yet still warm and welcoming.

• Color Metric—Inspired by the popular color blocking fashion trend, Color Metric uses geometry to create unique graphic appeal. By adding a “punch” of color to cool and neutral tones, this trend adds depth, balance and soft complexity to modern spaces.

Neutral gray walls create a background and vibrant blue cabinets take center stage. Dark plum creates depth, while a light cognac brown balances with soft complexity. The result is a visually stunning and vibrant look.

• Sweet Jazz—The retro themed Sweet Jazz is a nod to the days of art deco living. Feminine colors and streamlined motifs capture the fun and flirtation of the 1920s. Pastel jade and light pink add just the right amount of nostalgia, while dark navy trim adds a note of staccato. Polished chrome fixtures, oriental rugs and exotic flower patterns accent this theme, transporting homeowners back to the days of flapper dresses and speakeasies.

• Après Ski—Warm, muted tones add comfort and hominess to this woodsy oasis. Après Ski’s lived-in look provides the perfect barrier from a cold, snowy night that can be enjoyed year round. Forest green showcases natural wood and rustic materials. Kitschy red, teal and lime keep the mood light and upbeat. Must-have décor elements include cozy seating, plush pillows and low lighting. Eclectic accent pieces create a cozy environment and a seemingly effortless doesn’t-quite-go-together appearance.

The Behr Paints 2013 Color Trends with 20 new original colors and four inspirational design styles are currently available at The Home Depot stores nationwide. Also, look for the 2013 Color Trend Card, an accompanying brochure with detailed décor themes plus design and decorating tips to help consumers visualize each space.

To further the visual experience, you can follow a QR code found on the back of the Trend Card brochure or go online to watch a video that brings the themes to life. More information can also be found atwww.behr.com/2013Trends. What’s more, the ColorSmart by BEHR Mobile application, available as a free download for iPhone, iPad and Android compatible devices, helps users find the right color at the touch of a finger. The company is on Facebook at facebook.com/BehrPaint and on Twitter at twitter.com/BehrPaint. Visit Behr’s blog atwww.colorfullybehr.com for insights on all things color.

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Regional Color Palettes Inspired by Your

Favorite Destinations

(NAPSI)—When choosing a paint palette for your home, you may find that the colors you prefer are influenced by the outdoor environments you enjoy spending time.

Whether it’s the city skyline or the soft shades of a pleasing landscape, you are naturally drawn to paint colors you recognize from your favorite places. The use of regional color palettes allows you to evoke the feel of a certain location by grouping ideal complementary colors.

According to color expert Dee Schlotter for The Voice of Color, PPG Pittsburgh Paints, through a concept known as synesthesia, people develop automatic responses to colors based on past experiences, causing every color to convey a unique emotion.

What is your dream vacation? If your mind conjures up images of a getaway to the lakes, beaches and vineyards of the Great Lakes of Michigan, then you may prefer the quiet colors in the landscape, represented by shades like Rendezvous, a graceful blue; and Soleil, a sandy beige.

Or does a trip to Charleston, South Carolina, to explore the city’s historic homes and architectural landmarks sound more appealing? If so, you might like to bring the beauty of Charleston’s Southern grace and style to your design with the rosy pink shade of Withers Mansion or Parade Deck, a grassy green.

How about a trip to Nashville, Tennessee, to experience the bright, lively cityscapes? Nashville’s landscape is enveloped in colors that will excite your senses, such as Tiger Tail, a bright orange; and Forsythia Blossom, an exuberant yellow.

Whatever your dream vacation looks like, regional color palettes, such as those found in The Voice of Color collections, can provide you with the ability to reflect color schemes from around the world and allow you to appreciate faraway settings in your own living space.

Tips

• If you appreciate colors outside your home, then you will probably also like decorating with them.

• Sometimes, looking at colors in groupings helps you find the vision you are trying to express.

• Regional color palettes allow you to bring colors from outside in, helping to recreate the feeling of favorite outdoor spots.

• The unique color schemes of each region often provide ideal complementary colors, offering the natural look each geographic area is known for.

To learn more, visit www.voiceofcolor.com.

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A Colorful Range Can Spice Up The Kitchen

(NAPSI)—From ruby red to ultramarine blue, many professional chefs are turning to brightly colored ranges to turn up the heat in their home kitchen.

That’s the word from a company that’s known for making chef-quality, high-performing residential ranges in over 190 different colors. The good news is that even if you’re not a professional chef, you can still have a range in just about any color you desire that provides a professional kitchen experience.

One-of-a-Kind Appliances

The manufacturer, BlueStar, has an interactive website tool that allows consumers to customize a new range just the way they want it-from the intensity of the burners to the color of the knobs and the range itself-before buying.

BlueStar pro appliances are designed to provide the home chef with a cooking experience that matches a restaurant kitchen environment. Its UltraNova power burners provide up to 22,000 BTUs of cooking power for consistent, controlled heat and shorter cooking times. And for delicate soups and sauces there is a gentle 130-degree simmer burner.

It even offers made-to-order customizable colors. Such a range lets homeowners have a “one-of-a-kind” professional-grade appliance that makes an eye-catching design statement as well.

Seasonal Colors

For those who want the latest trends in their kitchen decor, the company even offers ranges in seasonal colors. As announced by the world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems, Pantone, popular colors currently include Tangerine Tango, Honey Gold and what is described as a BlueStar classic: Olympian Blue.

To learn more, visit www.bluestarcooking.com.

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An Anti-Aging Regimen For Your House 

(NAPSI)—Maintaining a “youthful” home through preventative maintenance can save you money in costly repairs and preserve its overall value.

So where’s the best place to start? Here are some ideas:

• Regular checkups are key. Get out your binoculars and look for shingles that are buckled, curled, blistered or missing an excessive amount of granules. If left unrepaired, these damaged shingles could result in leaks into your attic and further into your house, resulting in mold and rot. Get a roofing contractor to check that your roof is in good condition.

• Protect against fading and stains. New exterior building materials used in siding, fence and decking products can help maintain a long-lasting, vibrant appearance. Available in many outstanding, vibrant colors, EverNew cellular PVC and composite decking from CertainTeed is backed by a 25-year Stain-and-Fade Resistance warranty, ensuring a dynamic outdoor oasis for many years to come.

• Use impact-resistant shingles for a healthy roof. They help provide a more durable, stronger roof to protect your home from hail, falling debris and high winds. For example, Landmark Solaris IR meets the industry’s highest standards for impact resistance. In addition, it repels the sun’s rays and lowers the surface temperature of a roof by up to 20 degrees during warm months.

• Choose durable siding materials. One, Cedar Impressions siding, is molded from real cedar shingles and designed and tested to withstand hurricane-force winds. The siding is also virtually maintenance free, never needs painting and is backed with a lifetime-limited warranty.

• Address problem spots. If not properly insulated, an attic can be a huge drain on your monthly energy bill and compromise the overall comfort of your home. Online tools, such as www.certainteed.com/itools, can help guide you through the process of ensuring your home has proper insulation.

Keep these tips in mind and you may find that your home can provide you and your family more comfort at less cost.

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Modern Vent-Free Fireplaces Provide Heat And Comfort

(NAPSI)—An increasing number of families are warming to the idea of using vent-free gas appliances for supplemental home heat. These environmentally friendly options can give high heating costs the cold shoulder and keep homes warm and comfortable.

Unlike traditional fireplaces, which require venting from the firebox to the exterior of the house through an outside wall or the roof, vent-free appliances can be installed in a wide variety of places in the home. That means, the Vent-Free Gas Products Alliance reports, that installation costs of vent-free products can be up to 60 percent less than vented heating appliances.

“Vent-free technology operates at 99 percent efficiency, meaning it delivers 99 cents worth of heat for every dollar of energy cost,” explained Jess Baldwin, vice president of sales for Monessen Hearth Systems Company, a leading supplier of hearth products for Vermont Castings, Majestic andMonnessen brands. “Vent-free products are always a popular choice for people looking to save money and choose an environmentally friendly heating source.”

What You Can Get

All sorts of vent-free products are available to fit any home’s décor and heating preference. For example:

• Vent-free gas fireplaces offer flexibility in size, placement (mounting to an interior or exterior wall) and design. They’re often less expensive to purchase and allow for a faster, less disruptive setup in new or remodeled homes.

• Vent-free gas fireplace inserts are a great choice for homes with existing masonry fireplaces because they’re easy to install, result in increased heating efficiency and replicate the look of a traditional wood-burning fireplace with a modern appearance.

• A vent-free gas log set can transform a wood-burning fireplace into an efficient heat source. Log sets maintain the warmth and ambience of a wood-burning fireplace without the mess and labor.

• A vent-free gas stove provides a unique décor option and delivers reliable home heating with the flexibility to fit any space, from contemporary to vintage. With no need for a flue, vent-free gas stoves can be installed almost anywhere in a room.

“Vent-free fireplaces use great technology that gives owners a simple alternative to traditional fireplaces and the hassles that can sometimes accompany their installation,” said Baldwin.

Vent-free fireplaces safely meet the most-recognized U.S. indoor air quality guidelines and also have built-in safety devices, assuring proper gas flow and operation. They’re permanently connected to a natural gas or propane fuel line—among the cleanest of all fossil fuels, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

How You Can Save

Vent-free products also offer the possibility of zone heating—you can heat the rooms you use the most with an alternate heat source. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy found this sort of system can provide energy savings of up to 40 percent. Vent-free fireplaces, inserts, log sets and stoves keep all the heat they produce inside the house instead of sending the warm air up a chimney.

Learn More

For further information on vent-free home heating products, see the Monessen Hearth Systems Company brands’ websites:www.vermontcastings.com, www.majesticproducts.com andwww.monessenhearth.com. Additional information and statistics from the Vent-Free Gas Products Alliance are at www.ventfree.org.

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Comfortable, Healthy And Quiet—The Geothermal Environment

(NAPSI)—A home heated and cooled with a geothermal heating and cooling system is a comfortable home. That’s because a geothermal system provides precise distribution of air, eliminating hot and cold spots throughout the home.

Geothermal systems take advantage of free solar energy stored just below the surface of the earth. Using a series of pipes (an earth loop) buried in the ground, the system extracts heat from the ground and distributes it through a home, using a conventional duct system. This same heat energy can also be used for a radiant floor system or domestic hot water heating, reducing heating and cooling bills by as much as 70 percent. In the cooling mode, the heating process is reversed-heat is extracted from the air in the home and either moved back into the earth loop or used to preheat the water in a hot water tank.

A geothermal system runs more frequently than other heating and cooling systems and at lower speeds, which means the air is always circulating through the house to reduce hot and cold spots as it increases comfort levels. Constant circulation also means air inside the home regularly circulates through the air filter, improving indoor air quality (IAQ). In addition, the system does not require combustion and therefore produces none of the products associated with combustion, including carbon monoxide, which can negatively impact the air you breathe. Nor does it require a system to vent carbon monoxide and other dangerous exhaust gases.

WaterFurnace offers a host of IAQ products to further enhance a home’s indoor environment. Filters and air cleaners capture airborne allergens and contaminants, while heat-recovery ventilators are designed to move stale, contaminated air from inside your home to the outside and draw fresh air from the outside, filter it and deliver it throughout your house.

And unlike many conventional air conditioners or heat pumps, a geothermal heating and cooling system is quiet, requiring no noisy and unsightly outdoor units to disturb your outside environment or your neighbors. Instead, all equipment is located inside, conveniently sized and constructed for quiet, efficient operation.

To learn how a geothermal home comfort system can ensure a comfortable, healthy, quiet home year-round, visit www.waterfurnace.com or talk to aWaterFurnace expert at (800) GEO-SAVE.

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Energy Matters

(NAPSI)—We live in a “plugged-in” society. Our lives are filled with dozens of electronic devices and gadgets, not to mention the critical systems that keep our homes up and running. With our ever-growing dependence on electricity, the need for reliable backup power is more important than ever, especially for those who operate home-based businesses or people with medical needs.

What To Do

Fortunately, even in the event of a power outage due to severe weather or other emergency, you do have options:

1. A portable generator is great for camping, tailgating or other situations where temporary power comes in handy. If used in a home setting, a portable generator can power a few items like a refrigerator or sump pump, but is not designed to power an entire home. A portable generator is manually operated and runs on gasoline, which means you have to fill it every few hours during a power outage. All electronic items must be plugged into the unit using properly rated extension cords and the unit must be kept outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

2. A standby generator, which many experts feel is the best option for homeowners or small businesses, permanently connects to your home, similar to a central air-conditioning unit. It runs on propane or natural gas and connects directly to existing fuel lines. When utility power is lost, a standby generator automatically turns on, typically within 10 seconds—you don’t have to be home to operate the unit. Depending on the size, a standby generator can power an entire home or a few key systems or appliances.

“A standby generator is basically a power plant in your backyard,” said Ed Del Grande, a home improvement expert and host on the DIY Network. “No matter what Mother Nature brings, you can rest easy knowing you have access to safe, reliable power.”

What To Look For

If you’re thinking about getting a standby generator, there are a few things you should look for:

• A commercial-grade engine for durability and clean, consistent power.

• An attractive design. The unit will be installed outside your home, so looks matter.

• An extended warranty. Look for a standby generator that is backed for a minimum of five years.

Where to Learn More

Leading manufacturers like Kohler make it easy to research, size and price standby generators. You can find informational videos, sizing calculators and other helpful tools at www.KohlerGenerators.com.

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Simple Steps That Can Cut Energy Costs 

(NAPSI)—There’s good news for homeowners. By taking a few practical steps, they can help to put a lid on rising energy costs.

According to the ENERGY STAR program, the typical U.S. household spends approximately $1,300 per year on home energy bills—and 50 to 70 percent of that is spent on heating and cooling.

Fortunately, one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to reduce energy use at home is to ensure that your home is properly insulated.

Starting At The Top

From attics to basement walls to floors over crawl spaces, there are many areas of the home that can benefit from proper insulation. One of the more important places to start is the attic. It’s the most accessible and least expensive to insulate.

Some recommend using a fiberglass loose-fill insulation, such as CertainTeed’s InsulSafe SP, which boasts superior thermal efficiency and sound control. Adding insulation can also qualify homeowners for rebates and tax credits. Check out www.certainteed.com/itools to find out what incentives are available in your area.

A Helpful Energy Audit

Another resource is the Residential Energy Services Network, or ResNet. It offers certified auditors who can help homeowners evaluate a home to determine where and how energy is being lost.

The audit can also find out what systems are operating inefficiently and what cost-effective improvements—such as adding insulation-can be implemented to enhance comfort and lower utility costs.

For more energy-saving tips or to find a contractor, visitwww.certainteed.com/insulation or call 800-782-8777.

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