If you own your own home, you know how important it is to keep it looking good -- you also know that making the house more energy efficient is never a bad idea. Often you can do both of these things at the same time if you are careful about what materials you buy for your home. If you are looking for ways to improve energy efficiency and are not sure what you need, a visit to the local home improvement store can get you headed in the right direction.

Updating The Windows In Your Home

One place you can make a decent impact on the energy efficiency of your home is the windows. Old windows can be drafty and let air move in and out around them, making it harder to keep the home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The panes are typically a single layer of glass and do not offer much protection from the weather outside the home, even though they may look really nice. Luckily, you can change the windows in your home to multi-pane, energy-efficient windows with vinyl-covered window frames and you can get them in styles that look like the original, old-style window.

A trip to the home center or a call to a window installer is a good place to start. Once you select the style of window you want, they will need to be ordered in all the right sizes to replace the ones currently in your home. Dealing with a professional window installer often means you can get them in custom sizes and they will measure the frame to ensure you get the right window sizes when you order them. You can visit sites like http://www.bramblebuilders.com for more information.

Updating the Outside Of Your Home

Another great place to improve the look and efficiency of the home is with new siding. Not only will it look good, but vinyl siding is durable and very low maintenance. The siding can be washed once a year with a pressure washer and never needs to be painted. Replacing the siding also offers you the opportunity to add some insulation between the siding and the plywood sheeting on the outside of the house. This is a good way to reduce heat and air from escaping around cracks in the material and improve the efficiency of the home throughout the year. Hiring a contractor to help you pick the right siding and get it installed on the house is the simplest solution; while some people may do it themselves, if you want to be sure it is done right and if you do not have experience working with the material, it is best to find someone to install the new siding on the house for you.