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MSUM professors Dennis Jacobs and Karen Branden use a swimming pool inside of their rural Detroit Lakes home as one of their sources of heat. The pool provides enough heat to postpone turning on the furnace for a couple of weeks in the heating season. Photo by Dave Wallace.

Homeowners think big in making homes energy-efficient

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Dennis Jacobs’ and Karen Branden’s swimming pool isn’t just good for a few laps.

The couple, who went to great lengths designing an energy-efficient home, use the pool to help heat the rest of the house.


Jacobs, coordinator of Minnesota State University Moorhead’s sustainability program, and Branden, an associate professor of sociology at MSUM, built the house in the 1990s with a sustainable lifestyle in mind.

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