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Energy efficiency and green living are popular these days and for good reason. Living green and increasing your green footprint both saves money and helps protect the environment.

After all, we get one Earth, and we’re quickly doing irreparable damage to our planet. Of NASA’s 134-year record keeping, all but one of the hottest 16 years have occurred since 2000.

That alone is enough incentive for most people to invest in green living. Though if you’re still not convinced, even just installing window tints saves money.

Green Footprint Dos and Don’ts

Whether for financial or planet saving reasons, investing in growing your green footprint is something that could benefit any homeowner.

If you’re ready to make your green footprint a priority, check out our guide on the dos and don’ts of building a green, energy efficient home.

Do: Energy Efficient Windows and Tints

Many homes, even newer homes, don’t have the luxury of energy efficient windows. It’s usually because somewhere along the line someone wanted to save a few extra dollars.

So why bother with adding energy efficient windows or tints? Because the superior seals and tints on the windows keep in heat and air conditioning.

Tints especially are easy to install and lower your energy costs.

When you heat and cool your home with non-energy efficient windows, you’re also heating and cooling the outside. Obviously, this wastes money and energy.

What’s more, those of us with electric heating systems can’t moderate how efficient our heating usage is.

Electricity coming from the provider is only as efficient as the provider makes it. This makes windows that retain heat even more important.

Don’t: Sub-Par Insulation

Many people overlook their home’s insulation, thinking that the bare minimum will be enough to keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

While it’s true the bare minimum will work just fine, it will severely limit your ability to increase your green footprint and make your home energy efficient.

Think of it this way. Installing those energy efficient windows won’t be any help if all of your heat and air conditioning is escaping through your walls.

It’s very important to plan for quality insulation when you’re building your home. New home builders should consider their other energy efficient appliances and take care to insulate for maximum effectiveness.

Installing an energy efficient furnace and windows? Poor insulate could almost negate the cost savings of both.

Do: Utilize Technology

Smart home technology is quickly becoming very popular for those looking to increase their green footprint. Simply put, technology is once again saving us money.

Smart thermostats especially are excellent for moderating how much your HVAC system runs. While regular thermostats can have schedules, smart thermostats do so much more.

For instance, certain brands of smart thermostats have sensors that detect movement in certain rooms and only trigger the system when movement is detected.

If the temperature in a room is too high or low when you enter, the HVAC system will turn on or off until the temperature is correct. However, if you’re not in the room, the HVAC system stays off.

Smart thermostats also allow for automated on and off schedules where the system only runs when you’re home. This saves on heating and cooling costs when no one is around to reap the benefits.

As always, the less your HVAC system uses electric and gas, the less the impact on the environment.

Don’t: Use Non-Eco Friendly Materials

If you’re in the process of building your home already, stop and take stock of what you’re using for building materials. We bet you’ll find your materials aren’t eco-friendly.

The fact of the matter is, most contractors aren’t worried about your green footprint. They’re using materials that save them money in the long run.

Instead, they should use materials that save the environment. Everything from roofing materials to your insulation has an eco-friendly alternative.

Talk to your builder about utilizing as many eco-friendly materials as possible. First focus on the easy ones, like recycled lumber, granite, and concrete.

Next, move onto things that are harder to come by. These are your recycled roofing materials and insulation. It shouldn’t take too much work to have most of your home constructed from eco-friendly materials.

Do: Install an Energy Efficient Hot Water Heater

Your hot water accounts for an astounding 14-18 percent of your utility bills. In other words, every time you shower, do laundry or run the dishwasher, you’re using a lot of energy.

Installing an energy efficient hot water heater can help mitigate these costs. There are three types of hot water heaters you should know about.

The first, tankless water heaters, heat your hot water on demand instead of saving it in a reservoir. On-demand heating saves money and uses less natural gas, thus helping the environment.

The next kind, indirect hot water heaters, heat water by running it through a coil attached to your furnace. This saves energy by utilizing an existing source of heat to warm your water.

The last type of water heater is the greenest of all. Solar water heaters use the sun’s rays to heat your water. Using zero electric or gas, these hot water heaters really increase your green footprint.

Don’t: Build Large for the Sake of Large

Large homes have an appeal. It’s understandable to want the most space you can afford. However, building on land taxes the environment. Every extra square foot does a little more damage to our planet.

Empty space costs more in energy bills for heating and cooling and stresses the actual land you’ve built on.

Instead of building large, build what you need. Plan ahead and think of how much space is really needed. The land you don’t build on will turn into your beautiful back yard!

Investing in energy efficient technology and building practices save both money and the environment. With modern technology, saving the environment has never been so easy.

If you’re in the market to build an energy efficient home or improve your current home’s energy efficiency, get in contact with us.

Our team is well versed in the unique practice of installing window tint to help improves your home’s energy efficiency.