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Helping to make our society more green and energy independent one blog post at a time

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LizzieWeakley

Home Makeover How to Give Your Home an Updated and Energy-Efficient Aesthetic.JPG

There are lots of reasons that updating your home may be the right move to make right now. You can even have your upgrades decrease the overall energy usage of your home. Energy efficient items have come a long way when it comes to looks and the technology utilized. Doing these upgrades can improve the appearance of your home and save you some money in the process.

Change Your Roofing Material

If you roof is looking a little ratty around the edges, replace it with a newer version. A metal roof may be the right solution for you. This long lasting type of material is made to withstand the ages. It also makes it easier for the snow to slide off. You could also replace your roof with cool shingles that reflect a large portion of the sun’s rays away from your home.

Increase Window Efficiency

As windows age they start to lose some of their insulating properties. Look into window repair so that you can improve the energy efficiency and the appearance of your old windows. For older single pane windows, change them out with a two or three pane solution. This will reduce the amount of drafts and noise that enters your home on a daily basis. You have a variety of styles to choose from when it comes to replacing your windows.

Replace Worn out Appliances

Old appliances tend to waste a lot of energy. You may have noticed that your refrigerator is running almost constantly. Replace it with a more energy efficient model. New appliances also have the perk of being more attractive than your old ones. This could be the first step to getting you started on your minor kitchen remodel.

Install New Light Fixtures

Changing out the light fixtures in your home can improve the style of any room. Replace those old bulbs with ones that are LED. They consume less energy than the incandescent or fluorescent varieties. Another benefit is that they can last longer so that you won’t have to replace them so often.

Even if you have a relatively new home, you may be able to gain some benefit by performing an energy audit. This can give you a jumping off point for any upgrades that may need to be performed around your house. Being more energy conscious doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice style. There are lots of energy efficient options that can improve the appearance of your home.

LizzieWeakley

The amount of energy-efficient innovations on the market is at an all-time high. This is great news for the homeowners who wish to cut down on electrical costs. Here is how new technology can make your home more efficient.

Home_Improvement_How_New_Innovative_Tech

Rainwater Harvesting System
Investing in a rainwater harvesting system will certainly help you to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. Not only are rain collection systems very inexpensive, but they are also relatively simple to install. The stored rainwater can be used for a variety of different things, including flushing the toilet and washing laundry. Over the course of a year, the system can really save a lot of extra money.

Solar Water Heater
Unfortunately, traditional water heaters can use quite a bit of energy. In comparison, solar water heaters are far more efficient. In as little as two years, the energy savings will actually cover the initial cost of the solar water heater. As sunlight shines down on the solar panels, energy is quickly collected. Contrary to popular belief, the photovoltaic cells can even absorb energy on cloudy days.

Heated Floors
Companies such as
Summerstep actually design in-floor heating systems. After the installation of an in-floor heating system, you will not have to depend totally on a HVAC system to keep your home warm. When the temperatures dip below freezing, many homeowners have to turn up the dial on their thermostat. An in-floor heating system will help to eliminate this energy-draining problem. Children and pets will especially love the extra warmth.

Smart Thermostat
The most advanced thermostats on the market offer incredible energy savings. With the use of high-tech sensors, they can actually adjust the home’s temperature according to the changing weather conditions. These nifty thermostats can also be easily controlled via a mobile phone or computer. If you are asleep under the covers or away from home, a smart thermostat can be programmed to lower the home’s temperature. Research shows that a smart thermostat can drop your electric bill by $100 dollars a month.

Automated Lighting
Many homeowners have already transitioned to LED lighting. However, installing an automated lighting system can further improve your home’s efficiency. Instead of leaving your lights on full blast, an automated dimmer switch allows you to dim the lights to save energy.

Due to the rise in the cost of electricity, homeowners are strongly encouraged to invest in energy-saving technology. All five of these innovations promise to keep your home efficient.

 

 

LizzieWeakley

Home Heating 3 Ways to Make Sure Your Home is Heated Properly this Winter.JPG

 

As Winter approaches, there are normally a few duties and projects that you do around the house in order to prepare. This year, why not enjoy a warm and toasty home all winter long? If you start today, you can ensure that your home is heated properly for years. Here are three ways that you can make certain that your heat is working properly.

 

Infrared Camera Service:

A few years ago, people put together infrared cameras that could sense minute differences in temperature. Many of those cameras found their way to remodeling contractors that use them to point at your home from all angles so that they can show you specifically where your home is losing heat.

 

The warmer that it is near the outside of your home, the more warmth you are losing- and the more money that you are losing. Therefore, when a contractor finds a flawed spot and repairs it, you will see automatic savings on your heating bill.

 

Pipe Wrapping:

Another annoyance for some homeowners is that they have one or two rooms in their house that are never heated properly because somehow the air that gets to them is a few degrees cooler than the air that they get in other rooms.

 

This type of problem normally occurs because most of the pipes on the way to those rooms have not been wrapped properly. A secondary cause could be that the foil pipe itself has a rip or tear in it. Having a trusted professional like those from A & E Heating and AC Inc. work on your home heating system, you should be able to have the full potential of your furnace restored to all the rooms in your house.

 

Furnace Optimization:

Furnace optimization is another service that companies like a & E Heating provide because it ensures that your furnace will not break down on you during the course of the Winter, and it might also identify other areas in your heating system that you are losing hot air.

 

One of the most common areas near a furnace that might need patching is on the pipe that leaves the boiler or furnace itself. One nice thing about asking for experts to come out and optimize your service is that they are very efficient and won’t take long to both find and fix what is necessary.

 

So if you are looking at keeping your home warm this winter, consider calling and setting up an appointment. Staying warm and saving money can be a good combination.

LizzieWeakley

Home Energy Efficiency Why you Should Consider Solar Energy.JPG

 

There are very few things in life that we can be 100 percent sure of. One of these things is the fact that the sun will rise every single day. Because of this and as a result of increasing energy prices, more people are opting to rely partially or solely on solar energy. The following are a few reasons why.

The Sun Will Come out Tomorrow

The honest truth is that if the sun does not come out tomorrow, the world will have a lot bigger problems to face than finding inexpensive environmentally friendly energy. However, scientists believe that the sun will continue to shine for at least another 5 billion years. That’s more than enough time for you to recoup any amount of money you invest in installing solar panels. Additionally, enough sun reaches the United States every single day to provide power for the entire country for 10 years. This means that there is literally no limit to what could potentially be done with solar energy.

Solar Technology is No Longer in Its Infancy

Although many talk about solar energy as if it were a future tech, the truth is that solar systems have been in use since the 70's. And many of the solar energy systems that were installed 40 plus years ago are still working today. Over the past four decades there have been a number of technological improvements that have increased the reliability and energy production capability of solar panels.

Solar panels have very few moving parts. They don’t need a lot of maintenance. They are simple to install. And the technology behind them gets better every single day.

Solar Technology Saves You Money

Investing in solar technology for your home and business makes financial sense. Solar energy lowers your energy bill every month. Additionally, in some states tax incentives are given to homes that use solar energy. And while the practice is diminishing, some utility companies will pay homeowners for the extra electricity they produce. As the price of solar technology continues to plummet and the cost of fossil fuels rise, using solar energy makes more financial sense every day.

Solar Energy is Good for the Environment

Conventional power relies on processes that damage the environment. Even so-called clean forms of energy like wind energy and hydraulic energy can have a negative impact on the environment where they are located. Solar energy does not produce harmful emissions. It is a truly clean source of energy.

Solar Energy Can be Used All Day Long

When it comes to discussing
solar power panels, companies like Legend Solar that specialize in providing solar panels in the Utah area, are educating the public on the difference between solar energy myths and the reality. Many mistakenly believe that solar power only functions if the sun is out.

The truth is that even if a person has solar panels installed in their home, most of the time they are still connected to the city’s energy grid. The only difference is that during the daytime, when they’re not at home, their solar panels are collecting electricity, and this electricity is being pushed back to the electric grid. The result is that the electric meters on their home actually spin backward. In the evening time, if they do need to pull electricity from the grid, they are using credit energy that they’ve earned throughout the day. The neat thing about this credit energy is that it never expires.

Solar energy is the wave of the future. By investing in solar energy now, you put yourself in a position to be ahead of the curve. You save money, you protect the environment, and you help make the planet you live on a better and safer place for everyone.

 

 

LizzieWeakley

Home Energy Efficiency How to Stay Cool in Your Home and Save Money This Summer.JPG

The summer season is rapidly approaching, which means we will start to experience hot weather very soon. Staying cool inside your house is one of the best ways to beat the intense summer heat, but it can also lead to high energy bills. These are the four best ways to stay cool in your home this summer without spending a lot of money on energy bills.

Install an Energy-Efficient Air Conditioner

Purchasing and installing a new energy-efficient air conditioner may seem like a big expense, but it will actually save you money in the long run. An energy-efficient air conditioner will be able to cool your home to your desired temperature without drastically raising your monthly energy bills. An AC unit similar to the ones offered by
Seliga Heating and Cooling will ensure you never have to suffer in your own home just to save a few dollars.

Use Your Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are great in the summer because they can increase your comfort level by a few degrees without using much energy. A ceiling fan is able to provide a cooling effect by circulating the air in a room. While they are not powerful enough to cool an entire room on their own, they can cut down on your usage of the air conditioner. Make sure to limit your energy consumption by turning off the ceiling fan when you leave the room.

Block the Sun with Shades and Curtains

If you want to keep your house cool during the summer, then you need to do everything you can to keep the sun out. You may be tempted to open the shades and curtains for some natural light, but this will only make the house hotter. Blocking the sun with shades and curtains may create a dark atmosphere, but it is a completely free way to cut down on your cooling bills.

Program the Thermostat

There is absolutely no reason to cool your home when you are not there. Programming the thermostat to your work schedule is a great way to cut down on your energy bills without having to sit in a hot house. The programmable thermostat will prevent the AC unit from running during the day, but it will turn back on to cool the house to your desired temperature before you return from work.


Summer is a beautiful time of the year, but it also brings unbearable heat to most of the country. There is no reason to sweat in your home this summer when it so easy to avoid. Just follow these four tips and you can cool the house without ruining your budget.

 

LizzieWeakley

An efficient HVAC system in your home can help keep the temperature more consistent and save you some money. There are a variety of ways that you can go about ensuring its efficiency. Here are some of the tips that you can employ in order to maximize the efficiency of the heating and cooling system in your home. 

pexels-photo-731082.jpeg?auto=compress&c
 

Clear Out Debris 
Changing out the air filter regularly will help to keep your unit operating at peak efficiency. More air exchange allows the unit to work more efficiently. Another thing that can help is to have your ducts and registers cleared of debris. You want as much of the hot and cool air to be able to get into the living spaces of your home. Adequate air exchange is another consideration, as you want air circulation that can be achieved without creating different temperature climates around the house. 

Invest In An Efficient Unit 
Upgrading your older unit will also maximize the efficiency of your home. The energy rating calculates the average energy usage over the course of the year. If you have a poor energy rating, looking into new ac installation companies can help you save money—especially since newer appliances tend to be efficient. It will increase the comfort level in your home and most likely pay for itself in lower energy costs. 

Use Technology Assistance 
programmable thermostat is another way that you can control the temperature in your home. There are even thermostats that learn about your habits, so that they can more closely regulate the temperature. These types of technology assistance programs are becoming popular means and can help you maximize the energy efficiency of your home. Some apps will even let you control the temperature of your home when you're away. 

Take Precautionary Measures 
There are the standard means that you can maximize your energy efficiency. These include things like using environmental options to help regulate the temperature in your home. Opening up the windows at night when it's hot or blocking out the sun are some of the ways that you can reduce your cooling costs. You don't have to run your HVAC system all of the time when there are free methods to maintain your comfort. 

Take control of your HVAC system so that you can become more energy conscious. Another bonus of increasing your energy efficiency is saving some cash. Use these tips to keep you started down a more energy efficient path.

LizzieWeakley

Home Energy Efficiency 4 Ways to Keep Your Home Green This Winter.JPG

Depending on where you live, winter months will make for the coldest part of the year. This is why you should take measures to ensure that you and your family are warm and comfortable during this season. However, in a world where environmental conservation has become an important topic, you may want to consider ways of keeping your home green. Even as you look for ways to heat your home, it is vital that they help to conserve energy and have minimal negative impact on the environment.

 

Proper Maintenance of Your Heating System

Proper maintenance of your furnace and HVAC system will go a long way in making sure that they run efficiently. This will not only help in lowering your energy bills but also give you the assurance that your home will be warm and comfortable in winter. For the best repair and maintenance services, you should consider working with a company such as Bryant Air Conditioning, Heating, Electrical & Plumbing. Such experts will not only inspect and repair your heating system but also the plumbing and electrical systems in your home. In this way, you will not have to worry about making the repairs during the cold season.

 

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Installing a programmable thermostat is an eco-friendly way of keeping your home warm in winter. This thermostat will allow you to enter a high and low temperature. Whenever you are not at home and temperatures in your home fall below the lower temperature, the thermostat will turn on your heating system. Once temperatures reach the maximum you had set, the unit will turn off. This way, you will have your furnace running constantly while making significant savings on your energy bill.

 

Green Solutions for Heating Your Home

Instead of depending on electricity as the sole source of energy for heating your home, you should consider investing in renewable sources of energy. Some of the options you can explore include geothermal heating, solar energy and masonry heating. These green solutions will be efficient in helping to create a comfortable environment in your home.

 

Insulate Your Home

Making your home energy-efficient will require that you ensure that heat is not lost during this cold season. Installing window covers, sealing insulation gaps, closing off unused rooms and insulating your attic will lower your energy costs. This is because you will prevent air leaks in your home, reducing the amount of work that your furnace has to do in an effort to keep the space warm.

 

There are many more sustainable ways to keep your home green in winter. For instance, regular roof inspections and repairs will help to keep your home warm in winter.

LizzieWeakley

Home Cooling How to Optimize Your AC for Energy Efficiency.JPG

 

A humid hot summer can be utterly miserable sometimes. Even worse, running your air-conditioner may seem too expensive to do a lot of the time. However, with some tweaks to your system, you can make your AC far more energy efficient and cost effective. Below are a few tips you can use.

1. Check Your Air Filters

The filters are what the air passes through to reach the rest of your home. They prevent airborne contaminants from flowing through your air and help protect the health of your family. However, air filters are not designed to last forever. They eventually become clogged, and that can badly affect the efficiency of your system. According to
HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric, checking and replacing your air filters on a regular basis is one of the most important steps to keeping your system running efficiently.

2. Clean the Condenser

The condenser is the part of your outdoor air conditioning unit that transfers heat to outside your home. For your system to have good energy efficiency, you need to keep it clean. Make sure to inspect it especially before you turn on your system for the first time at the beginning of the summer. Remove anything that could obstruct the condenser’s airflow such as leaves, twigs, weeds, dirt, etc. To remove dirt from the unit, you can wash it down with a hose.

3. Make Sure the Air Flow Is Unimpeded

You can think of an air conditioning system as being similar to the circulatory system in the human body. Much like you would not want to impede the flow of blood through a vein, you should not impede the flow of air through your system by blocking vents. Make sure all air vents are open and not blocked by things like furniture and rugs. If they are blocked, your system will have to work much harder to keep your house cool and that will result in higher utility bills.

4. Only Run the System When You Need It

If you want to lower your utility bills and increase your home’s energy efficiency, make sure to only run your air conditioning when you need it. There is no point to running air conditioning in an empty house. Program your thermostat to not run the air conditioning when you are at work.

Overall, try to make sure you provide your
HVAC system with proper routine maintenance and inspect to see if it’s working properly. If your system is well cared for and there is nothing impeding the flow of cool air through your home, your system’s energy efficiency will certainly be increased.

LizzieWeakley

Home Air 5 Ways to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality.JPG

If you’re like most people, you want to live and work in the cleanest, healthiest environment possible. One of the most significant factors in maintaining a comfortable space is by improving your indoor air quality.To help everyone fine-tune their indoor air conditions here are five tips for you.

 

Follow Your HVAC Maintenance Schedule—Your HVAC System is essentially the Control Center for your comfort. Air Conditioning Units last from 10 to 15 years, so getting regular maintenance helps assure that it operates at peak performance when the heat and humidity rises. Additionally, scheduled maintenance helps with early detection of operational issues so you can avoid expensive repairs later.

 

Ductless or Mini-Split AC Units—Ductless and Mini-Split Air Conditioning Units are a convenient and cost-effective way to add cooling capabilities to older homes without traditional ductwork, as well as apartments and workspaces with little or no access to air conditioning. The absence of access to ducts no longer has to be a reason to be uncomfortable and suffer in the sweltering heat. Ductless AC Units from companies like All American Air & Electric, Inc. are affordable, flexible, and can be customized to maximize the air comfort and quality in your home or office.

 

Duct Cleaning—in homes and buildings that use Forced Air Heating and Cooling, ducts play a significant factor in determining overall air quality. Ducts are notorious for collecting dirt, dust, and dander, allergens, and irritants which degrade indoor air quality. Reduce the accumulation all of these contaminants to breathe easier.

 

A UV Light System—for those who are serious about optimizing their indoor air quality, a Continuous Air Purification System (CAPS) offers an ongoing mechanism for air purification using UV light treatment technology. All air gets filtered. Microscopic contaminants including spores, viruses, and other bacteria are trapped, so they don’t get circulated.

 

Portable Air Treatment Systems Investing in a high-quality area air treatment system is an affordable option. They offer an alternative for cleansing the air without making a significant investment. These systems remove odors, bacteria, dust, and dander in the immediate area they’re used.

 

Air quality is something that everyone should be concerned with since it directly affects your health and wellbeing. Regardless of your budget, there are steps you can take to decrease the dust, dander, germs, and irritants that get dispersed throughout your home or office, which result in improved air quality.

 

 

LizzieWeakley

Learning to take care of the environment outside is something that should be passed down to your children. There’s no one right way to institute this knowledge. Each family will be a bit different in how they show their love for the environment. If you’re not sure where to start, here are four eco-friendly activities that you can do with the family.

Composting

There are many guides out there on how to make compost bins at home. You can make this project as small as a Rubbermaid container or as large as a trash container in your backyard. You and your family can decide on what size compost pile works best for you. Balanced compost piles should have browns, such as wood chips and dead leaves, greens, such as fruit and vegetable scraps and lawn clippings, and water. Aside from that, how you compost is completely up to you and your family. Your family will have fun building your compost area and taking care of it regularly.

Opt for Reusable Items

The convenience of throw-away items tends to get the attention of many families. However, by opting for reusable items that require a little bit of cleaning from time to time, you and your family can do your part to save the environment. The best part about this strategy is that it’s one that you can continue to employ well into the future. Make it a regular activity to find ways to replace throw-away items with reusable ones. Some popular examples are lunch bags, water bottles, and shopping bags.

Replace Incandescent Bulbs

One really cool way to visually show your children how little things can make a difference is changing out the incandescent bulbs in your home. When you replace these with CFL lights, they use significantly less energy. Allow your kids to read the labeling to see how much each CFL bulb is saving in energy costs compared to your old incandescent bulbs.

Teach the Off When Not in Use Policy

Conserving energy and reducing your family’s carbon footprint is as easy as just remembering to turn off items when you’re not using them. This is an important habit to teach your children to help them conserve energy in the future. Start with items like lights and televisions. When they get into the habit of turning those off whenever they’re not using them or when they leave the room, you can move on to bigger things. Next teach them to turn off and unplug appliances and other items once the most-used ones become a habit. Not only will this decrease your family’s carbon footprint, it will safe you on your power bill. Your kid might not appreciate that now, but if they get the habit down, they’ll appreciate it when they’re older and paying the bill.

Teaching your children the importance of being eco-friendly is a priceless trait. While there are many ways to do so, you may find that some tactics work better for your family than others. The above are just four activities you can try out with your family.

LizzieWeakley

Have Poor Indoor Air Quality 5 Ways to Purify Your Space.JPG

Most people maintain a clean interior setting each week while spending time at home. The air quality in your home has an influence on the health of residents who live on the property and will determine how well you breathe while spending time in the building. If you want to purify your space, there are a few important steps to take.

1. Use an Air Purifier

An air purifier is a useful product that will remove dust, pollen, and pet dander that is present in the air. Use the product in the most used rooms in the home and keep it running for several hours each day to clean the air.

2. Replace Your HVAC Filter

The filter on your HVAC system needs to be replaced every 30 to 60 days, depending on how much you're using it for each season of the year. The HVAC filter can become dirty over time and can cause dirt and dust to begin to circulate in the home. You can also have your air ducts cleaned and remove pollutants in the home, which includes synthetic fragrances and cleaning products that contain chemicals, according to apartmenttherapy.com. Opt for using household ingredients when cleaning and use soy candles indoors.

3. Schedule an HVAC Inspection

Hire professionals from a company like Smedley & Associates to perform an inspection of your HVAC system and look for any repairs that are needed. The technicians can clean the parts and inspect them to ensure that cleaner air circulates in the home.

4. Close Your Windows

Closing the windows is necessary to prevent pollen and environmental elements from entering the home to maintain a clean interior setting. You'll also want to use screens on the windows if you keep them open at certain times of the year.

5. Use a Vacuum Cleaner with a HEPA Filter

When cleaning your home, use a vacuum that contains a HEPA filter to ensure that the dust and dirt aren't released from the product and go back into the air. Vacuum each week and shake out rugs every few days.

Although you may suffer from allergies, asthma, or respiratory issues, there are ways to increase your indoor air quality. With the right products used and steps taken, you can create a cleaner interior setting that allows you to breathe deeply and improve any health issues or ailments that you may be suffering from throughout the year.

LizzieWeakley

Greener Business How to Reduce your Negative Impact on the Environment.JPG

 

There are some business practices that are obviously bad for the environment, such as mailing out unsolicited advertisements and giving away disposable, branded bottles of water. However, some green practices aren't so immediately obvious. If you're looking for ways to reduce the negative environmental impact your business has on the planet, there are plenty of options that may work for your company.

Reduce the Paper You Use

Even recycled paper has a huge impact on the environment. Instead of printing the company newsletter, email it to everyone. Instead of printing out fat bundles of materials for meetings and promotional events, put everything online. With the proliferation of cloud computing and document sharing, there is little need for the vast majority of printed materials.

Reuse Your Paper

Any paper that is used can be run through a shredder, crumpled and used as eco-friendly packing materials. Instead of paying for packing peanuts or plastic bubble wrap, using shredded paper gives you nearly free packing material and reduces the amount of waste your company produces.

Encourage Distance Learning

Encouraging your employees to continue their educations is great, but the never-ending procession of textbooks, commuting to and from class and climate control in enormous lecture halls makes online learning a much more Earth-friendly option. For example, a student earning their
online civil engineering master’s degree may have all of their books and materials made available online, with no commuting necessary.

Give Out Company Mugs

The amount of plastic bottles and paper cups used by a company in just one day can be staggering. Give every employee a spill-resistant mug and then remove all the disposable options from the building. Not only is this a boon for the planet, it will save you a ton of money over the course of time.

Consider Green Cleaning Supplies

For most sectors of business, there is absolutely no reason to be using ammonia, bleach and other contaminants for cleaning. There are plenty of green options available that clean just as well without resorting to harsh pollutants. If you have a cleaning service, inquire about green products. Green products also have the added attraction of being less-irritating to those with allergies or sensitive skin, which in turn could improve productivity and employee happiness.

There are plenty of small ways companies can reduce their negative impact on the environment. Carefully consider these strategies to reduce waste and be kind to the planet at the same time.

LizzieWeakley

Green Homes How Your Roof Can Impact Your Energy Efficiency.JPG

If you have a green home, you already know that the key to green living is to make the most of your energy consumption. Did you know that having the right roof can make the biggest difference in your home’s energy usage and the size your energy bill? Much of your home’s heat loss in the winter, and source of heat in the summer is the roof. Let’s learn more about how your roof affects your green home.

Dark Roofs in the Summer

Did you know that darker roofs can heat up to 50 to 60 degrees hotter than the outside temperature in the summer? If you live in a warm climate, a dark colored asphalt roof can heat up to 175° if the temperature is 95° outside. This makes your cooling system work much harder and also contributes to the heat island effect if you live in a city. A lighter colored roof decreases the solar gain and heat retention of your home. If you want to same on summer cooling costs, then replacing your roof will make a difference.

Winter Heating Woes

While a dark roof may not be ideal in the summer, if you live in a climate that has a longer winter than summer, a dark roof will help to reduce heating cost. Dark asphalt roofs absorb more heat than metal or rubber roofs. This not only helps to provide additional heating for the home, it helps snow melt off faster too. This is especially true with a properly insulated attic.

Proper Insulation

Having a properly insulated roof with the right color and type of roofing material means that you can run your furnace at a lower setting, which can result in big savings for your green home. Companies like Leon Construction can help you choose the right roof for your home and replace your old roof with new materials that are more sustainable than those used in the past.

If you want to improve the efficiency of your green home, then your roof is the first place that you should look. A roof that is leaky and old can cost you more in the long run than replacing your roof with one that is more cost and energy efficient. A new roof is an investment that will pay for itself in the long run through lower heating and cooling bills. Not to mention, it will also improve the value of your home.

LizzieWeakley

Green Goals 5 States That Are Making Renewable Energy a Priority.JPG

Due to the stress that using oil, coal, and other resources has on the environment, finding ways to incorporate renewable energy solutions is very important. Today, there are many great renewable energy options, including solar and wind technology. Overall, there are five states in the United States that are continuing to make renewable energy investments a priority. 

Maine 
The state of Maine continues to be a leader when it comes to renewable energy. A very impressive 75% of the state's energy comes from some form of renewable energy. The state has a strong mix of hydroelectricity plants, biomass uses, and wind energy plants. All of these help to contribute towards the overall strong levels of renewable energy, which continues to make Maine one of the greenest states in the country. 

Montana 
Traditionally, Montana has been very well known for its high level of coal production. While five percent of the country's coal comes from this state, Montana has continued to invest in other renewal energy solutions as well. Today, the state continues to invest in hydroelectric plants that are able to use water to produce electricity. 

Nebraska 
While it is not normally considered an environmentally-friendly state, Nebraska has taken many steps to improve its reliance on renewable energy. Overall, more than 20% of the total energy used in Nebraska comes from renewable sources. This state has a huge amount of wind-energy production and also is a leading producer of ethanol. 

Washington 
Located in the northwest, the state of Washington is the national leader in hydroelectricity. Overall, more than 2 million households across the state are connected to energy produced by a few different dams. Even more impressive is that the state actually creates a surplus of energy, which they then sell to some neighboring states and even some parts of Canada. 

Oregon 
Oregon continues to be a leader when it comes to renewable energy production. This state does produce some hydroelectricity, but is also well known for producing a lot of wind energy. Overall, Oregon has more than 2,000 turbines that produce the most wind energy in the country. Oregon is also continuing to look for additional ways to invest in renewal and solar energy projects. 

Overall, all of these states are looking for ways to use more and more renewable energy. With help from technologically sound companies, like douglaselectrical.com, many other states can make headway on this hot-button issue. If more states are willing to make these types of investments, it could help to solve many current and future environmental challenges that we are having.

LizzieWeakley

Going Green 5 Innovative Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient.JPG

Improving your home’s energy efficiency not only saves you money, it increases your comfort year-round. These five tips offer durable ways to lower the amount of energy it takes to cool and heat it. Some are do-it-yourself projects, while others require the help of a specialized contractor.

Energy Recovery Ventilator

These affordable HVAC appliances exchange stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air without increasing energy costs. The energy recovery ventilator (ERV) traps the energy in the outgoing air and puts it into the incoming air. ERVs also remove humidity from the incoming air, which lightens the cooling load in the summer.

Window Sealing Kits

Unless you have thermal or Energy Star windows, you could be losing a good deal of heat to the outdoors during the winter. Clear plastic window sealing kits are available from home centers and online stores. They don’t interfere with the view and block air leaks and thermal transfer to the outdoors.

Air Leaks and Ice Dams

The air leaks from the ceilings into the attic reduce energy efficiency, and for the most part, they’re easy to seal with caulk and expanding foam. Besides the heated air that escapes into the attic into the winter, air leaks from the ceilings cause ice dams in the winter.

Once you’ve sealed the air leakage, check over the integrity of the gutters. If they’re clogged or broken, rain or snowmelt won’t be able to drain quickly, which could also trigger ice dams. Companies like
Innovations Siding & Windows can inspect your gutters and siding to make sure your home will withstand the damage that moisture causes to the attic or the envelope.

Shade Screens

Popular in the southern states for their ability to block solar heat on south- and west-facing windows, shade screens are effective in any climate. Screening materials are available online or at home centers. Some eliminate 90 percent of the heat entering through the glass. They don’t block the view and most homeowners take them down in the fall to take advantage of solar passive heating.

Solar Cooking

Cooking outdoors with a solar cooker on a hot sunny day requires no fuel. Solar cooking is an inexpensive and effective way to harness the power of the sun to cut energy consumption and produce delicious food.

Bottom Line

These suggestions will help you deal with the climate unique to this area. They won’t break the bank, and even if you need an expert, are easy to execute and will last for years.

LizzieWeakley
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With the growing awareness among both manufacturers and consumers that energy-efficient products should be part of their building projects, green remodeling has become a very large business. Yet despite the notion that many homes have already implemented some of these changes, there are always areas in energy efficiency that homeowners can improve upon.

Here are five relevant energy efficient ideas for remodel projects:

Extend the amount of solar coverage that you plan: You may not receive that much sun during the course of the day in some seasons, but neither does Germany and they have generated over 50 percent of their country's total energy needs for short periods of time using only solar- so it is possible to gain a lot of energy efficiency by adding solar panels. One example of coverage that people are just starting to consider is solar film that covers windows and does not detract from the view out, but generates electricity. Thin film panels are also coming on the market that can slip over your siding tastefully, giving you even more solar output potential.

Architect your heating system well: A lot of custom builders will tell you that it isn't hard to choose a heating system that will work for your home. It takes a bit more skill, however, to build the ducting so that it maximizes energy efficiency in tune with the right heating source. Having some experts from a company like Alair Homes who specialize in major renovations in Vancouver take the time to ensure that your heating system is optimized in every sense is therefore a pretty good idea.

Add light to your house: One of the most important things for young children is to be exposed to natural sunlight. In California, they started building new schools that featured natural sunlight several years ago and found out that children's test scores increased by almost 10 percent over time. Adding natural light to your house will therefore allow you to save on electricity costs and enhance your family's life.

Go with energy saving appliances: One really good way to see a future that can be incorporated into your home is to follow the Consumer Electronics Show news from Las Vegas online. Most of the revolutionary energy saving appliances that are available will be on display there and end up in a news story. Past examples include tankless water heaters and ultra-energy efficient washers and dryers.

Have some specialists do an energy audit for you: Having professionals audit your home for energy efficiency before you start planning your project will give you a complete understanding of its potential to be upgraded when you do start to work on it.

Energy efficiency in your home can save you money and make your life better. By making a few extra changes, you will likely be greener and more satisfied with the results.

LizzieWeakley

There has been a lot of discussion about the climate in recent years, and there is no doubt that doing everything you can to conserve the resources of the planet is the right move. Is it worth it to make the exterior of your home eco-friendly? Yes, it is. It will not only save you a lot of money but will also allow you to contribute towards making this world a better place. Moreover, you can take the opportunity to apply architectural designs that enhance the beauty of your home. The following four tips will help you make your home environmentally friendly.

Go for Green Materials

 

There is no better way to make the exterior of your home environmental friendly than by using green materials. What are green materials? These are materials that are, for the most part, renewable. Examples of these are recycled and reclaimed wood. Normally, they are cheap, not toxic, and can be used to conserve energy. You can use these materials to create a deck for your home. There is no better way to spend an evening than feeling the soft breeze of the summer as you admire the wonders of nature in your backyard made from materials that are in harmony with the planet.

Upgrade Your Energy System

 

Few things are as eco-friendly as a solar power system. The addition of solar panels to your home will not only allow you to energize every bit of it with a renewable source of energy but also save you a ton of cash on your electricity bill. Of course, while the cost of solar panels have dropped over the years, they can still be a bit pricey. If they are out of your price range, you can opt for energy-efficient lights such as LEDs that emit less heat and reduce the consumption of electricity in your home.

Create Natural Soil

 

Why spend money on mulch when you can make your own. Select a small area in your backyard to make a compost pile from food scraps and dead leaves. Turn it often, mix, and after a few months, the components will become a nutrient-rich dark soil mixture. This can be used to grow any vegetation that you want to have in your garden, which will add extra oxygen to the planet.

Implement a New Water System

 

Keeping a luscious garden can be more expensive than you think. Instead of using a sprinkler or water hose, you can reclaim the water with a drainage system that takes rainwater from the roof and deliver it to your lawn or backyard. This allows you to enjoy abundant vegetation without an exorbitant water bill. You may also use septic tanks that prevent contaminants in the wastewater from leaking to groundwater.

There are endless ways to make your home eco-friendly. Using green materials, upgrading your power, making natural soil, and implementing a new water system are a few approaches you can use to save your hard-earned cash, conserve the planet, and remodel your home. Apply at least one of the strategies discussed and show everybody you know the benefits of going green.

LizzieWeakley
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Global warming remains one of the biggest threats to humanity. In order to protect our beautiful planet, it is going to take a team effort. Here are some things that you can do to help preserve our planet’s energy and natural resources.

Reduce the amount of time spent in the shower

Taking a long, hot shower can be very relaxing. Unfortunately, this can waste electricity and a lot of precious water. According to experts, you can save more than a $100 a year by simply taking shorter showers. If you are still using a traditional shower head, you should promptly replace it with a low-flow shower head.

Do not allow your vehicle to idle for a long time

Over the years, drivers have developed a habit of allowing their engine to warm up in the morning. However, modern engines do not need a very long warm-up period. Contrary to popular belief, allowing your vehicle to idle for a long duration can actually decrease the life of the engine. Remember, most vehicles will quickly reach the appropriate temperature after being driven for a few miles. Limiting your idle time saves fuel and helps to preserve the environment.

Do not throw your used bottles in the trash

Instead of tossing your used bottles and cans in the trash, start collecting them. Many recycling centers give out cash in exchange for used containers. This is a win-win situation for you and the planet. Over the course of a year, the average consumer can easily collect over $40 worth of recyclable containers.

Consider getting a degree in geology

UF degrees in geology provide graduates with a lot of exciting opportunities. After you graduate from your geology program, you will be able to become a leader in the fight against global warming. Not only will you get the opportunity to work in nature, but you can also educate your friends and family on ways to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Use traditional ways to perform your household tasks

During the warmer months, try to air-dry your clothes as much as possible. If you only need to wash a couple articles of clothing, consider using an old-fashioned washboard. When possible, you should also use a non-electric vacuum to keep your floors clean.

The future of the environment is in our hands. If everyone makes a few changes, we can bring a halt to global warming.

LizzieWeakley

Going green has become a major focus for homeowners. Not only does going green decrease your carbon footprint, but it also saves you green (as in dollars). Below are four ways that today’s modern homeowner can help make their home more eco-friendly.

 

Get an Energy Audit

 

By now, nearly every energy provider offers a free home energy audit. If you haven’t had one yet, call your energy provider and they will send someone out to check your power use, AC service and advise you on how to go green and save energy.

 

Go Native with Your Landscaping

 

One of the latest trends in going green is native landscaping. This type of landscaping is tailored to the natural climate rather than the cookie-cutter style of landscaping reminiscent of the ‘50s. This helps homeowners go green by using little to no pesticides, cultivating the natural foliage, relying mostly on natural rainfall rather than consistently using a sprinkler, and allowing natural plants and flowers to thrive. Water is a precious resource, especially in drier climates, and natural landscaping is an excellent way to go green.

 

Consider Solar Panels

While solar panels may not be feasible for every homeowner (depending on the roof layout) it is one of the best ways to go green in your home. Yes, it is an investment. However, you’d be blown away at how much money you can save as well as how much energy. If you’re curious about solar panels, Google has created an ingenious way to check your roof for how many sunlight hours your home received per year called project sunroof. Enter your address and check it out!

 

Get Smart (Home Tech)

 

One of the biggest ways you can decrease your carbon footprint is by letting the latest technology do it for you. Sure, leaving the bathroom light on now and then may not seem like a big deal, but it does solidly increase the size of your home’s carbon footprint (not to mention your energy bill). Smart home tech is specifically designed to help you go green, including turning off lights, controlling the heat and AC, and turning off TVs and radios. Investing in this tech will help you go green and save some green on your energy bill.

 

Going green as a homeowner isn’t just about saving money, it’s about doing your part to be a responsible homeowner and lowering your home’s personal carbon footprint. If every homeowner did their part to be more eco-friendly and have a greener home, imagine the difference that could be made in the overall environment!

LizzieWeakley

Energy Control How to Maintain Energy Efficiency at Home this Spring.JPG

Although the spring season is when more people spend time outdoors, it's also when each household's energy bill begins to increase. More homes begin to use more energy due to an increase in use of the HVAC system to keep the property cool with the change in weather. To stay comfortable and maintain energy efficiency this spring, there are several steps to take to avoid a high bill.

Unplug Idle Electronics

From televisions to DVD players, there are a number of electronics in the home that continue to use energy when they're not in use. Most people assume that the electronics only use electricity when they're turned on, but they actually continue to use energy when they're plugged in. Make it a point to unplug idle electronics and use power strips to make it easier to turn off multiple items at once. This includes shutting down your computer at night, which are the biggest energy users and can be shut off 40,000 times during their lifespan.

Switch to Energy Star Appliances

Although your appliances may be working well, they are likely using a significant amount of energy each day if they're outdated. Upgrade to Energy Star appliances to reduce your energy bill by 10 to 50 percent, which can equate to thousands of dollars during the lifespan of the product.

Inspect and Clean Your AC Unit

It's important to keep your HVAC system running efficiently throughout the year, which is why you should schedule for an inspection and cleaning of your AC unit before spring arrives through a professional company like
C B Lucas Heating & Air Conditioning. This will allow the product to run more efficiently for added energy savings while also increasing the lifespan of the product over time.

Contact a professional to inspect your AC unit once a year and perform the necessary repairs to ensure that cool air is blowing out.

Apply Chaulk to Cracks

Cracks or gaps that are present in the walls can cause air to leak out and for hot air to get into the home. Make it a point to apply caulk to the gaps to reduce energy loss and insulate the inside of the property.

Although it may not be possible to avoid using your AC unit this spring, there are ways to maintain your energy usage and prevent it from surging. By taking the necessary steps, you can enjoy the warmer season while avoiding extra energy costs.

LizzieWeakley

Efficient DIY, How to Install Solar Panels on Your Home.jpegSolar panel installation is becoming a major sensation among some of the smartest property owners out there. If you’re a property owner who is serious about minimizing energy expenses and doing great things for the environment in general, then you’re without a doubt a strong candidate for residential solar panel installation.

Think in Detail About Your Roof

If you want to install home solar panels without a hitch, you need to think things through carefully in advance. Determine whether your roof can accommodate solar panels in the first place. Roofs that are usually under the shade may not be the best fits for these panels. If you realize that your roof isn’t optimal for solar panel installation, you may want to learn about community options that may be accessible in your area.

Get Your Property Ready for the Installation Process

It’s critical to get your property 100 percent ready for the installation process. Think about residential enhancements that can cater to your designated power system and solar panels. Contact a professional to schedule an in-depth roofing system evaluation. It’s vital to ensure that your roofing system can manage any and all upcoming load requirements. Analyze home renovation ideas that may be on the horizon for you, too.

Determine the Solar Type That’s Optimal for Your Property

People can pick between a couple of key solar panel choices. These are thermal and photovoltaic paths. Both technologies work differently. Thermal employs sunlight for air and water heating applications. Photovoltaic, on the other hand, employs groups of cells as a means of transforming sunlight and making it electrical. If you employ significant amounts of energy for residential heating applications, thermal technology may be ideal for your lifestyle. That’s because it may pay off particularly rapidly.

Search for Capable and Seasoned Installation Professionals

It’s crucial to seek professional assistance from experienced, knowledgeable and dependable solar panel installation experts. Look for businesses that are equipped with all necessary certifications and licenses. Look for businesses that have choice track records in your area, too. Never give your time to a solar panel installation company that doesn’t make you feel completely comfortable. Request helpful references from recent installation customers.

Solar panel installation can give you a future that’s all about energy efficiency. If you want to install solar panels in a reliable and effective manner, however, you need to recruit suitable professionals for the job. Rock-solid installation work is paramount.

LizzieWeakley

Protecting the environment is a high priority for many people today, but a large portion just don’t know where to start. One of the easiest ways to go green is to start recycling at home. Here are a few tips to get you going on this path. 

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Learn the Rules and Get Organized

First, look into some recycling centers nearby to see what kinds of materials they allow you to bring in. They might have specific rules about what items they will allow and what they will reject. Some facilities might require you to crush bottles and remove the caps, while others won’t care. 

You’ll also need to get some bins and garbage bags for storing and transporting all the goods you plan to recycle. Clear out some space in your garage or backyard for storage. Make sure they are sealed up nice and tight to keep pests from getting into them and making a mess. Don’t be afraid to get creative and make them cute! The better looking your bins are, the more likely you are to have them out where you can see them. This increases the chances that you and your household will remember to separate your waste products appropriately.

Start by Recycling Aluminum Cans and Glass and Plastic Bottles

The easiest items to begin recycling are aluminum cans, plastic bottles and glass bottles. Some facilities will also allow steel cans, such as the ones used for canned food. They might also allow glass jars or other containers. 

You’ll need to separate them, and you might also want to rinse them out to avoid attracting ants and other pests, but that is not always necessary. Most facilities allow you to crush the items, so that can help you condense the space and bring in a lot more items every time you go down to the recycling center. Since many products are sold in containers made of aluminum, glass, or plastic, these are the easiest to start with. Make the decision to start and stick with it. Placing reminders around the house can help you turn recycling into a household habit.

Don’t Forget to Recycle Newspapers and Scrap Metals

Many families go beyond bottles and cans and will also recycle newspapers, paper waste and scrap metals. If you have the available space, then this is another great way to keep those items out of the landfills and recycle them to reduce waste and give them new life. 

Some residential communities have special dumpsters set up at schools or other community centers to receive newspapers and other items to be recycled. This can free up a lot of space at your home and save you from driving all the way out to the recycling center. Check around to see if anything like that is available in your area.

Recycle Wastewater

Many people don’t know that you could be reusing your household waste water. While reducing the amount of solid waste that ends up in landfills is a great way to recycle, it’s not the only option out there. Many families are investing in greywater systems as a way to recycle the water they use at home. Much of that water that goes down the kitchen sink, bathroom sink and shower drains can still be used to water plants and trees outside without damaging them. By using a treatment system like those at Econocycle to help you recycle your household waste water, you can help lower your water usage as well as your utility bills.

Recycling is a great way to reduce waste and protect the environment for future generations. Just start small by recycling some of the items you already use and then build up from there. Once you get started recycling small items at home, you’ll quickly find that you enjoy making an impact and will want to do even more to make a difference in your community.

LizzieWeakley

Contrary to what many people believe, making a home eco-friendly doesn’t need to be a time-consuming or expensive process. The average homeowner could actually save quite a bit of money over the years by going green. Here is a look at three simple steps that you can take to make your household as eco-friendly as possible.

Cut out the Single-Use Products

Single-use plastic products are incredibly bad for the environment, and you might be using dozens of those items every single day without even realizing it. One of the easiest ways to limit your impact on the environment is to remove most of the single-use products from your home. Some of the worst offenders include straws, plastic cutlery, plastic bags, paper coffee cups, single-use water bottles, and plastic bags. While many of those items can be recycled, the recycling process isn’t completely efficient, and some of the materials will never be used again.

Upgrade Your Light Bulbs

Swapping out your light bulbs might not seem like a significant upgrade, but this simple project could end up saving you a few hundred dollars per year. Older CFL bulbs tend to be very inefficient because much of the energy is turned into heat instead of light. LED bulbs, on the other hand, turn almost all of the electricity into visible light. Replacing all of the older CFL bulbs in your home with LED bulbs is going to have a major impact on your monthly energy bills. You might also want to invest in “smart” LED bulbs that can be controlled with an app. With a single tap of your smartphone screen, you will be able to turn off or dim all of your lights.

Install Solar Panels

The solar market is growing at an astonishing rate, and more homeowners are investing in solar panel installation every year. From the moment that your solar system is connected, you are going to notice a drop in your energy bills. Depending on where you live and what type of system you have installed, you might even be able to sell excess electricity back to your energy company. These systems have become quite advanced over the last few years, and they work perfectly in most climates. To help homeowners cover the upfront costs, many states offer financing programs to those who connect their solar systems to the electrical grid.

In addition to these three tips, you should also make sure that your family sticks to eco-friendly habits around your home. That includes limiting the length of your showers, turning off the lights when you leave a room, and unplugging any electronic devices that aren’t being used.

Doing Your Part 3 Ways to Make Your Household More EcoFriendly_pexels_solar panels.JPG

LizzieWeakley

There's been a big push in recent years to take a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) approach to energy conservation. Going green and onboarding sustainable practices has a number of tax benefits and can allow your organization to grow by helping you realize operational efficiencies in unexpected places.

 

Energy Audit

 

Industry plant experts say that energy is the number-one cost, so it makes sense to start there when you're talking about making a comprehensive energy audit.

 

The sad part is that Plant Engineering found that fewer than half of industrial plants currently conduct a yearly energy audit.

 

The essential part of a yearly energy audit - beyond conducting one in the first place! - is to determine how much energy you're currently using at each of your industrial plants.

 

From there, you should determine what the source of that energy is so that you can potentially realize greener sources. Doing so might enable you to take advantage of federal subsidies for energy efficiency.

 

Industrial brick refractory coating services can help industrial plants further reduce their fuel consumption. The refractory coating used in this process is ideal for the following applications: kiln, forge, furnace, oven, and metal equipment.

 

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

 

Reducing hazardous raw materials and donating wood scraps leftover from the manufacturing process, as examples, can drastically reduce your carbon footprint and put your company on the right path towards environmental stewardship.

 

Monitor HVAC and Lighting

 

Where does the energy that comes in to an industrial plant ultimately go? Usually towards heating, cooling, and lighting. A programmable thermostat is probably the easiest way to optimize your heating and cooling processes, but take a look around as well to ensure that your insulation is up to snuff.

 

Poor insulation in an industrial plant could mean that you're allowing your utility bills to skyrocket since so much heat is being allowed to exit the building.

 

On the lighting side of things, many industrial plants waste a ton of money every year by stubbornly resisting the move from incandescent light bulbs to LED bulbs, which can provide as many lumens as incandescent bulbs without producing nearly the heat.

 

Since providing light for a large industrial plant is no easy feat, the potential energy efficiency to be reaped from making the switch to LED bulbs is huge. LED bulbs will actually allow you to use three-fourths the energy and have your LED bulbs last 25 times longer than their incandescent counterparts.

LizzieWeakley

Cool Metal Roofing How it can Make Your Office Building More Energy Efficient.JPG

 

As the world becomes more educated on the importance of sustainability, more people are trying to implement the knowledge into everyday living by recycling, saving water and eco-friendly buildings. One of the most recent sustainable solutions in the construction industry is using cool metal roofing which is basically a roof designed to reflect and re-emit back sunlight and heat instead of absorbing it like other roofing materials.

How Cool Roofs are Made

Cool metal roofs are made from tin, aluminum, steel or copper and then covered with a highly reflective white paint, sheet covering or reflective shingles. A cool roof can stay around 55 degrees Fahrenheit during summer while ordinary roof goes as high as 150 degrees Fahrenheit reducing your energy bill by 40%. Companies like Wespol have been at the forefront of installing sustainable roofing solutions and insulation for commercial, industrial and residential buildings.

1. They Do Not Absorb Heat

Unlike other roofing materials, cool roofs reflect sunlight and re-emit the heat back into the atmosphere immediately instead of absorbing it. This means that even on the hottest day, the building under that roof will remain cool and there will be no need to use an air conditioner or other cooling gadgets. The coating used in the best cool roofing can reflect and re-emit up to 90% solar radiation away from your building.

2. Prevent Urban Heat Island Effect

Once the heat has been absorbed by the building and the roof, it has to be emitted slowly into the air overnight and this causes a heat island effect which means the entire area will feel hot and more power will be needed to cool. However, there is no heat absorbed by a building when you have cool roofing so the effect will be prevented.

3. Reduce Peak Energy Use

Peak electricity demand happens when a lot of buildings are used too much power to cool or heat and it causes power outages. Cool roofs can prevent pea energy use and preserve your backup generator.

Other Benefits of Cool Roofs

  • Metal is very tough and durable so you will get unmatched longevity.

  • Metal roofs can withstand the worst of Mother Nature.

  • Metal roofs are fire-resistant and impervious to pests.

  • Metal is highly sustainable because it can be recycled severally.



Metal roofing is a great cost-saving investment that will not only benefit your household but the environment as well. It is a green home product with Energy Star and LEED Ratings so you know the benefits are real.

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