Green Home-Building Techniques

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Heating and cooling interior spaces can account for 50 percent of a home's energy use. Don't let that energy go to waste through poor insulation. Stop drafts with spray foam insulation, which seals to the surfaces in walls and attics and prevents air gaps. Build exterior walls with 6-inch-wide studs instead of the traditional 4-inch studs. Use high-efficiency, Energy Star-rated low-E windows. Caulk all gaps around windows, doors, duct work and chases.

Using Energy-Efficient Equipment

Use high-efficiency mechanical and electrical equipment. A blue Energy Star label indicates a piece of equipment has been deemed energy-efficient by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Choose Energy Star equipment for heating and cooling systems, water heaters, appliances and light fixtures. Consider using point of use, or tankless, water heaters. These save energy because they do not have to keep a large tank of water hot until it is needed.