Other eco-friendly elements in Marcus Hiles’ development process are seen throughout his upmarket homes. Features such as extra-tall, dual pane windows containing a layer of argon gas (which minimalizes cooling requirements during summer) and highly effectual weather stripping (which maintains tight seals and the temperatures set by energy-efficient, programmable thermostats and 16 SEER HVAC systems) are just the beginning. In kitchens and baths, water-conserving irrigation systems economically manage water flow, and attics are lined with reflective TechShield® radiant barrier sheathing that deflects the sun’s intense rays and blocks as much as 97 percent of the heat. These many upgraded features in Hiles’ deluxe rental units reduce power consumption and pollution, and further the overall goal of protecting the Earth. Of equal importance are the elegant stainless steel, ENERGY STAR-certified appliances in Western Rim Properties’ Estates, Towers and Mansions brand rental homes. Launched by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 24 years ago, carbon dioxide emissions have been cut by more than 283.2 million metric tons by Americans using ENERGY STAR appliances.