Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Is Your House LEED Certified?

LEED certified? What is it? LEED is short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

LEED certification is an independent Green certification managed by the US Green Building Council. It certifies that a building meets specific standards in green materials and construction.

Quoting from the USGBC site: "LEED is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality."

LEED certification touches all parts of construction: Not just the physical building. It also has certifications for neighborhoods.

In addition, there are specific LEED certifications for schools, retail outlets, commercial buildings and healthcare facilities. They even separate certifications for new construction and existing construction projects.

And then there is a specific LEED certification for new residential homes and existing residential homes. This latter part is what I am interested in.

Part 2 will cover what a LEED certification consists of.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Are You Still Adjusting the Thermostat Yourself?

How many times have you forgotten to turn the thermostat down at night or before you go to work? If your house was built in the 1950s and 1960s like mine is, you might be in the same boat.
Programmable ThermostatDo you still turn your heat down every night and then turn it back up in the morning. Then you turn it back down before you leave for work?
I have also seen plenty of make over shows that still show the old style rotary thermostat before they renovate.

For under $50.00 you can change that forever. You can get a basic 7 day programmable thermostat that handles turning the thermostat down at night and warms up the house before you set your toes on that cold floor in the morning.
The nice thing is you do not have to turn or slide the dial or do anything. The program takes care of the adjusting for you. Programmable ThermostatFancier models can even handle each day as a separate program, which is very useful for those of us who do not have a Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 schedule. And these models still only cost under $100.

The installation is a basic DIY project that should take no longer than a half hour to perform. It can save you heating costs for years to come.
Another nice thing is that you can bring the temperature down or up by one degree to see how much of a difference it makes. This way you can set the optimal lowest temperature for your family and save money on your heating bills.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Make Your Vote Count.

This is just a reminder to cast your vote today.

A change of the guard will have important repercussions on the environmental landscape.

To help us improve the world we live in today lawmakers must look to help the average person reduce their carbon footprint. Whether it is through tax incentives or grants, this should be a fundamental right.