Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Heater Maintenance... Even in the Summer

OK OK it is summer and I'm having my furnace cleaned and inspected. This is part of the annual maintenance agreement I bought with Isaac Heating. At least I know that the heater will function properly and efficiently in the late fall if it is needed.

Getting a maintenance agreement on our heater is not only a smart thing to do, but also a necessary one. We still have an older model heater and the unit is not the most reliable. So when we first moved in several years ago I thought it was important to get a service maintenance agreement.

For what I paid for the year it is well worth the investment. Aside from the annual clean up and inspection I am also covered for any emergencies. As in, if my heater dies in the middle of winter I get service within 24 hrs and this includes weekends. Anyone with a wife and kids can relate on how important that comfort is to them.

Regular maintenance is also very important. Just changing the filter every season is not enough. These guys come in and check out the inflow temperature vs.the outflow temperature. They clean and inspect the ignition parts and several other services that insure that your system is running at its optimum capability.

Running an inefficient heater is like running your car with incorrect ignition timing. It just doesn't run well. Now especially with the new high efficient heater and air-conditioners you still need to perform regular maintenance to keep them running at their peak of efficiency.

As I start to look at new furnaces I keep maintenance agreements in mind. It will be part of the sale.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Eco Product or Green Washing

Are your conservation efforts when buying green products really working or is there another force working against you?

For example buying a green product out of California when you are living in New York. Did the cost and CO2 emissions for transportation negate the eco-friendliness of the product? Buying local would make more sense here.

How about buying an FSC certified floor and installing it then finding it is the wrong color or type. This is causing you to have to send it back for the correct floor and reinstall it. What happens to the incorrect floor and what about the transportation involved to get the correct floor?

What if the manufacturing process of an environmentally responsible product were not as green. This is the case with many products out there. Some are made with the best green intentions but do not use fair trade practices or have limited oversight.

How green is the retailer selling the product? Do they use environmentally best practices to transport, store and market these products?

I say let the buyer beware. Not only look at the product and raw materials, but also look at their manufacturing and labor practices. Truly green companies will tell you where and how their products were made. They will also tell you how they will be shipped so you can decide how green you will be after having purchased the product. Make sure you have checked and verified your order so that there will be no mistakes at delivery and installation.

Remember there is more to being green than just owning/possessing a green product.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Do The Green Thing

Here is a guest video from Do The Green Thing:

Thanks for watching!