Air Mechanical, Inc. Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Green’

HVAC Guide: Green Building Trends for New Homes

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

In a society with an increasing an eye on reducing waste and creating energy-efficient spaces, it might not be as surprising to know that the green building market has been steadily increasing over the past few years, and in years to come is expected to triple from what it is now.  The variety of green building trends for new homes in Ham Lake which are in place today are staggering and exciting, and will ultimately change the way we build homes and business facilities, permanently.  According to the Earth Advantage Institute, below are the latest green building trends for new homes to watch for in the near future.

  • Urban Density:  Homeowners are opting to build in the empty space between existing homes or buildings.  These lots are desired by those who want to be closer to city-centers and hotspots.
  • Green Multi-Family Homes:  An increased interest in energy-saving building options and an increase in the number of multi-family homes being built mean an increase in green multi-family homes.
  • Energy Upgrades Drive Home Remodels:  Consumer preference has switched to remodeling in order to save energy in their upgrades.  Thus contractors have begun to offer these types of services as a standard option in remodeling projects. This includes new, energy saving HVAC equipment.
  • Development and Testing of New Materials: National labs and research departments are working with construction firms in order to produce test facilities and sensor-filled buildings which track real-time energy performance of new materials and equipment.
  • Consumer-Friendly Home Energy Tracking Devices:  Sensor-based energy and water monitoring systems are being used by consumers to save money all throughout their homes and the number of companies creating these tracking devices is increasing, making them easier to come by.
  • Energy Education for Commercial Tenants:  Commercial building energy disclosure is pushing building owners to be more energy efficient, this in addition to educating tenants on ways for them to contribute to saving energy means that more commercial buildings are going green.
  • Transparency in Home Marketing:  Consumers who have instant access to information are more educated and can see through housing scams more easily. Real estate agents who are forthright and educate clients even further on the benefits of having energy efficient home features means more confidence in the green housing market.
  • More Accurate Appraisals:  With more educated consumers looking for Certified Residential Green Appraisers, the lending community is beginning to follow suit and pay attention even further to the added value and return on investment for green homes and green remodels.
  • Broader Adoption of Residential Energy Ratings for Homes:  Energy labeling systems are being put into place nationally, thus causing homeowners to be more educated regarding energy savings possibilities.  More extensive usage of residential energy ratings for homes means homeowners are undertaking more energy upgrade work.
  • Smart Grid-Compatible High-Performance Homes:  More new homes are utilizing “grid-aware” appliances which monitor and report their own usage with the ability to increase or decrease electric usage remotely, thus saving energy.

For more tips on how to improve your Ham Lake home, or for any plumbing, heating, or air conditioning service you need, give Air Mechanical Heating, Cooling & Plumbing a call!

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How Much Water Will I Save with a Low Flow Toilet?

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

There are many reasons why you might want to save water in your Ramsey home. Not only does it save you money, cutting down on your annual water bill, but it allows you to do your part in reducing the impact of modernity on our environment. And of all the appliances and plumbing fixtures in our homes, the toilet is among the worst offenders when it comes to wasting water.

That is why the advent of the low flush toilet has been very well received. While the 1.6 gpf toilet (standard toilets are 3.5 gpf) was originally invented in the 1990s, it is only now becoming more widespread as issues with things like clogging and multiple flushes were commonplace with the earliest models.

So, how much water can a low flush toilet actually save you? On average a 3.5 gpf toilet uses around 27,300 gallons of water per year. By comparison the 1.6 gpf toilet uses only 12,500 gallons per year. That is less than half as much water. With the average toilet using up to 30% of the daily water flow in a home, it is a fantastic way to cut back on your environmental footprint, and if your water bills tend to be high, it will severely reduce them as well.

Other Ways to Save Water

Low Flush Toilets are a great way to cut back on the amount of water we use in our homes, but there are other ways as well. In terms of fixtures, low flow shower heads are very popular right now and can help to cut back another 15% of your annual water use. You can also purchase lower flow faucets for your kitchen and bathroom sinks. High quality hot water heaters that provide hot water as needed are also good for reducing water use as you will not need to leave the faucet or bath running for any period of time.

Whether you want to cut a few dollars from your monthly bill or simply want to do your part to protect our environment, a low flush toilet is definitely the way to go, especially if you are remodelling or moving into a new home and the choice is there for you to take. It may still be good to compare the price of a regular to low flush toilet if you already have a working toilet in your home, but for new installations it is almost always a good deal.

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