Innovative solutions for creating healthy, efficient, eco-friendly homes

June 2008

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Taking the LEED

Homebuyers no longer have to become instant experts to find homes with high efficiency and environmental performance. Certification labels like LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) help consumers understand a home’s actual environmental content, and guide professional builders in designing green, efficient homes.

Home weather stations

Here’s the hypothetical situation: You’re planning a two-week vacation and need to make sure the lawn and garden are properly watered in your absence. The irrigation system can be programmed but you’re not sure where to set the watering level. How much rain did the area get this time last year? What if the forecasted storm doesn’t materialize, or what if it lingers longer than expected?

Taking Care of the Air

Air conditioners are not typically known as eco-friendly appliances, thanks to the use of refrigerants like Freon (also known as R-22), which has been shown to deplete the ozone. However, Freon is being phased out (as of 2010 it cannot be used in any new equipment), and a new generation of eco-friendly air conditioners is on the way.

Storm Proofing

Here’s an eye-opening statistic: 43 percent of U.S. homeowners live in hurricane-prone coastal areas. In Florida alone, 800,000 homes are potentially at risk from hurricane damage. One more interesting statistic: 50 percent of damage claims filed after a hurricane result from catastrophic roof failure caused by heavy winds.

Give Your Yard an Organic Makeover

Give Your Yard an Organic Makeover

Most of us spend many hours in the fall and early spring taking care of our yards — raking, sowing seeds, planting, fertilizing and watering — so we can enjoy a lush landscape by the time the warm weather rolls around. But when the long, hot, dry days of summer arrive, we often find our efforts laid to waste by drought, pests and munching wildlife.

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