Category Archives: Green Home

Seven Principles of a Healthy Home

The National Center for Healthy Housing NCHH is an organization dedicated to establishing healthy, energy efficient and safe homes for families of all income levels. The NCHH also provides educational programs, tools, and resources to help home owners to create and maintain healthy homes. Their website helps you identify and fix the health hazards in your home that could make you and your family sick.healthy home

A study conducted by the group examined 248 older homes in NY and Boston that underwent energy conservation improvements such as installing new insulation, new heat and air systems and improving ventilation. They wanted to see if installing newer systems would have a positive impact on the health of the occupants. After six months, the results showed that after the improvements were made subjects reported reduced sinusitis and other allergies by 20 %, hyper-tension by 14% and obesity by 11%.

The NCHH suggest the following seven principles for maintaining a healthy home. They are:

Dryness: Damp houses provide a nurturing environment for mites, roaches, rodents and molds, all of which are associated with asthma.

Clean: Clean homes help reduce pest infestations and exposure to contaminants.

Pest-Free: Recent studies show a causal relationship between exposure to mice and cockroaches and asthma episodes in children; yet inappropriate treatment for pest infestations can exacerbate health problems, since pesticide residues in homes pose risks for neurological damage and cancer.

Safe: The majority of injuries among children occur in the home. Falls are the most frequent cause of residential injuries to children, followed by injuries from objects in the home, burns, and poisonings.

Contaminant-Free: Chemical exposures include lead, radon, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, and environmental tobacco smoke. Exposures to asbestos particles, radon gas, carbon monoxide, and second-hand tobacco smoke are far higher indoors than outside.

Ventilated: Studies show that increasing the fresh air supply in a home improves respiratory health.

Maintained: Poorly-maintained homes are at risk for moisture and pest problems. Deteriorated lead-based paint in older housing is the primary cause of lead poisoning.

The NCHH conducts key research on aspects of childhood lead poisoning, lead hazard control, reducing exposure to allergens and other residential hazards.  Results from these studies have been used to shape federal and state regulations relating to safer construction and residential housing.

If you or members of your family are suffering from allergies and you live in an older home, check out the website for tips on how to make your house a safe place for adults and children to play. Visit   Healthy Home today!






Solar Kits for Any Size Home

There are three main types of solar energy kits available on the market today. Each one has a specific purpose and different capabilities. The price you’ll pay for a solar kit will vary greatly depending on the size of system you require and the amount of power you want to generate.

Make sure your kit comes with everything you need including all the wiring.  Some kits may require additional purchases or does not come with customer service. Take the time to find this out first!

Grid Tied Solar Kits – this type of solar energy system is designed to help you reduce or eliminate your power costs. Ideally, if your system is large enough, you’ll be able to store excess energy and sell it back to your power company.  Kilowatts generated from these kits can be at the lower end of 2.3 kilowatts or up to 12.65 kilowatts. Prices range from $2,000 to $50,000 for these kits.

 Off Grid Solar Kits – if you desire to be completely free from the power company or live in a remote area, an off-grid system is the answer. Off grid solar kits are designed to power everything you need, including appliances, lights, heat, and air, with a battery backup system in the case of cloudy days.

You can generate around 300 watts of power with an off-grid kit or even as much as 1800 watts of power with a larger kit! You’ll need to purchase a grounding rod, conduit, and wire separately.

The prices for off grid solar kits have a wide range, beginning somewhere around $800 for a small system to $35,000 and up for larger systems. The larger the system and the more power you want to generate, the more it will cost.

 Solar RV & Marine Kits – ideal for powering your recreational vehicle or boat, these systems are easily installed and very affordable. The kits contain solar panels, an amp charge controller, and battery, mounting hardware and output cables. These kits can produce as little as 10 watts of power or up to 340 watts of power. Prices range from $175 to $1,800.

It’s very possible for a homeowner to purchase a solar power kit and install the solar energy system without too much trouble. The directions included in the kits are very detailed and are geared toward someone who has never installed a system previously. A good customer service department should be able to answer all of your technical questions concerning the installation of your system.

Many people also opt for purchasing their own kit and then having it professionally installed. Some sellers of the solar kits will offer to install it for you for an additional price.
To learn more:


What is a Green Product?

What makes a product Green?  Multiple criteria often apply- for example a product may be considered green for more than one reason:

The website publishes Environmental Building News and Green Specs Directory that lists product descriptions for over 2100 environmentally preferable products and is assembled according to the following criteria:

i.              Products made with salvaged recycled or agricultural  waste content

·         Salvaged materials

·         Post -Consumer  materials

·         Pre–Consumer materials

ii.              Products that conserve Natural resources

·         Products that reduce materials use

·         Certified Wood Products

·         Rapidly renewable products

·         Products that have durability or low maintenance

iii.             Products that avoid toxic or other emissions

·         Natural or Minimally processed products

·         Alternatives to ozone-depleting substances

·         Alternatives to hazardous products

·         Products that reduce or eliminate pesticide  treatments

·         Products that reduce storm water pollution

·         Products that reduce impacts from construction or demolition activities

iv.             Products that save energy or water

·         Building components that reduce heating and cooling loads

·         Equipment that conserves energy and manages loads

·         Renewable energy and fuel cell equipment

·         Fixtures and equipment that conserve water

v.          Products that contribute to a safe, healthy built environment

·         Products that do not release significant pollutants into the building

·         Products that block the introduction, development or spread of indoor contaminants

·         Products that remove indoor pollutants

·         Products that warn occupants or health hazards in the building

·         Products that improve light quality

·         Products that help control noise

·         Products that enhance community well -being