Today SUNsational Solutions was interviewed by Megan Cambell of KEYE news. She is doing an ongoing segment on the news discussing ways to make your home more energy efficient and “green”. This interview will be aired on July 22nd 2008.
Here is her website. http://www.keyetv.com/content/news/gogreen/default.aspx
This made me wonder what everyone thinks going green is all about. To me it means consuming less. To make second thoughts on what we purchase and think of what all has to be done to manufacturer, package, ship, market, sell, and buy of a product.
SUNsational is going green by using all printed paper to be 100% recycled post consumer product. This has proven to be a difficult task. One problem was printing on business cards. It took three printers to finally get it right but I finally used a company that printed using soy ink, 100% post consumer recycled paper, and uses all their energy for their facility to come from wind or solar power. Secondly, all of our estimate sheets are 100% recycled paper. My next project is to have our sample cards to be made from recycled material too.
So what can a home owner do to be “green”? This can be very difficult because all the information out there is cluttered and every business is trying to make a quick dollar using key words like going green or saving energy. Where do we start? Well it all starts with one project. For me it was picking out paint and paint colors. I am currently remodeling a home in north central Austin. I love my neighborhood. It is a 50’s style home that was neglected for over 20 years and fortunately I found it and am attempting to restore it.
After researching different paint products I found that milk paint is supposed to be the most environmentally friendly paint but one major problem, there are not very many color options maybe 4-10 if your lucky. My girlfriend found that some manufacturer’s of paints make a no VOC paint that still had all the color options of conventional paint. It was a good compromise and it didn’t cost but just $5-9/gallon more. Basically this paint doesn’t have nearly all the chemicals in it that are bad for water and air pollution. Still not as good as milk paint but very close.
Now that the interior of the house is painted the next project to tackle was the HVAC system. Not only was this an expensive project but probably the most prolonged process as well. This home again was built in the 1950’s and didn’t have a central AC system. So we completely installed a new efficient system with flexible duct work and did all the weatherization options that Austin Energy will offer rebates for. Next came a radiant barrier to install in the attic space to remove the radiant heat from coming into the attic space. We chose a brand of paintable material call Heat Bloc 75. It seems to keep the temperature down in the attic space. We then added attic insulation with a R-49 value which according to the Department of Energy is recommending in the sun belt area of the United States (Texas building codes are R-38).
The next project was the windows of course window film was installed. I used a product that was the most efficient I had with a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient of .30 which is surprisingly close to a double pane southern low e window. It just doesn’t have the insulating value that a new window possesses.