Chinook Book Ad

Chinook Book Ad

We are proud to be participating in the new 2013 version of the Chinook Book with ads featured on pages 35 and 310!

Chinook Book assembles offers from the best green and local merchants in the Seattle area. You can find great savings on Dining, Local Grocery, Travel & Recreation, Fashion & Gifts, Home & Garden, Wellness, Entertainment and Grocery Products-over 400 coupons in all.

Every merchant in Chinook Book meets a special criteria for sustainable business, so you know your money is going towards businesses that deserve it.

Chinook Book is available in print and as an app for iPhone and Android-mobile coupons right on your phone!

Smart Conservation: What You Need to Know When Turning Down the Thermostat

Most of us, in an effort to conserve resources (and a few pennies) turn down our thermostats at night and when we are away from home. However, good habit may have unintentional consequences if not done properly.

Mold can grow in any environment where there is adequate moisture and a lack of airflow. Keeping the indoor temperature to at least 60° F helps prevent condensation from forming on windows and other cool surfaces. If you have a particularly damp home, ensure there is adequate air flow in closets and around beds. This is just one of the many ways you can mitigate excess moisture from building up in your home. For more tips on how to help prevent mold, and keep your home dry, take a look at these recommendations from the American Lung Association and EPA.

Excessive Fine for Cyclist?

Excessive Fine for Cyclist?

These little sweeties wouldn't ever dare to blow a red light.

Treehugger posted an article today about a cyclist in New York City who was fined$1,555 for blowing three consecutive red lights. Apparently NYC has some aggressive traffic fines that increase with each violation. The cyclist is contesting that the fines are excessive for the violation and that the red lights being blown consecutively (rather than on three different instances) should be treated as one violation…

If a person robbed three different but adjacent stores consecutively, should s/he receive only one penalty? We think that the cyclist was engaging in reckless riding and that the fines are minimal compared to the problems that could have occurred (particularly injury or death to him or others as unexpected drivers are forced into reaction).

What do you think?

Efficiencies: Heating Alternatives

Efficiencies: Heating Alternatives

Can you identify the heat source in this addition? Email us the correct answer and you'll win a prize (limited supply available).

Puget Sound weather looks like it is finally falling into line with the calendar and it is beginning to cool down, which usually results in thermostats turning up! Over the next couple of months we’ll talk about different ways to stay warm while reducing your energy costs and impact on the planet at the same time!

Traditional heating sources including “forced air furnaces” baseboard and cadet heaters are not the most efficient ways to heat your home. Depending on the heater they can heat unevenly, inefficiently use energy, and most importantly once they are turned off the space begins to cool down immediately.

The three most energy and cost efficient options for heating your home are passive solar, radiant heating, and ductless heat pump systems.

Passive Solar with some radiant backup system (in preparation for the next ice age or that really, really cold storms we can get occasionally). Passive solar allows the home to heat itself – no moving parts, no electricity or fuel needed. But passive solar isn’t an option as a retrofit in most homes in the Seattle area since its “parts” are really about good solar position and proper heat sinks (among other things). If your designing from the ground up on a good site, be sure to vet this option before choosing other solutions.

Radiant heat is another excellent option, but what type really depends on your situation: Are you doing other remodeling? Will you be installing solar to offset electrical consumption? Are you working towards a net-zero energy home? What is your budget? ??One of the beautiful things about radiant heat is that it not only heats the molecules in the air it also heats objects within a space (some more or less effectively than others). What that means is that when the radiant heating source is turned down or off, the objects in the room that have been heated in the process are still radiating heat – and it isn’t costing you a thing. Additionally, many radiant systems allow you to set temperatures in each room. As you can see from the graph below (courtesy of Joule Design), overall operating costs are significantly less compared to baseboard or furnace options.

Below is a list of some of the popular radiant solutions:

  • radiant boiler (expensive but a viable option during a big remodel or in new construction)
  • radiant electrical floor (good for small rooms where new tile, concrete or cork floor is being installed)
  • radiant electrical wall (easy retrofit; immensely more efficient and safe than traditional cadet or baseboard heaters)
  • radiant electrical ceiling panels (easy retrofit; great for all room sizes but particularly small rooms where wall space is precious)

Ductless mini-split heat pumps are another great option. Installation is relatively simple whether new construction or as a retrofit. Rather than radiant or “blow” heat, they recirculate air from the outside. Learn more about how they work here. Unlike their big brother (air source heat pumps), they work well as independent units.

Mighty House is a huge fan of radiant heat – and particularly of the radiant ceiling panels for all the reasons mentioned earlier:

  1. easy and inexpensive to install as a retrofit or during a remodel
  2. super efficient to operate
  3. if it breaks (which they never do), it is easy to replace (if a radiant floor system breaks, the floor may need to be removed to fix the heat)
  4. zoned heating
  5. contributes to turning conventional home into a net zero home when combined with other energy efficiency measures and a solar array!

But choosing what type really depends on your situation: Are you doing other remodeling? Will you be installing solar to offset electrical consumption? Are you working towards a net-zero energy home? What is your budget? Not all systems fit all homes the same. Let us know if  we can help you find the most sustainable heat system for your home and life.

Bridging Kitchen and Garden

Bridging Kitchen and Garden

Can you imagine having your garden IN your kitchen. Talk about a mighty kitchen… Love it! Let the creative juices flow and tell us how would you design your inclusive space.