Many people think that weatherization is just for protecting a home and its occupants from the ravages of winter storms and cold temperatures, but in fact, it is just as important in the summer. Improvements to a home’s weatherization can also help your home stay cool when the mercury rises, increasing your comfort and drastically decreasing your energy bills.

Here are some projects and tools to help you keep cool this summer!

CAULKING
When you are running an air conditioner even small cracks can be a big drag on your energy bill! Make sure that your window and door frames are sealed by checking the caulk around your window frames where they meet the siding. If the caulk appears to be dry and cracked, remove the old material with a putty knife or scraper and run a fresh bead of caulk to renew the seal.

Eco-Bond Clear Adhesive Caulk
This adhesive sealant will work in temperatures from -40 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. It has excellent bonding power and won’t shrink or pull away from the seal. It is low-odor, low VOC and non-flammable.

 

 

REFLECTIVE INSULATION
With reflective material on either side of a thin but dense insulation blanket, this insulation works by reflecting heat waves away from a building in the summer, or back into a building in the winter. Reflective insulation is less than an inch thick, so you can add an effective layer of R-value to your home or building without sacrificing square footage. We carry two kinds of reflect insulation, Nest (great for retrofit projects) and Skytech (best for new-construction, building wraps.) Both insulations are easy to install, flexible and durable; offer superior acoustical performance; and will not promote the growth of fungus or bacteria. Even better, they are made from 90% recycled materials; are 100% recycleable, and free from formaldehyde, VOCs and carcinogens.

Nest

  • – Perfect for retrofit projects – like lining the interior roof in an attic
  • – Insulation value of R 12.5 with just 1/4 inch of material
  • – Offers a thermal break and a vapor barrier
  • – Fire Rating: Classified UL

 

SkyTech

  • – Great for new construction – especially a whole house wrap
  • – Insulation value of R 13.7 and just 3/8ths of an inch thick
  • – Breathable – allows vapor to pass through
  • – Fire Rating: NFPA Class A/UBC Class 1

 

 

ATTIC VENTILATION
During the hot summer months, attic temperatures can soar and that can have a huge effect on the amount of work your air conditioner has to do – especially on the upper floors of your home. An attic fan, installed with proper vents from which to draw, can have a huge effect on the temperature in your attic, and the load on your electricity.

SolaTube Solar Attic Fan
This attic fan is one of the most technologically-advanced, environmentally-friendly ventilation solutions available. It circulates air and ventilates your attic space, to help keep your home cool and comfortable. Powered by Solar Star’s proprietary 10-watt solar panel, the Solar Star attic fan will not add to your energy bill while it helps lower it!

Click here for more suggestions for ways to weatherize and save money!

Install Tyroc over new or seasoned concrete

Tyroc panels are just 1/2 inch thick

Let’s face it, choosing flooring for basements can be tricky! Concrete slabs, moisture issues, low ceilings, and un-even surfaces frequently combine to limit your floor covering options to carpet and well, carpet. Many people are happy with their carpeted basements, but if you’ve been longing to install a wood floor downstairs, Green Depot has the answer!

The key to this liberating development is Tyroc Underlayment. Tyroc is an engineered dual-layered subflooring system. The bottom layer is a waterproof, diamond-pattern, moisture-blocking membrane made of recycled rubber and plastic. This moisture barrier works better than a simple layer of plastic sheeting because it makes space between the cement and the flooring surface that allows water vapor to escape. The top surface of each panel is made of non-toxic Magnesium Oxide, a material that is exceptionally well suited for basements because it will not propagate mold or mildew and is fire, water and pest resistant. These panels are superior to a simple wood underlayment because they won’t swell or delaminate and they’ll remain stable as moisture and temperature levels fluctuate.

Installing the ½ inch thick Tyroc panels over your basement floor will help to level the surface of your floor, without costing you headroom. Once it’s down, you can choose linoleum, hardwood, cork, ceramic tile – and yes, even carpet if you like! Whatever flooring you choose, this underlayment will ensure that your floor surface is dry, warm, and quiet.

Serafina Flooring - Engineered for Stability

For added stability in a basement where hardwood flooring is desired, we recommend choosing an engineered floor like our Serafina flooring line. Engineered floors feature a multi-layered cross-grain construction that cuts down on the expansion and contraction of boards. To protect your indoor-air-quality, be sure to choose a product that is made with no added urea-formaldehyde!

Though many think that Summer is the time for home renovation projects, there are actually many eco-friendly home projects, big and small, that you can take care of at this time of year to improve your energy efficiency and update the look of your home. Here are some ideas:

Insulation and Caulking
Sealing up the leaks around your home can translate into instant energy savings! We offer many easy-to-use products that will help you fill in the gaps around your place with speed.

XtraFoam HH: Use this handheld adhesive spray foam to seal drafty windows, doors, and leaks with this low expanding, multipurpose foam. Bonded Logic Ultratouch Multi-Purpose Roll: perfect choice for smaller household insulating jobs including sealing gaps around air conditioning wall and window units as well as spaces around doorways. AFM Multipurpose Caulk: a water resistant, flexible, easy to install,
non-sag sealant with excellent initial and permanent adhesion.

Window Treatments
Roller or Roman, our window shades are a great way to add a splash of color to your room and create a finished look! Even better, by utilizing a specially engineered cushion of air or reflective fabric, our shades will also help insulate your home and save you energy.

Available in a wide range of styles and colors, our window-treatments help you save energy too.

Kitchen Projects
Major Holiday cooking projects are mostly past now, and the kids are back at school for most of the day – this is a perfect time of year to replace your cabinets and countertops. Many of our stores offer custom kitchen design services with Cabinet Design Professionals. The kitchen cabinets at Green Depot are selected for their fine quality, high style availability and eco-friendly options  like sustainable woods, healthy finishes, or low-urea-formaldehyde content.

We also offer a wide range of countertops that contain recycled material, like PaperStone, and even some that are made in the regions local to the store. Click here for our store locator.

Style and performance mix with sustainability and health in our cabinet lines, like Urban Prairie – shown here. PaperStone: Beautiful, warm and heavy-duty – perfect for today’s home. Twice as strong as granite, ideal for residential and commercial uses. Cambria will resist most stains and is easy to clean.

Floor Re-Finishing
When people imagine getting their floors re-finished, they also often imagine spending weeks with their windows open, airing out the house. With Green Depot’s low-toxic floor finishes, you don’t have to worry about the weather outside getting in, or endangering your home’s air quality. Even better, many of our finishes (like Osmo Polyx-Oil and Vermont Natural Coatings) cure quickly so life can return to normal in days – not weeks.

Made from natural oils and waxes, Polyx-Oil brings out the natural beauty of your wood. Spot-repairable. Made from post-industrial whey protein, Vermont Natural Coatings offer a low-toxic alternative to regular polyurethane finishes.

We wrote earlier about the benefits of bamboo flooring – one of the most sustainable flooring options available on the market today.  But bamboo might not be the best option for everyone – which is why cork is another handy, sustainable option.

Cork is an industry that is more or less inherently sustainable.  It’s a trade that goes back countless generations.  Cork is harvested by stripping the trees of their bark, which is then processed into pressed cork board – but this process does not harm the trees themselves.  It’s a fact that an actively-harvested cork tree live between 150 and 250 years.

Producers harvest cork by stripping the bark from the trees in long, side slabs.  They then process the bark, first by punching out wine corks, and then by grinding the remaining scraps.  These pieces are pressed back together to make flooring – like ours! – and other products.

The purchase of cork contributes to an industry that prevents land from reverting to desert by keeping a forest cover on otherwise arid land.  It’s estimated that this protects up to 5.5 million acres from desertification.  Cork forests provide invaluable habitat for many indigenous species like the endangered Iberian Lynx.  For these and many other reasons, the world’s largest producer of cork, Portugal, has made it illegal to cut down cork trees.  Harvesting schedules are set by law to ensure that each tree has nine years to regenerate its bark after being harvested.

GREEN DEPOT SOLUTIONS

Our flooring sale continues this week! Through May 31st, we’re offering 10% off all cork and bamboo flooring.  We offer two brands of cork flooring – DMI cork floors, and Natural Cork Floors.  Both are made from rapidly-renewable cork.  Our DMI Cork Floors are available in both tongue-and-groove and glue-down tiles.  Cork is a warm, quiet, comfortable and resilient building material which is naturally resistant to pests and mold.  DMI cork floors come with a factory-applied, acrylic-urethane matte protective finish.  Natural Cork floors are manufactured with Acrodur from BASF to eliminate harmful ingredients such as phenol, formaldehyde, and isocyanates from the binding process, significantly reducing offgassing without compromising the performance of the floor.

For green building materials, like eco insulation, as well as many other green products for a sustainable lifestyle, visit http://www.greendepot.com.

image via flickr user wootang01

Lots of folks are seriously concerned about the health of their indoor environment – and for good reason.  As we’ve written about before, using conventional interior paints which are high in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), can “offgas” fumes which are toxic, and potentially hazardous to the health of people.

When a green product is referred to as low-VOC, it is usually referencing a synthetic, liquid solvent that gives off – or “offgasses” – toxic fumes.  This is the source of the poignant smell in paints, turpentine, varnish, stains, and other finishing products, which can often cause headaches and other health issues, if they are inhaled in enough volume over time.  The troubling thing about conventional products with a high-VOC content is that those substances can continue to offgas VOCs for years after it has dried, and after the poignant smell has abated: just because you can’t smell the VOCs anymore doesn’t mean you’re not still inhaling toxic fumes.

For this reason, most people use low-VOC paints and stains in their interiors.  But there are important reasons to use low-VOC paints and stains on the exterior of your home, or deck: many of the toxic elements in conventional finishes include heavy metals and formaldehyde – substances which can leach out into the environment over time (consider how the paints on the exteriors of homes eventually chip off).  When these gasses and heavy metals leach out of finishes, or chip off into the soil, they pollute.  While the amount being leached into the environment may be trace, any contribution of toxic chemicals into the environment is a negative contribution.

And, if you have a garden around your house, or a well nearby, is it ultimately worth risking these toxins and heavy metals leaching into food and water supplies, when healthy, safe alternatives exist?

GREEN DEPOT SOLUTIONS

This week Green Depot is having a 15%-off sale on a full range of paints, stains, sealants, and other finishing products.  AFM Safecoat paints have both interior exterior low-VOC products available.  Ecoprocote also has a number of low-VOC stains, sealers, and clear top coats.  And make sure to check out Ivy Coatings primers and paints, which are available for application to both interior and exterior surfaces.  To see all of the products we’re offering this week at a 15% discount, you can visit our promotion’s page by clicking here.

For green building materials, like eco insulation, as well as many other green products for a sustainable lifestyle, visit http://www.greendepot.com.

Spring is almost here!

Here in New York City we’re finally beginning to experience temperatures into the upper 50s (F).  Warmer weather is just around the corner!  On my own desk, a pot of narcissus flowers is beginning to bloom, and in the planters around my neighborhood of Crown Heights, daffodils are beginning to poke through the soil.

Of course one of the big springtime events is always Spring Cleaning, a true manifestation of the old adage “out with the old, in with the new.”  So: what can you look for at Green Depot to help you usher in the new spring, and what’s new with Green Depot?

GREEN DEPOT SOLUTIONS

Spring Cleaning Vacuum Sale: Our Spring Cleaning Sale ends March 14, and during this time you can save up to 25% off Electrolux Vacuums.  Green Depot carries a full line of vacuum cleaners for almost any purpose.  Electrolux is one brand that we’re featuring, and the Electrolux Versatility Upright Vacuum is our most fully-featured vacuum.  It has everything you could want in a vacuum cleaner.  The quick-release wand has a buckle which releases it from the main vacuum for cleaning hard-to-reach spaces high and low, like the ceiling and behind couches.  It has a reach of 14 feet.  The vacuum is also powerful: it is bagless and uses cyclonic technology with a 12-amp motor to keep it running at full power.  It is constructed from high impact plastics, ensuring a durable, long life.  In addition, it has a HEPA filtration system to eliminate 99.7% of allergens, allowing for cleaning air in your home after vacuuming.

What’s New?  Green Depot and Ecohaus have Joined Forces: We’ve been working hard to let all of our customers know of a big change around Green Depot: the acquisition of Ecohaus, our West Coast counterparts.  It’s a sensible match.  Both organizations have received numerous laurels for their contributions to a sustainable society and a green economy.  As Sarah Beatty, the CEO of Green Depot notes, “Our core values and passion align completely.” said Sarah Beatty, founder of Green Depot, “By joining forces with Ecohaus, Green Depot is strongly positioned for continued growth throughout America.”  Ecohaus and Green Depot also both have a strong commitment to avoid greenwashing — that is, to offer only green products that pass strict proprietary filters.  Green Depot’s is known as the C.L.E.A.R. filter, and you can read more about it by clicking here.  Ecohaus, likewise, judges all that it carries according to design, durability, price, health and environment.  Read more about the acquisition by reading our press release, here.

Also see our Latest Promotions:

1. Austin Air Purifier Sale: we’re discounting all of our Austin Air Healthmate Air Purifiers up to 20% off!  The Austin HealthMate system combines sound filtering technology to provide protection from a wide range of airborne particles, chemicals, gases, and odors.  This is especially important for those of us with allergies in the spring, as pollen becomes a nuisance, and having clean indoor air is essential for our health.  The Austin Air Healthmates come in several different sizes, and the 1500 square foot model in particular is capable of filtering over 250 cubic feet of air through 15 pounds of activated carbon and HEPA filter every minute, which may even be capable of changing the way that you breathe and sleep.  For smaller sizes, check out the Healthmate Jr. (for 700 sq. foot spaces) or the Healthmate Baby’s Breath (also for 700 square foot spaces).  For greater filtration of reactive gases, check out the Healthmate Plus (1500 square feet).

2. Let us help you create an eco-friendly kitchen: Green Depot carries a full line of ecofriendly green products that can help you remodel your kitchen however you like.  Whether you are searching for a traditional, contemporary, or a transitional design, Green Depot has solutions for every budget.  Our friendly in-house designers can help you achieve the aesthetic you are searching for, using FSC-certified or other renewable woods and formaldehyde-free and low-VOC finishes.  Green Depot carries Urban Prairie and Breathe Easy Cabinetry, Icestone Countertops, Cambria and CaesarStone Quartz Surfaces, Trend Q countertops, and bamboo butcher block counters and plywood options.

For many green products, including new green building materials carried by both Ecohaus and Greendepot, visit our websites: http://www.greendepot.com, and http://www.ecohaus.com.