Facebook0Tweet0Pin0 Olympia Energy Auditor, Bernie Miller has a passion for making your home more comfortable and efficient.The word “green” has become a catch phrase for anything even remotely environmentally friendly. It’s tossed about with such frequency that it’s difficult to know what “green” really means.The team at Energy Efficiency First has a very specific definition. “Green building means using designs and materials that will diminish impacts to the natural environment, reduce exposures to toxic materials and increase a home’s energy efficiency and building durability,” says Energy Efficiency First’s Jacqui Brown Miller.Let’s say you’re doing a remodel. Energy Efficiency First would tap into a specialized knowledge of building science, design and construction practices that are proven to make homes more energy efficient and comfortable. They also make it their business to know how the products are manufactured, how they impact the natural environment, and whether they contain toxins that can harm you.Green begins with green design. Routine components of a green remodel include framing and construction methods that use less material and are more energy efficient. Another must is making the building envelope energy efficient through air sealing, mega insulation, and high efficiency windows and doors. Green means choosing options for lighting, HVAC, and water heating that use less water and power. This could mean, for example, installing a ductless heat pump or an electric heat pump water heater.Materials are also selected that won’t “off-gas” and contaminate your home’s air with formaldehyde or other nasties. A green remodel will usually incorporate materials made from rapidly renewable resources, such as bamboo flooring, and sustainably harvested products such as Forest Stewardship Council certified woods. When it comes to finish materials, there are a wide variety of eco-friendly options for any budget.Green building does not have to cost more. Ductless heat pumps actually cost less than conventional furnaces, and high efficiency windows and doors are not appreciably more expensive. Any added costs associated with energy efficient building practices and equipment are recouped through lower power bills and the value of added personal comfort.Keep in mind everything doesn’t have to happen at once. The professionals at Energy Efficiency First will work with you to create a sensible plan. “Healthy and sustainable designs and construction methods should be standard building practices that every family can afford,” says Brown Miller.To learn more about the services Energy Efficiency First offers, in partnership with Quality Renovation and Carpentry, give them a call at 360-236-9684 or visit their website here.