A blog from our friends at Housing Zone this morning alerted us to the fact that the number of vacant homes in the U.S. has been at record levels for the last couple of years. Of those, a huge number are seasonal homes--meaning they stand idle most of the year, most of them are in "Maine, Vermont, Florida, Arizona and Alaska."
Think about that for a minute.
Chances are that a home left unoccupied in New England or Alaska must still be heated to above-freezing temperatures to prevent pipes from freezing. And a Florida home will have to be at least mildly air conditioned, to prevent mold and mildew.
That means that all of those homes are not only using valuable energy, they're adding to our global climate change crisis.
Perhaps it's time to look at raising the building code bar for second homes. If a home is to be left unoccupied most of year, it's in the best interest of both local infrastructure and the environment to build it to net zero standards. In other words, it should produce on site all necessary energy for its annual heating or cooling or security system needs.--M. Power
Posted: 3/31/2011 8:17:34 AM by
Matt Power | with 0 comments