'Green' home saves hundreds on heating

Tuesday, October 7th 2008, 9:11 pm
By: News 9

By Audrey Esther, News9.com INsite Team

OKLAHOMA CITY -- When completed, a new four bedroom three bathroom modern bungalow in the Mesta Park neighborhood will be one of the most energy efficient homes in the state.

"You're doing something good for the world. You're trying to cut down on some consumption, there's definitely a health benefit to it," said Andy Zeeck of his soon-to-be completed home at 516 NW 21st St.

Then there's the financial benefit. Zeeck estimated he'll reduce his monthly home heating bill from more than $300 dollars to about $60 for his 2,100 square foot home.

"Can you save a lot of money? Yes," said Kelley Parker, president of Guaranteed Watt Savers. GWS is a local third-party consulting firm that specializes in helping homeowners create and maintain energy efficient and green homes.

Parker is helping the Zeecks go green and go for a L.E.E.D, or Leadership in Energy and Environment Design designation.

"If you're planning on building a house, L.E.E.D is the green certification if you will," Parker said.

However, the Zeecks want gold-level L.E.E.D certification, which is the second highest L.E.E.D designation available.  

"It was only a matter of tweaking a few more things that we wanted to do anyway so we said we'll go ahead and try," Zeeck said. "Gold sounds good. It sounds better than silver."

A more efficient heating and cooling system, efficient insulation and flashed windows will all help the Zeecks earn a gold certification said  Parker.

For Zeeck's wife Tracey those additional steps will ultimately benefit her family's health.

"The design process and the planning has been a lot of fun because it definitely takes some thinking. Especially in this tight of a space to get all the pieces in there and all working together," Tracey Zeeck said.

The number one misconception about adding 'green' features to a new or existing home like the Zeecks is the cost, Parker said.

"If you're thinking of a 42-inch plasma TV screen and you're thinking hey maybe I can put that off for a year or two and build my house correctly that's the kind of costs that were talking about. It's not hundreds of thousands of dollars," he said.

Zeeck adds that creating a green home is not that difficult and not that far out of an idea.

"A lot of it's just common sense and just attention to detail, he said. "Quality building over anything that's really ‘hippy' or environmental or anything along those lines."   

The Zeecks plan to complete their home by early November.