Homeowners Manual

By Theodore Nichols,2014-06-17 00:48
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Homeowners Manual ...

Home Owners Manual



    Table of Contents

Build Green Certification 3

Introduction 4

Optimizing Water Use 4

Optimizing Energy Use 5

PNM’s “Sky Blue” Renewable Energy Program 6

Recycling 6

Disposing of hazardous materials 6

Alternative Transportation 6

Water, Power, and Gas Shutoffs 7

Maintenance checklist 7

Operation of Equipment 8

Warranty 9

Green Home Certification & Green Features Exhibit A

Appliance manuals In pockets


    Build Green NM Certification

Your new home has been certified by Build Green NM as meeting extensive

    green building requirements. The buider of your home has used the Build Green

    NM Guidelines as a reference in planning and building, and has submitted

    documentation (such as floor plans and the results of energy efficiency testing) to

    show that certian criteria in the guidelines were met.

Build Green NM‟s Guidelines (available on provide

    builders with information about different aspects of green building. The

    guidelines are also the basis of our certification program. In order for a home to

    be certified, the builder must accumulate a minimum number of points in each of

    the Guidelines‟ seven sections (Lot Design, Preparation & Development, Resource Efficiency, Energy Efficiency, Water Efficiency, Indoor Air Quality, and

    Homeowner Education). Points are allocated for meeting different criteria, like

    using low-flow faucets or putting in solar panels. Because there are an infinite

    number of ways to build green, we provide builders with a lot of different options,

    and allow them to choose what makes sense for each project.

    Certification to Build Green NM‟s Guildelines does in no way imply any warranty or guarantee for the home or the home‟s performance. Builders who are

    members of Build Green NM are not certified in any way by Build Green NM

    (only individual homes are certified) and Build Green NM members are not

    required to participate in any educational programs. For Build Green NM

    membership, a builder is required to be a licensed contracor in good standing

    with the state and Better Business Bureau.

Build Green NM seeks to be a resource for both builders and consumers. For

    any additional information on green building, or to request copies of any of the

    information that was provided by the builder in the process of certifying this

    homes, please feel free to contact Build Green NM.

    Build Green New Mexico

    4100 Wolcott Avenue N.E., Suite B, Albuquerque NM, 87109

    Phone (505) 344-3294 Fax (505) 345-3795 email



Congratulations! You have a home that was built to be comfortable, energy

    efficient, low maintenance and last a very long time. You are living in a “High Performance Home.”

The purpose of the manual is to;

    ? provide guidance in the maintenance of the home and equipment

    ? offer suggestions to improve energy efficiency

    ? further enhance your low impact on the environment

    ? locate shutoffs to systems and utilities

    ? provide education about the features of this “Green” home

Please keep this manual for future use and to educate future owners of this

    home of the “value-added” features within.

Optimizing Water Use

Low Water Landscaping

    Already established plants are either local indigenous plants or Xeric plants that

    are good for our climate. These are watered by a drip system as well as the

    French Drain installed to utilize rainwater and reduce runoff. Please consider

    continuing with a xeric landscape.

? Utilize the Drip irrigation system

    o Adjust settings for winter or summer seasons. Winter use should be

    reduced to 1-2 times a month

    o New plants should be watered more often, but for shorter durations

    (especially for small plants)

    o After plants are established, set the system to water deep (longer

    periods less often)

    o Separating the system into two zones allows for two different

    schedules for different types of plants

    o There is a “rain” setting to turn system off. Remember to turn the

    system back on. Settings are saved while in the rain or off position.

    o Check the system periodically. While you can set and forget a drip

    irrigation system for the most part, it is important to monitor it from time

    to time.

    ? Are plants wilted?...too dry.

    ? Is soil always wet?...Increase the time between watering.

    ? Is water coming out of drippers when the system is on? ...They

    can clog but are easy to unclog.

    ? Is the system spraying or soaking unevenly? …the line may

    have come loose or been cut. Be careful when weeding with a



    ? Check and maintain rainwater collection system

    o The downspout diverts water away from the house into a “French”

    drain system so that rain water is utilized. Check for proper flows

    out of the downspout after or during rainfall. You can get on the

    roof to check downspouts, or you can ask the A/C technician to

    check for and remove leaves and debris from the gutter when you

    have the a/c unit serviced.

    o Keep the grill clean where the downspout drains into the French

    drain. Make sure overflow is not obstructed.

    ? Check with local nurseries or on the plant pots when purchasing

    plants. There is a huge variety of low water plants available.

Optimizing Energy Use

Energy Use and Indoor Air Quality

    This home has been constructed to save energy and provide comfort. Leaky

    homes waste a tremendous amount of energy. Well-sealed homes must have

    proper ventilation to maintain a healthy indoor environment.

? Ventilation

    o The kitchen exhaust vents directly to the outside. It is a good practice

    to use this while cooking on the stove top. Use low speed unless you

    need to get rid of smoke.

    o The bath fans and fresh air cycling fans are automatic and their

    operation is covered in “Operation of Equipment.

    o Open windows and doors and ceiling fans are great for keeping the

    home comfortable much of the year. Remember to turn off the A/C

    when the windows or doors are open.

    ? Lighting

    o Fluorescent and compact fluorescent lighting cost a little more than

    regular bulbs upfront, but use significantly less energy and last much

    longer. They also generate very little heat which is important in the

    cooling season. They are available now in a several color ranges that

    reflect natural lighting. Do not use dimmers with fluorescents as it will

    burn out the ballast.

    ? Heating / Cooling

    o Change the filters as needed. The system won‟t have to work as hard

    and your indoor air will be cleaner. Start by changing the filters twice a

    year. How dirty they get depends on several factors (pets, keeping

    doors or windows open, living in a dusty area, etc.), so check your

    filters and determine how often it is appropriate for you to change them.


    o Changing the filters is about the only homeowner maintenance for the

    unit. No annual marathon to the store to purchase pads, pumps and

    whatever to get the swamp cooler running for another season. Simply

    switch the thermostat from heating mode to cooling mode and you‟re

    done. Follow the manufacturer‟s recommendations for how often to

    schedule a service technician come out and check the unit. This is a

    quality unit that will last for many years when properly cared for.

PNM’s “Sky BlueRenewable Energy Program

For a slight additional fee you can join PNM‟s “Sky Blue” program, which allows

    you to purchase renewably produced energy for a part or all of your usage. This

    helps PNM build renewable power generation such as the wind farms in eastern

    NM. You can often find information about this in the insert in the utility bill. If not,

    contact PNM or visit for more information

    about this great program.


The city of Albuquerque offers curbside recycling for most recyclables except

    glass. Please take advantage of this, we will all benefit. There are also locations

    around town where you may take additional items to be recycled. These range

    from cardboard to glass to rechargeable batteries. Once you get in the habit, it‟s

    the easiest way we can contribute to our community and environment.

Visit the New Mexico Recycling Coalition at for detailed

    information on what, how, and where to recycle.

Disposing of Hazardous Materials

Rinchem Company handles many hazardous wastes for the city of Albuquerque

    they are located at 6133 Edith. They have limited drop off times so call first (345-

    3655 or 341-4173). Many homes centers will take rechargeable batteries for

    cordless tools. Auto parts stores will usually take car batteries, used oil and gas.

    Do not dispose of these materials in the trash or dump down the drain.

Alternative Transportation

Albuquerque offers both public bus service and the Railrunner, a commuter train

    service. Using public transportation means fewer miles, less maintenance and

    less gas for your vehicle as well as reducing pollution. For schedules and

    service information, visit


Much of Albuquerque can also be accessed by bicycle trails. Riding a bike to

    work or school is a healthy and fun way to start your day, reduces your

    transportation costs, and doesn‟t pollute. For a map of the city‟s bike trails and

    helpful tips, visit

Water, Power, and Gas Shutoffs

Under normal circumstances you‟ll never need to shut off any of the utilities. It is

    always good to know where shutoffs are located in case of emergencies.

? Gas

    o The main gas shut off is by the gas meter at the side of the house.

    This will shut off the gas supply to the home. There are also individual

    shut offs by each gas supplied appliance. Namely, the furnace, the

    water heater and the clothes dryer.

    ? Electricity

    o Inside the garage is the circuit breaker panel. Ask the builder to go

    over this with you as there are special breakers inside. The main

    breaker is at the top of the panel and that will Kill power into the home.

    Caution… inside the panel the power is still on. Only a qualified

    electrician should remove the panel.

    ? Water

    o The main shut off for water is outside the garage and inside the water

    meter box. A water valve key or crescent wrench is needed to shut off

    the water outside. Inside, there is a water shutoff behind the water

    heater down low. This hand operated valve will shut off the water

    supply from that point on. On top of the water heater is the valve that

    supplies water to the water heater. Shutting this off will stop the hot

    water only.

Maintenance Checklist

The following routine maintenance should be performed periodically, according to

    manufacturer‟s specifications or a visual inspection.

? Replace furnace filter

    ? Downspout

    ? Drip irrigation system

    ? Heater and A/C maintenance

    ? Exterior painted wood and doors

    ? Drain water heater

    ? Check Supply fan for operation


Operation of Equipment

    Dishwasher and Stove See individual manuals (enclosed) for these appliances.

Heating and Cooling

    This home is equipped with central heating and refrigerated cooling. The

    cooling condenser is located on the roof and there is no homeowner maintenance required. However you should follow the guidelines in the owner‟s

    manual for the routine maintenance required to be preformed by a professional.

Heating and cooling are both controlled by a single thermostat. All you have to

    do is set the switch to the heating or cooling mode and set the desired

    temperature. As an added benefit there are ceiling fans located in each room.

    Using the fans in occupied rooms in the cooling season will make the rooms

    more comfortable at a higher temperature and thus save energy as well as

    provide comfort. In the cooling season the fans should blow down. In the

    heating season rooms with tall ceilings may heat more evenly with the ceiling fan

    reversed (blowing up) on low speed. Usually it‟s better to just leave them off, test

    it to see what works best for you. Unlike evaporative cooling, no windows or

    doors need to be open for the heating or cooling to function. In fact, your heating

    and cooling system will have to work harder and will run less efficiently if

    doors or windows are open.

Furnace and air conditioner filters are located just above the furnace

    compartment and in the main return air grill. These should be changed or

    cleaned about two times a year. It is best to use a high efficiency filter to

    removed pollen and other small particles, increasing the air quality in your home.

Fresh Air Cycler

    Fresh air is provided by a small fan installed into the ductwork. This is set to run

    about a third of the day (cycling on and off by a timer). The timer is located in the

    mechanical room and may be adjusted by the owner. It is set to provide 7.5 cfm

    per bedroom by running 20 minutes per hour. If you wish to adjust it to run more

    often when you are home simply adjust it to your schedule. Fresh air will also be

    pulled into the system whenever the blower is running during heating or cooling.

    Bathroom Exhaust Fans All exhaust fans are equipped with motion switches. These quiet fans will help

    remove humidity where it is generated. With the motion activated switches there

    is less opportunity for mold growth and no need to switch them off. Please keep

    these on automatic.

Hot Water Heater

    Keep the water heater on the lowest setting that provides you with the heat you

    need. This will save energy and reduce the danger of accidental scalding. This


home has a hot water thermo siphon loop. There is no pump needed and this

    should provide practically “instant” hot water in the baths and kitchen faucets. This will cause the water heater to cycle on a little more, but you will waste less

    water in the process. If you stop the thermo siphon there is a valve at the bottom

    of the water heater that can be shut off.


** Builders: Please include information about warranties

    that you and/or your subcontractors provide here.


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