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Education

We don’t just help build smarter homes.
We help build smarter homeowners.

Education is the foundation of smart building — building that improves your home by focusing on health, savings and ecology. That’s why our store is full of slightly obsessed experts, an Idea Center, education stations and products that have been through our TreeHouse Product Filter. As you begin to learn how your home works, you can learn how to make it work better.

  • Savings
  • Health
  • Ecology

Using less energy and water isn’t just good for the planet — it can have a big impact on your monthly bills. The less you use, the more you save, making conservation a smart practice, not just a green one. And you don’t have to start from scratch. There are a number of simple renovations you can make to increase your savings one project at a time.


Save water, energy and money.
  • A 10-minute shower can cost as little as $0.60 with a low-flow showerhead.
  • Xeriscaping can save up to 80% of a house’s water consumption.
  • Low-flush toilets use as little as 0.8 gallons of water per flush. The average toilet uses 77% more.
  • A 1,200 sq. ft. roof can harvest 375 gallons of free water with just 0.5” of rain.
  • Leaks can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day.
  • A new A/C uses up to 50% less energy than a 15-year-old model.
  • Energy-efficient windows can reduce heating and cooling bills by 15%.
  • Fans make you feel 2–4 degrees cooler, which means less strain on your thermostat.
  • You can lose 60% of your home’s heat during the winter due to insufficient insulation.

Many of the things we use to “improve” our homes actually contain harmful, even toxic, chemicals that have both short- and long-term health effects. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can be found in a number of common household products like paints, cleaners, flooring and furniture. By making yourself aware of the problem products, you can keep them out of your home, making it a better place to live.


Build a healthier home.
  • Look for paints with less than 50 grams per liter of VOCs. Your lungs will thank you.
  • Avoid toluene and xylene in stains and sealers. They can cause skin and eye irritation and even kidney damage.
  • Cleaning doesn’t have to be so dirty. All-natural cleaners contain natural ingredients that you can pronounce — like parsley and oranges.
  • Changing your air filter every three months helps keep larger airborne particles like dust, dander and mites out of the air you breathe.
  • Air purifiers reduce levels of smaller airborne allergens and particles and can be moved from room to room.

Smart home improvement is really about repairing the relationship and interaction a house has with the environment around it. Every house is a part of a unique ecosystem, and the choices we make impact more than just our homes. When we start making decisions that improve the ecosystem we belong to, we’ll start to build houses that truly are better places to live.

How does your home affect the planet?
  • The average American uses about 100 gallons of water per day. Using water-saving products can ensure there’s enough for everyone.
  • Planting native trees outside windows will keep outdoor heat from raising the temperature inside your home.
  • South-facing windows let more sunlight and heat in during the winter.
  • Keeping unused electronics plugged in can account for 40% of a home’s energy bill.
  • Using FSC and reclaimed woods or other alternatives can keep healthy, thriving forests where they belong — outside our homes.
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