Feeling Artistic

Is it cold where you are? It was 1 on my car’s external thermometer coming in to the office this morning. Artesia, and the rest of the region, is experiencing an historic cold snap that has plunged temperatures into never before seen lows. As Property Manager for Century 21 Home Planning I fielded a number of calls yesterday about frozen pipes and malfunctioning heaters. When it rains, it pours.

These calls have reminded me, that our homes in Artesia are built to a different standard than other parts of the country. The houses here are not insulated with the cold in mind, but rather the heat of summer. We don’t often think twice about the sprinkler system riser and anti-siphon valve sticking out of the back yard. Mine froze one Sunday morning years ago. We came home from Church and there was a geyser in my back yard. It was awful wading through ankle deep water and getting soaked in 15 degree weather and wind to turn off the main valve. Since then, I have buried the whole apparatus and insulated it to prevent another fiasco, but I wonder how many others never thought about theirs until they had their own geyser in the last couple days.

The point I am trying to make here, is I would like to see Artesia start to build homes, neighborhoods, and a future that meet a higher standard. The norm is to build “good enough” but let’s ask for better than that. Furthermore, the City of Champions ought to expect more from every facet of life here. You deserve homes built to last through the extremes. You deserve city planning and development that is focused on increasing safety, utility, and value. You deserve thoughtful and serious leaders who want Artesia to be the Jewel of the Pecos Valley, not just a town with a great football tradition. We can have all of this and more, but it will take the citizenry asking for it – demanding it even.

There are some builders who are building to a standard they set for themselves, not the “way we’ve always done it” standard. I work with one such builder Artistic Homes. Artistic is LEED certified builder and the one of the largest Solar Home builders in the country. LEED certification pertains to sustainable building practices and the energy efficiency of the structures. Artistic builds incredibly efficient homes that generate proven miniscule energy costs associated with living in them. A family of 7 I know personally live is an Artistic home and they have never had an electric bill over $75 in 3 years. Their home is over 2000 sq. ft. and they keep it nice and cool in the summer.

Artistic Homes owner Tom Wade told me recently that he loves to build in Artesia, but is surprised that the idea of a “zero energy” solar home has not taken hold here yet. According to Wade, we live in an area akin to the Middle-East and the Sahara in Africa in terms of solar energy potential. A “zero-energy” home uses PV solar and Solar Thermal panels to achieve a net zero energy cost over the course of a year. This is not “off grid” living. You still have Xcel electricity from the grid, but the meter stops turning when your PV panels are powering the home. Thermal solar is a system for making your hot water from the sun with an electric backup system for cloudy days. We have so much sun here, why not use it?

This is one option for those wanting to build in and around Artesia, but there are many. Artistic builds homes with an eye toward the future when energy might not be so easily obtained. If you’re looking for a builder who strives to achieve a standard they have set for themselves as opposed to “good enough” call me and let me introduce you to Tom Wade and his company. Our customers who have already done so will tell you how happy they are with their Artistic Home.

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