January 2014 Blog Posts (12)

Let's Hear It for People Who Sweat and Get Dirty!



I worked as a janitor at St. Camillus elementary school after school and in the summers when I was in high school. I enjoyed the camaraderie with the other high school kids I worked with, and the crusty Dutch man who was our boss. We cleaned every afternoon in the school year and on weekends, and then painted, cut the grass, and did maintenance on the heating system and other equipment in the summer. We took pride in our work, but we also had fun—once in a while playing a game…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on January 30, 2014 at 2:20pm — 12 Comments

Claim Tax Credits for Home Energy Efficiency Improvements Done in 2013

If you completed certain eligible energy efficiency improvements last year, you may qualify for credit when you file your 2013 taxes this year.

Remember, though, improvements must have been installed in 2013, not just purchased, and generally, claims can only be made on your primary residence.

Eligible measures may include doors, windows, and…

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Added by Melissa Ulbricht on January 23, 2014 at 11:04am — No Comments

Is the Nest Learning Thermostat Disruptive Technology?

There’s my thermostat now, a squared-off plain looking fellow named White Rogers. He hangs over my shoulder and mocks me three or four times a day for not being smart enough, or responsible enough, to program him. "Hey! I’m BUSY HERE, TRYING TO TRANSFORM THE MARKET FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY, and you, Mr. White Rogers, are a daily pain in my side. I can’t read you. You don’t even know what time it is, but I do, it's time you get dumped! I’m going over to the Apple store to pick up my own personal…

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Added by Brian Brainerd on January 22, 2014 at 9:21am — 6 Comments

Apply Now to Serve on a Multifamily Certification Scheme Committee

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is currently seeking enthusiastic multifamily industry practitioners with the experience and vision to help define and promote advanced professional certifications for Multifamily Quality Control Inspectors and Multifamily Retrofit Project Managers in the home performance industry.

Individuals who are interested in serving on a multifamily certification scheme committee are invited to submit their credentials via an …

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Added by Steve Lommele on January 17, 2014 at 2:00pm — No Comments

New RESNET Requirements

On December 4, 2013, the RESNET Board adopted several proposed amendments that went into effect on January 4, 2014. These amendments changed the requirements for becoming a certified RESNET HERS Rater. Old requirements for becoming a Rater included passing the National Rater Core Exam, completing two probationary ratings during classroom training, and agreeing to the Quality Assurance (QA) Process with a Quality Assurance Provider, a process that includes completing three probationary…

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Added by Everblue on January 14, 2014 at 12:30am — No Comments

The Basics: Superheat

Vital to the operation of the refrigeration cycle, superheat must be maintained and stable to protect the compressor.  We all know that the heart of the system cannot compress liquid (slug) without bad things happening.  This would represent low/no superheat.  But, did you know high superheat can cause valve and compressor problems as well?  No matter the reason for attaching your gauges to the system, you must check the superheat, in the air-conditioning cycle.…

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Added by Christopher Morin on January 10, 2014 at 12:03pm — 3 Comments

Getting Out the Message on Home MPG

We've created a blog post at AlabamaWISE.com comparing home energy efficiency to auto energy efficiency over time, using photos to help people visualize the prevailing technology when homes were built: http://www.alabamawise.org/whats-your-home-mpg-rating/

Added by Brian Brainerd on January 8, 2014 at 3:48pm — 2 Comments

5 Ways the PowerSaver Grant is Changing Energy Efficient Remodeling

If you haven't heard of the PowerSaver Grant, you're in for a treat. This bonus to the FHA 203k renovation loan is meant to help home buyers - or homeowners who want to refinance and remodel - go green, save green and get green. Yes, the cliches flow freely, don't they? 

With the PowerSaver Grant,…

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Added by Dan Moyle on January 8, 2014 at 9:11am — 1 Comment

How Change Happens in Home Performance

I was reviewing an article in Home Energy by Steve Mann that came out in the January/February issue (“DOE’s Challenge Home,” p. 6). He wrote on the latest iteration of DOE’s Challenge Home Program. Steve points out, in his usual insightful and articulate way, what he sees as the strengths and weakness of this program. I hope you’ve read it, or will read it. Send us your comments by email, or on the Home Energy website.

Reading Steve’s article made me think, “Wow, do…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on January 6, 2014 at 3:00pm — 8 Comments

Ode to Efficiency

Ode to Efficiency

The cellulose was blown in the attic with care

In hopes a cold winter soon would be there

The leaks and the cracks and the holes are all foamed

Plugging up spaces…

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Added by Matthew Damon on January 2, 2014 at 10:31am — No Comments

Thirty Years of Waterbeds and Home Energy Magazine

The January/February 2014 issue of Home Energy magazine officially kicks off our 30th year in print. In commemoration of our 30 years we will be reprinting some of our earliest articles. We hope that these articles are both entertaining and informative.

This first…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on January 2, 2014 at 10:14am — 2 Comments

How Not to Handle PR For Your Energy Audit Company

I recently published an article on Green ID's home energy blog and in the DOE's Home Energy Pros on an energy efficiency product, giving a review of its effectiveness and ideal situations. The review was not a negative one but I did point out some weak areas of the product. The review made it on Home Energy Pros featured blogs and caught the eyes of the CEO of the product. He was obviously concerned about any negative press because he contacted me through…

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Added by David Byrnes on January 1, 2014 at 2:10pm — No Comments

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