All Blog Posts (900)

So many homes have fiberglass insulation that is poorly installed in New Hampshire and elsewhere

Doing testing of existing homes it is typical to see mottled patterns of surface temperatures with the FLIR Infrared Thermal Imager during Blower Door Testing.  

Part of the problem is air sealing and the other part of the problem is poorly installed fiberglass insulation.

This is not a rant against fiberglass insulation (I am a fan of both Rock Wool/Roxul and dense packed cellulose) for retrofit projects.  Fiberglass batt or blown insulation can perform fine, if it is…

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Added by TJ Alexander on June 12, 2014 at 1:31pm — No Comments

1825 Home Becomes an Energy Efficiency Role Model - Remodeling Magazine

Recently, Jodi and I sat down with freelance journalist, Scott Sowers, to discuss the design challenges of the Historic Molette House in Molettes Bend, Alabama. Below is…

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Added by Chris Laumer-Giddens on June 11, 2014 at 4:58am — 13 Comments

Top 5 A/C Code Requirements not Enforced

  This list does not represent the entire code, or even all municipalities.  Everyone knows those towns that will hit you on every piece of the local code requirements, word for word from the text.  But, don't be surprised when code officials, both building and mechanical inspectors, start failing permit inspections for these previously rarely enforced portions of the code!  Are you going to wait until enforcement, or lead the industry in doing what the minimum is required by…

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Added by Christopher Morin on June 5, 2014 at 5:34pm — 8 Comments

Despite record breaking cold winter our MI GreenStar Certified home saved 50% Energy!

Despite the extreme record breaking cold this winter, we still saved nearly 50% energy compared to the home prior to the remodel and about the same compared to conventional homes in West Michigan.…
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Added by Brett Little on May 31, 2014 at 5:30pm — 14 Comments

What Ballerinas and EPros Have in Common...

I'm pretty new to this whole industry... And by new I mean that the jumble of acronyms and terminology are still enough to leave me a bit dazed when some well meaning individual spurts off several in one sentence.  

Home efficiency is not a field I ever could have imagined being involved in.  By training, I'm an a ballerina.  I've danced since I was three, trained in NYC, graduated from a conservatory... the works. And yet here…

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Added by Hannah Finch on May 29, 2014 at 12:17pm — 5 Comments

Why is a BPI Building Analyst training an asset?

In order to answer this, let’s have a short recap on what BPI stands for. The Building Performance Institute, or BPI, is an organism certifying energy efficiency efforts or energy audits in a house. For any individual working in this field, a BPI training and thus certification is a proof that knowledge and… Continue

Added by Thomas Renaud on May 28, 2014 at 10:00am — No Comments

'Oh Wow' Tech and Trends from Energy Efficiency Insiders at Washington, D.C. Gathering

Brainy light bulbs. Refrigerators that heat dishwasher water. Elevators that use no more energy than toasters. These are just a few of the “Oh Wow’ topics last week at the annual EE Global conference.

But it was growth in cities – and their buildings – that was clearly on the minds of industry leaders, 500 in total who gathered at the Washington, D.C. event, sponsored by the Alliance to Save Energy.

The US spends $432 billion per year on energy for buildings –…

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Added by Elisa Wood on May 27, 2014 at 3:39pm — No Comments

Residential Green Valuation Tools

Ever wonder how appraisers develop value of houses with green or energy efficient features?  Residential Green Valuation Tools was published last month by the Appraisal Institute.  The 189-page book has 13 chapters that address the most often asked questions about the valuation process and green building.  As the author of the book, I found the challenge of writing this book a great learning and…

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Added by Sandra K. Adomatis, SRA on May 26, 2014 at 6:30am — 2 Comments

When Green is Not Healthy

There are growing numbers of “green” builders and designers. Their focus is often on issues surrounding the health of the planet, sustainability, recycling, energy-saving, etc.

Some are also interested in the health of the occupants, but others don’t place as much emphasis on indoor air quality as they should, and many aren’t familiar with the needs of the growing population of chemically-sensitive people.

It is actually quite easy to claim that a building material is green.…

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Added by Allen Rathey on May 21, 2014 at 3:05pm — No Comments

Energy Upgrade California—Up Close and Personal Part 3

Here is the latest from the 10 Maple Lane Retrofit Project.

Met with Bill Stewart on Monday and signed an agreement for:

  • Wall insulation
  • Vapor barrier on crawlspace floor
  • Duct repair and some air sealing

I also asked them to move the filter to the return grill so…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on May 21, 2014 at 2:54pm — 7 Comments

Solar, Wind, or Water?

When comparing renewable energy sources to fossil-fuel energy, there is little competition; renewable energy will win. In the quest for an alternative energy source, water, wind and solar power emerge as the top choices. However, the competition between the three is stiff. With this being the case, which one is the best?

Solar 

With solar power, the sun’s energy is used to generate electricity or heat. Once captured,…

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Added by Lennox on May 21, 2014 at 12:37pm — No Comments

Hitting the Sweet Spot - The Intersection of Energy Efficiency, Home Performance and Health

Greetings:

This is my first post, so please forgive the lengthy background. Thanks for allowing my participation. 

I operate the Healthy House Institute (HHI) and the Healthy Facilities Institute but entered green, healthy home education through the "backdoor" of facility cleaning.

Having cleaned buildings (or supervised cleaning)…

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Added by Allen Rathey on May 20, 2014 at 4:52pm — No Comments

DIY Minisplits: Which side are you on?

 Recently, Friedrich has modeled and sold in limited markets their DIY Mini-Split Heat Pump, Breeze.  Just a few days ago, they scaled back their rollout in order to meet customer demand by limiting sales to New York and South Florida.  I am torn between…

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Added by Christopher Morin on May 17, 2014 at 6:51pm — 7 Comments

Interview with Van Jones: Rebuilding the Dream in Detroit, Part 3

[This is the third in a three-part inteview with Van Jones, who delivered the keynote address in Detroit, Mich., on April 30, 2014, to attendees of the ACI National Home Performance Conference.  The full interview is posted in three consecutive blogs.…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on May 15, 2014 at 2:48pm — No Comments

Making Homes Cozier With a House Party

This week, Elevate Energy read two great accounts of how friends and neighbors came together to learn how to make their own homes cozier and more energy efficient. Thanks for sharing!

This homeowner wanted to improve her “leaky old ship” of a home and discovered an energy loss culprit.

Keri…

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Added by Melissa Ulbricht on May 15, 2014 at 8:32am — No Comments

Interview with Van Jones: Rebuilding the Dream in Detroit, Part 2

[This is the second in a three-part inteview with Van Jones, who delivered the keynote address in Detroit, Mich., on April 30, 2014, to attendees of the ACI National Home Performance Conference.  The full interview is posted in three consecutive blogs. …

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on May 14, 2014 at 2:11pm — No Comments

Interview with Van Jones: Rebuilding the Dream in Detroit, Part 1

Van Jones delivered the opening plenary keynote speech for ACI's 2014 National Home Performance Conference in Detroit last week.  I've been aware of Van's work since he started the Green Collar Job Corps program at the Ella Baker Center in Oakland, Calif., back in 2007.  Van was the main advocate for the Green Jobs Act that was signed into law by Pres. George W. Bush in that year. 

Under the Obama…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on May 13, 2014 at 2:46pm — 1 Comment

Everyone Knows You Except for Your Electric Utility

Netflix, you were right. I liked Downton Abbey. And thanks, Amazon I do want to read Michael Lewis’ new book. I still can’t figure out how Google knows I have a new dog.

Even if at times it feels a bit eerie, such ‘consumer-of-one’ marketing is a convenience many of us have come to appreciate. And it’s an approach now embraced by most major retailers.

The exception? You’ve guessed it: the ever-old fashioned electric utility.

But…

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Added by Elisa Wood on May 10, 2014 at 1:19am — 2 Comments

I survived my first ACI

I did it. I survived my first conference in this industry, the 2014 ACI National Home Performance conference in Detroit.



When I joined The Energy Conservatory in June 2013 I was brand new to this industry. Before TEC I didn’t even know this industry existed, let alone what a blower door was. To help me learn all of this building science geekiness I decided to take BPI’s Building Science Principles course and exam. I read the book twice, and then took the exam, which I passed! I…

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Added by Kim Tanner on May 9, 2014 at 9:30am — No Comments

The SmartGauge Revolution

Detroit, ACI 2014

Chances are you were at the ASHRAE 62.2 debate, if you were at ACI last Thursday morning. While you were venting about exhaust or listening to Dr Joe drop F-bombs there was a quiet revolution taking place in room 330.

The WiFi revolution.

Retrotec and The Energy Conservatory - the two giants of pressure diagnostic tools- collaborated to show us the future. A future…

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Added by j. west on May 9, 2014 at 8:18am — No Comments

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