All Blog Posts (952)

Spooky Photo from the Field

Interesting Find During an Energy Audit

Working as Building Analysts doing Home Performance, we often make interesting discoveries. Some days in the field, you come across…

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Added by Peter Van Buren on July 20, 2012 at 1:17pm — No Comments

I Confess the Need for Building Standards and Worker Training

I was discussing an upcoming article with my colleagues at Home Energy magazine about the Standard Work Specifications (SWS) being developed by DOE for single home, multifamily, and manufactured housing retrofits, and it brought to mind an experience I had as teenager, the need for confession, and the importance of standards.

Here is my confession:

When I was in high school I worked after school and summers doing building maintenance at a local elementary school. (Brag…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on July 19, 2012 at 1:00pm — No Comments

The Unavoidable Future—Q&A with Cyro Boccuzzi

This past week, I had the opportunity to pick the brain of Cyro Boccuzzi, IEEE senior member and executive vice president at Brazil-based Enersul, as well as a smart grid technologies expert. Not only did he have insight into smart grid technology and trends, but he also says smart grids are the unavoidable wave of the future.  …

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Added by Macie Melendez on July 17, 2012 at 2:28pm — No Comments

Triple Evacuation vs. Deep Vacuum Method

Deep Vacuum Chart; Carrier…

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Added by Christopher Morin on July 12, 2012 at 11:36am — 1 Comment

Efficiency in Action, Does it Get Any Better Than This?

Owner Tony Malkin worked with experts from organizations ranging from Johnson Controls to Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) to develop a retrofit that would save 38 percent of the building's energy and $4.4 million each year. Oh -- and add about 250 jobs as well.

The building's retrofit was a grand experiment, really. RMI describes Malkin as saying, "We knew that by retrofitting the Empire State Building, we would catch the world's attention. Through this project, we set out to prove or…

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Added by Jim Peck on July 11, 2012 at 10:30am — 2 Comments

The "Snackwell Effect" Revisited

(I posted this blog to the KQED Quest site a few years ago, but a recent discussion begun by Tom Delconte in the General Forum has raised the issue again. Hope to—paraphrasing Evan Mills in his response to Tom—make a mountain into the molehill it really is.)

Recent articles in USA Today and California's Flex Your Power e-Newswire discussed the phenomenon known in energy efficiency circles as "take back" or the "Snackwell Effect" (see "…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on July 11, 2012 at 10:30am — No Comments

Big Oil Propaganda

I'm sure most of you have seen the commercials by US petroleum companies extolling the virtues of coal and natural gas. Did you notice that those ads only run on major news organizations TV and radio stations. Why is that?

It didn't really strike me until the recent record breaking heat waves across the US. I found it so odd that weather people don't even mention global warming despite the obvious…

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Added by Joseph Novella on July 10, 2012 at 4:30pm — 1 Comment

Look Before You Leap: Being a Desk Jockey Can Help You Do an Energy Audit

Reposted from i.e., the Center for Energy and Environment's Innovation Exchange blog -- http://mncee.org/Innovation-Exchange/ie/

Typically, an energy auditor knows very little about the house she is visiting until she actually arrives at the house. In a previous i.e. post,…

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Added by Lester Shen on July 9, 2012 at 7:30am — 3 Comments

Joliet couple first in county to get energy conservation home certification

The following post was written by Julie Johnson with Journatic News Service.  The original publishing of the story can be read here

(Office of Will County Executive Larry Walsh,…

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Added by Andrew Navolio on July 6, 2012 at 10:00am — 3 Comments

4 Things to Check Before Installing a New, High Efficient Heating System.

I had just completed a home energy audit and learned that insulation levels and air sealing measures were up-to-speed. After crawling into the attic, performing a duct blaster, checking the temperature of the hot water, and a bunch of other things, I had come to the educated conclusion that this home’s best chance for improved energy efficiency and lower energy bills while heating the house would include replacing the heating source.

The 80% gas furnace is in the garage right next to…

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Added by Don Ames on July 4, 2012 at 10:38pm — 7 Comments

Women in Energy: Research and Engineering

We're writing a series on women who work in the energy field and thought home energy professionals would be interested to hear their perspective.

Reposted from i.e., the Center for Energy and Environment's Innovation Exchange blog -- http://mncee.org/Innovation-Exchange/ie/

Center for Energy and Environment focuses our research and programs on Minnesota buildings and homes, but …

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Added by Anna Jursik on July 3, 2012 at 9:28am — No Comments

Editorial: Why Japan's Electricity Crisis Matters

You may not read about it on the front page of the newspapers, but Japan is undergoing a second electricity crisis. The first took place last spring and summer after the Fukushima earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent meltdown of multiple nuclear power plants. That power crisis mostly affected Tokyo and northern Japan. This second crisis affects all of Japan, and it has implications for the United States (and the world) at many different levels.

From an energy perspective, Japan is (at…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on July 3, 2012 at 8:00am — 2 Comments

Honeywell vs. Nest, the Saga Continues

Add: 7/2 finally, an unbiased review of Nest: http://o.canada.com/2012/06/26/nest-learning-thermostat-review/   (it doesn't work)

Thermostats: hysteria or hysteresis?

Despite all of the…

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Added by Tom DelConte on July 3, 2012 at 8:00am — No Comments

Got the summertime smarmies?

Too Much Humidity

  • Your skin often feels clammy, sweaty or sticky.
  • Musty-smelling odors are invading your living space.
  • Wood floors, trim or wood furniture is warping or rotting, paint is peeling.
  • Condensation, frost or ice have formed on the inside surface of your windows. Water pipes are "sweating".
  • Damp spots, or worse, mold and mildew, have formed on ceilings or walls.
  • Your allergies or asthma have gotten worse due to the…
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Added by Tom DelConte on July 3, 2012 at 5:30am — 1 Comment

Visually Inspect Your Home For Energy Saving Gold

Whether you are a “do-it-yourself” home energy auditor or a seasoned professional, learning about a home from an initial visual inspection is an important tool during an energy audit of home which can highlight energy saving opportunities. The visual inspection is the first indication…

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Added by Don Ames on July 2, 2012 at 3:47pm — 1 Comment

Century Club Contractor Spotlight: Todd Russo, REEIS

The fourth in our series of spotlighted Century Club contractors is Todd Russo, President of REEIS, a retrofit company with offices in both Arizona and California. Working with the Foundation for Senior Living and the Arizona Public Service Department, REEIS earned the Century Club Award for 2011 by completing energy efficiency improvements to 854 homes. Here's how they did it.…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on June 29, 2012 at 9:27am — No Comments

Century Club Contractor Spotlight: Hal Smith, Home Energy Performance By Halco

In 2011, Halco earned DOE and EPA's Century Club Award by improving the energy efficiency of 278 homes, more than doubling their Home Performance with Energy Star work in 2010, which was 121 homes. Working with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) program, Halco was not just able to improve energy efficiency in the area, but they did so with…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on June 28, 2012 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Century Club Contractor Spotlight: Fred Hutchinson, Hutchinson Plumbing Heating Cooling

Another Century Club Award-winner this year is Hutchinson Plumbing Heating Cooling. Working with the New Jersey State's Clean Energy Program, Hutchinson completed 431 jobs in 2011 that improved the energy efficiency of homes through the Home Performance with Energy Star Program. We had a chance to talk about this year's success with owner Fred Hutchinson. Here's his business profile and thoughts on the future.…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on June 27, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments

There's an App For That!

Reposted from i.e., the Center for Energy and Environment's Innovation Exchange blog -- http://mncee.org/Innovation-Exchange/ie/

Like many other energy audit programs, CEE has begun to integrate smart phones and tablets into home energy audits. These devices will soon be essential pieces of the home energy auditor's tool kit. Their advantages include data collection and…

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Added by Lester Shen on June 27, 2012 at 9:16am — No Comments

Duct Gains: Why do we hate R-8?

Ever since the adoption of the 2009 International Residential Energy Conservation Code (IECC), duct sealing efforts have been tested using the total leakage or leakage to outdoors methods.  It really is amazing how much duct gains effect the operation of your equipment and the comfort of your customer.  The missing part of "duct testing" appears to be how well the ducts are insulated.  Sure, you are required to use R-8 insulation on supply ductwork when located outside the building envelope,…

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Added by Christopher Morin on June 26, 2012 at 1:13pm — 1 Comment

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