All Blog Posts (1,313)

5 Things New Energy Efficiency HVAC Contractors Need to Know

1. Do not sell on Price! Use 'Simple Payback'

The price of High-efficient equipment will undoubtedly cost more money up front, compared to the minimum efficiency systems. Taking into account existing repair bills, utility bills, installation, and equipment costs, a high-efficient furnace, boiler, or heat pump will cost the homeowner less over the estimated 10-15 years of operation. When completing the 'Simple Payback' calculation, the high-efficient heating system in New England will… Continue

Added by Christopher Morin on April 15, 2014 at 5:56pm — 1 Comment

What You Need to Know Right Now About Chicago Energy Benchmarking

Own or manage a non-residential building over 250,000 square feet in Chicago?

Chicago energy benchmarking begins! We’ve got the basics to help building owners get started.

Professional and public interest groups from around Chicago, including Elevate Energy, have come together to support building owners and managers in energy benchmarking and efficiency improvement opportunities. You have access to:

  • Free resources and training. The…

Added by Melissa Ulbricht on April 10, 2014 at 8:00am — No Comments

Building America Webinar: Opportunities in Large Data Collection and Analysis - April 16, 2014 at 3pm ET/1pm MT/12pm PT

The Building America Program is hosting a no-cost, webinar-based training on needs and opportunities for large data collection for energy efficiency projects. The webinar will focus on specific Building America projects that are looking to gather and analyze large bodies of data on new and existing homes, and will feature opportunities for industry to collaborate with researchers to gather and analyze valuable data.

Presenters and specific topics for this webinar will…


Added by Stacy Hunt on April 9, 2014 at 11:47am — No Comments

A call to Builders and Architects: Does the Homeowner Know You’re a Blowerdoor Virgin?

When setting out to build an efficient house, the elephant in the room is air tightness. Industry is resisting mandated air tightness testing if thresholds are introduced meanwhile building codes are ratcheting up efficiency on all fronts except air tightness. Having debunked the myth that “a house needs to breath” its becoming painfully obvious to any building scientist that the lowest hanging fruit on the efficiency tree isn’t geothermal but simply producing a more air tight…


Added by Greg Labbe on April 9, 2014 at 5:30am — No Comments

Energy Upgrade California—Up Close and Personal

Our furnace is approaching 25 years old and we have no cooling capabilities, so my wife Michele and I are looking into buying some new equipment before the temperature climbs this summer. I am especially interested in installing a mini-split heat pump, which would allow us to get rid of the ductwork and…


Added by Jim Gunshinan on April 7, 2014 at 2:00pm — 13 Comments

"Practical Standards to Measure HVAC System Performance" Rob "Doc" Falke 04/17/2006

Air Conditioning can be 44% of residential peak electrical load in California. It makes sense to understand how to get true performance. Rob "Doc" Falke is outstanding and leads us in most high performance . …


Added by Mike Muras on April 4, 2014 at 5:10am — No Comments

Could a Certificate Motivate Homeowners to Invest in Efficiency?

80 percent of Minneapolis’s housing stock was built before World War II, but 40 percent of these homes have never upgraded their wall insulation. After investigating barriers to completing efficiency projects, CEE’s latest report, Energy Fit Homes, proposes awarding a certificate to homes that achieve basic efficiency standards.

Existing homes need…


Added by Anna Jursik on April 2, 2014 at 7:41am — 1 Comment

ASHRAE Auditor


I am looking to team up with an ASHRAE certified auditor on a professional basis.

I am offering Commercial Energy Efficiency solutions under the CA PACE program, for which an ASHRAE audit is required to access PACE funds. 

I will prefer to work with an associate in the San Francisco Bay Area

On your interest we can exchange more information. Thank-you for your consideration. 

Added by Bijou Lulla on April 1, 2014 at 12:53pm — No Comments

One of the Best Troubleshooting Instruments

One of the best troubleshooting instruments is our mind. Our brains are amazing "problem solvers". Selling the "fix" to our customers is another story...

Added by Mike Muras on April 1, 2014 at 10:04am — No Comments

Who reads the manual? Hiss and Poop are abnormal Phenomenon

I had no idea heat pumps were such poop and kak generators.

Added by Shawna Henderson on April 1, 2014 at 9:56am — 2 Comments

Microgrid for Neighborhoods: How Soon?

Microgrids may be the future of the North American electric grid, but when will that future arrive – especially for the homeowner? A team led by Ontario utility PowerStream is trying to find out with a new test project.

“A lot of the microgrid projects that you read about are typically large projects, hundreds of kilowatts, megawatts, running a whole university, a whole hospital, a whole military base,” said Mario Bottero, co-founder and president…


Added by Elisa Wood on March 29, 2014 at 6:30pm — 1 Comment

Workforce Development

My skills are developed in many positive ways which are impacted and guided by 's  excellent Workforce Development. As I work through projects, I am completing them with much improved energy efficiency and quality for my customers. I have more knowledge and I understand more of what's around me. This makes me feel good. Thank you  .

Added by Mike Muras on March 28, 2014 at 6:38am — No Comments

We're Not Paying Enough Attention to Kitchen Ventilation

Exposure to kitchen pollutants is a significant and overlooked health hazard in homes. The home performance industry pays great attention to protecting against exposures to combustion pollutants from water heaters and furnaces, but very little attention to an unvented combustion device that is used nearly every day: the…


Added by Chris Stratton on March 27, 2014 at 4:00pm — 4 Comments

ARRA Keeps Working for You

Almost two years ago I posted a blog about the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA); ARRA, or the “Stimulus Bill”, has gotten pilloried in the media as a colossal failure and waste of taxpayer dollars. But if you would take the time to do a little research, you would see that most of the coverage has been far from the truth.

Because of ARRA’s support for DOE’s Weatherization…


Added by Jim Gunshinan on March 21, 2014 at 3:30pm — 13 Comments

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Releases Sponsor Guide and Reference Manual v1.5

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Sponsor Guide and Reference Manual (v1.5) (Sponsor Guide), a technical operations guide for the national Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program.

First conceptually introduced at the 2012 ACI National Home Performance conference in Baltimore, Md., the Sponsor Guide is the result of more than…


Added by Cortney Krauss on March 19, 2014 at 10:55am — No Comments

Passive House Delivers 80% Energy Reduction in a 90-year-old House in Santa Cruz

After years of telling friends, "When we remodel our house to Passive House standards we will use 80% less energy than similar homes in the area," and crossing our fingers that the data proved out, we are delighted to share with you our first year's energy data for living in Midori Haus.  

What is Midori Haus?  The name simply means "green house" since Midori is the Japanese word for green and Haus is the German spelling for house.  The house was originally built in 1922, a…


Added by Chie Kawahara on March 18, 2014 at 12:07pm — 6 Comments

The Passive House Revolution

An email came from Faith Morgan with a link to a documentary film called “Passive House Revolution,” produced by the Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions in Yellow Springs, Ohio. It was a busy day, but I thought I could use a break from words, so I left the stack of unopened emails for a while and watched the film. I’m glad that I did.…


Added by Jim Gunshinan on March 14, 2014 at 4:02pm — 13 Comments

Solar Loans - what is the tipping point?

There is a lot of news flow on investor interest on raising funds for solar loans, but not much attention has been paid to - what constitutes an ‘attractive interest rate’ to make homeowners ‘jump’ to make that solar investment.

Supply Side First

Lets focus on the resource side; the benchmark for raising ‘low cost’ institutional funds lies will be SolarCity’s…


Added by Bijou Lulla on March 13, 2014 at 6:34pm — 6 Comments

More Proof that Weatherization Works—To Increase Kid's Health

Weatherization is about more than just energy efficiency. It has always been about the health and comfort of the weatherized home’s occupants as well. For a long time these benefits of weatherization have been called “non-energy benefits.” But the health effects of weatherization have now taken pride of place alongside energy benefits. Now there is new research showing increased health and well being among families whose homes have been weatherized. A recent Home Energy article—available…


Added by Jim Gunshinan on March 13, 2014 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Top 7 Worst Crawl Space Repairs

Many homeowners searching the internet for crawlspace repair information end up in home repair forums. While there is some good information out there, there are many examples of bad and outdated advice related to repairing crawlspaces. I have witnessed firsthand the results of unprofessional crawlspace repair and would like to set the record straight on what I consider to be the worst 5 crawlspace repairs I've seen.

1. Adding more foundation vents…


Added by Larry Ralph Jr on March 10, 2014 at 6:54pm — 20 Comments

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