All Blog Posts (1,380)

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 — 3 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

Is it Difficult to Find Energy Rebates & Incentives?

Nobody is going to just give you free money for helping their cause, right? Well, when it involves energy, there are ways for you to get some money back!

The Challenge

A little research online these days can go a long way, but many people don't make the time. To them I say, "don't be scared, Google, Bing or Yahoo! won't return results that say, 'no'". You can find anything online today with a little work; rebate and incentives you will find.…

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Added by King Rosales on May 8, 2014 at 9:27am — No Comments

Affordably Net-Zero

In addition to saving energy, net-zero technologies offer a plethora of health, safety, and environmental benefits; but achieving zero energy can be prohibitively expensive. In this interview, Lucas Alm and Dan Handeen…

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Added by Anna Jursik on May 8, 2014 at 8:00am — 5 Comments

Addressing Common Air Conditioning Problems

Searching for information regarding What are the most common problems of air conditioners would be something that you could do in order to limit the stress that you are under when faced with an air conditioner that is not performing as you would like it to.

Any person that lives in an area of the country where the weather is typically hot outside knows just how vital it…

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Added by Nancy shirley on May 7, 2014 at 4:06am — 1 Comment

New Air Tightness Record in Ontario (Dare I say Canada?)

It happened again yesterday: a new record (tell me if you know of a tighter house in Ontario if not Canada!) for air tightness was broken in Oakville by Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC) Ed Marion of Passive House Ontario.

And this was just a pre-drywall test, so it can only get better from here.…

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Added by Greg Labbe on May 6, 2014 at 1:51pm — 5 Comments

The House of Mystery

Sometimes we forget how complicated a house is. Building scientists know all about a house’s complexity because, even with help from supercomputers, they still can’t reliably simulate many of the processes taking place, let alone model the whole house. Perhaps the biggest challenge is that the darn thing can’t keep still. Cycles with different periods impose their wills on the structure and equipment in not entirely predictable ways. The seasons impose annual cycles for the sun and average…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on May 2, 2014 at 2:54pm — No Comments

ACI National Home Performance Conference 2014 Highlights

As usual, the ACI National Home Performance Conference contained too many highlights to mention in one blog post. So I will share just a few.

Got up early on Tuesday and went with Tom White, Home Energy Publisher, to a rehab house in a neighborhood of…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on May 2, 2014 at 2:00pm — 3 Comments

GeoSpring HPHWH from GE

Most homes in this area have a gas fired natural draft hot water heater. They come complete with a draft diverter.  The purpose of the draft diverter is to send the exhaust gasses (containing Carbon Monoxide, Sulphur Dioxide etc) into the home if the chimney or flue doesn't allow them to go up. Left is a picture of a properly installed heater with a draft diverter. Note the space between the tank and the flue. That is the design that allow the noxious gasses to back draft into the…

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Added by John Nicholas on May 1, 2014 at 6:58am — No Comments

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