All Blog Posts (1,361)

We're Too Serious

While preparing for Home Energy’s 30th anniversary, we leafed through some of the earliest issues. Today’s issues are slick compared to those early years. It was amateur hour then because an untrained staff researched and wrote articles, prepared artwork, edited, typeset, proofed, and much more. Still, the topics have not changed much and—sadly—some of the editorials from the 1980s…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on November 5, 2013 at 10:00am — No Comments

Capturing the Value of Green - Step by Step

Don't miss this FREE Event open to the public that includes the step by step process for gaining more value for homes with green and energy efficient features.  December 2, 5:30 - 7:30, DIRTT Environmental Solutions, 836 E University, Phoenix, AZ 85034

Featured Speakers - Sandra Adomatis, Adomatis Appraisal Service, Punta Gorda, Florida; Chriss Wass, Firefly Living; & Matt Thorne, Nova Home Loans.  

Food & Drinks will be served. 

To…

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Added by Jan Green on November 5, 2013 at 9:44am — No Comments

2 Day Green Certified Course for Appraisers in Phoenix

First 25 will be refunded the $75 Fee for this 2 day course, includes:

Introduction to Green Building & Case Studies in Green Residential Buildings.  

12/3 - 4, 8 - 5, Phoenix Business & Workforce Development Center, 302 N First Ave, 6th Floor, Phoenix, 85003.

Courses will be taught by Sandy Adomatis, Adomatis Appraisal Service, Punta Gorda, Florida; Vice Chair for Education for the Appraisal Institute. 

To Register:  …

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Added by Jan Green on November 5, 2013 at 9:40am — No Comments

Electric Thermal Storage vs. Heat Pump Water Heaters

Contributing Author: Ben Schoenbauer 



Which residential water heating technology is best for meeting electricity savings goals? It will depend if the goal is reducing total consumption or lowering peak demand



In Minnesota,…

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Added by Anna Jursik on November 5, 2013 at 8:40am — 39 Comments

Check out the latest "Housing and Home Environment News"

Home Energy authors and Cornell College of Human Ecology professors Joe Laquatra and Mark Pierce and colleagues provide important information for anyone interested in energy efficient and healthy homes. In this issue they cover the presence of dangerous levels of radon in natural gas extracted through…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on November 4, 2013 at 3:30pm — 3 Comments

Carbon Monoxide (CO): Weapon of Mass Destruction

There is nothing more frustrating to me than seeing needless deaths, particularly in America.  I thought I saw my share chasing down WMD's that were never found in the Middle East.  Does it sound that outrageous to put Carbon Monoxide in the same class as these?  Think about it: a Colorless, Odorless Gas that poisons it's targets by being inhaled.  The only thing a ruthless Dictator is missing is a way to weaponize this.  Based on…

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Added by Christopher Morin on November 1, 2013 at 6:05pm — No Comments

Intelligence, Connectivity, Efficiency – the new ICE Age in Energy Management!

Energy is needed everywhere – be it industry, agriculture, homes, buildings, infrastructure or services. Even as we grapple with the twin-headed monster of rising energy demand and ravaging carbon emission, we are only left with Hobson’s choice – the need to manage energy efficiently.

 …

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Added by Eshwar Parasuraman on October 29, 2013 at 11:21pm — No Comments

High Efficiency Should Be a Drain: A Closer Look at Condensing Boilers

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

The market share of condensing boilers, sometimes called high efficiency boilers, has increased dramatically over the last several years, thanks in part to utility programs that provide rebates. Unfortunately, many of these newly installed condensing boilers…

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Added by Lester Shen on October 29, 2013 at 12:30pm — 5 Comments

Tucking a garage under the second floor is a common practice, but is it a GOOD one?

As the price of land edges up, the practice of tucking a garage under the second floor of a house is common practice, but is it good practice? The bedroom above the garage has earned the moniker of “The Bonus Room” as it tends to be the most troublesome room in the house with the most comfort complaints from home owners.

 …

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Added by Greg Labbe on October 28, 2013 at 3:30pm — 3 Comments

Spot the Design Weakness - For Northern Climates

If we had a dime for each weak building assembly detail we saw, we’d be rich. In our 14 years of diagnosing comfort problems for clients; the exposed floor ranks as one of the most stark discomfort features of a home, new or old.

Walking home from the coffee shop Sunday and came across the feature below. Have a look at the photo and see how many design errors you can pick out:…

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Added by Greg Labbe on October 22, 2013 at 7:49pm — 11 Comments

Green Stamps - Real Estate Investor Sells "Green-and-Flips" for More

Real estate investor Kassi Pelley had bought and sold a number of “fix-and-flip” homes in metro Denver when she fell down the rabbit hole of green building and certifications.  She’s gotten a price bump – the “green premium” – on every home she’s upgraded and certified since, and she hasn’t…

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Added by Melissa Baldridge on October 16, 2013 at 3:00pm — 5 Comments

Why I refuse to participate in Energy Upgrade California

When I first heard of Energy Upgrade California I was excited. Energy upgrade packages for existing homes with rebates sounded awesome. I attended the ACI conference in LA which was the kick off. The event was interesting as we heard from program developers of how the program would be initiated. I also attended some orientation sessions at the CCSE. I liked what I heard. As my business is primarily residential repairs and upgrades I thought this would be a perfect fit.

What I have…

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Added by Glen Gallo on October 10, 2013 at 11:59pm — 4 Comments

This is the Future

Last week an opening ceremony kicked off the Solar Decathlon in sunny Irvine, California. While the crowd listened to the major sponsors of the event welcome us, we heard excitement and anticipation in their voices. After all, this has been an event two years in the making.

Usually held in Washington, D.C., the mayor of Irvine, Steven Choi, was proud to welcome this international event to his home. “Even though the federal government is shut…

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Added by Macie Melendez on October 10, 2013 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment

Leading from Within

When I was still active as a minister in the Catholic Church, I did not enjoy very much presiding at weddings. I had an inkling of the reason at the time, but now I can admit clearly that I was jealous. I didn’t want to bless someone else’s sacramental union as much as I wanted to be in a sacramental union.

I had another, similar insight while participating in an Emerge workshop last weekend. Emerge is a leadership program…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on October 10, 2013 at 3:30pm — 2 Comments

H.O. Electric, Best of Belmont 2013 - Air Conditioning

The Belmont Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses that serve their local market. Each year, we identify companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.…

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Added by H.O. Electric on October 8, 2013 at 10:36am — No Comments

Quickest way to Field-check you Model 3 Flow Sensor!

I think the question I get asked the most is, well I dunno know, it happens a lot, enough that I would remark on it – a lot of people come up to me and they say “How do I know if my flow sensor is positioned within spec?“

My answer’s always the same, I say: “Listen. Luckily we don’t have to go all the way back to the Civil War to answer this…” ¹

The truth is, most never check, but here’s a quick easy way to ensure your Minneapolis fan’s flow sensor’s positioned properly in the…

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Added by Greg Labbe on September 30, 2013 at 7:59am — No Comments

Check the Flue?

Seems pretty elementary doesn't it?  What should be a simple safety check on fossil fuel burning appliances, particularly for boilers with regards to ease of inspection, often is assumed with complacency or even goes unchecked.  I know everyone's maintenance schedule is packing up in the Northeast…

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Added by Christopher Morin on September 24, 2013 at 6:11pm — 2 Comments

The little known check every auditor should be doing in every home.

HVAC guys (hopefully) know the importance of measuring static pressure, but what about energy auditors? All auditors should be measuring static pressure because it tells us how well the air is moving through the ductwork under operating conditions, not under 50 Pa of blower door pressure.  

A high static pressure means there are restrictions on your supply ducts (the ones pushing air out and cooling your home) or that there too many restrictions on…

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Added by David Byrnes on September 24, 2013 at 1:30pm — 3 Comments

Do We Give People Energy or Help Them to Save It?

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) was budgeted $2.5-billion by Congress in 2013. The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) was allowed $68-million. Does anyone see a contradiction here?

LIHEAP provides, primarily, emergency help for households who can’t afford to heat their homes in the winter or cool their homes in the summer. It saves the health and sometimes the lives of vulnerable people. It’s a great program. But it is designed to provide help during…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on September 23, 2013 at 3:28pm — 6 Comments

About Fry Bread and Hope for a Greener Planet

Last evening my wife Michele and I walked a few blocks from the hotel in Phoenix where the National Association of State Community Services Programs (NASCSP) is holding it’s Annual Training Conference, to an Open Market. There were a circle of food trucks and tables offering fresh locally grown fruit and vegetables…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on September 12, 2013 at 11:50am — No Comments

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