All Blog Posts (897)

How to Talk to a Builder

Recently I was talking to one of our HERS raters who said that one of the reasons he prefers going after the existing home market is that he’s more comfortable talking with homeowners than with builders. He’s afraid that builders will see his lack of construction knowledge and send him packing.

What can you do to overcome this fear? Take heed of these points, and you’ll be fine:

  • Realize that you don’t need to know everything about building.
  • Let the builder know…
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Added by Allison A. Bailes III on January 20, 2011 at 7:07pm — 2 Comments

Energy Auditing Ourselves

A short while ago I was in a meeting that centered on creating a flexible winter weatherization plan that would have a wide degree of application.  While such plans are not uncommon in the least, I was surprised to hear that we, as inhabitants, came up as a serious aspect of energy inefficiency.

As someone who works with material and energy inefficiencies,…

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Added by Nathan Christensen on January 17, 2011 at 12:00pm — 5 Comments

Energy Efficiency and the Big Picture

I keep striving to see the Big Picture, which some consider a flaw, but while in that mode I chanced upon a book that may have given me a Glimpse.



I recommend reading, “The Plundered Planet: Why We Must—and How We Can—Manage Nature for Global Prosperity,” the latest work by Paul Collier. Collier is Professor of Economics at Oxford University, and a former director of Development Research at the World Bank. He demonstrates an understanding of how countries and economies work--and…

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Added by Gary Kahanak on January 16, 2011 at 7:00pm — 1 Comment

Goodbye to the Light Bulb We All Know and Love

You know which light bulb I mean. It’s the one you’ve burned your hands on when trying to unscrew it too soon after it’s been turned off. It’s the one you put in the lamp in your living room to read by in your comfortable chair; the one you use to light the stairways at night. It’s the 100-watt incandescent that uses… Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on January 14, 2011 at 11:00am — No Comments

Auditors Offering Contracting Services - Conflict of Interest?

This very question was recently posed in the BPI Group.  Is there a conflict of interest when an energy auditor also offers contracting or weatherization services to their clients?  At first glance, many would say that the easy answer is "yes". The common reasoning is that people will steer their clients towards the products they sell in order to make as much money as possible.  After all, that's what we are all in business for, isn't it?  The other answer was "it's just human…

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Added by Jon LaMonte on January 14, 2011 at 8:35am — 10 Comments

The Ultimate Lazy Gizmo - Radio Controlled Blinds

Don’t you just hate it when you have to wake up because of the blasted sunshine on your face? Not everyone is a morning person. Shutting out the light when you need a few more minutes of snoozing doesn’t have to be such a pain. Enter the ultimate lazy gizmo, radio controlled blinds.What’s that I hear? You don’t have the money to have these radio controlled blinds installed? Don’t be…

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Added by Andy Jones on January 12, 2011 at 8:00am — No Comments

A Game Changer for New Home Construction

Meritage homes, a big national production home builder, has announced its intention to only offer ultra energy efficient homes.  They will document this by using the HERS Index (Home Energy Rating System), which is currently used for ENERGY STAR qualified homes, and is a standard of the U. S. mortgage industry.  A home built to the current 2006 IECC energy code has a HERS Index of 100, and is considered the "reference" home for a given design.  To meet ENERGY STAR requirements in our climate…

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Added by Gary Kahanak on January 9, 2011 at 4:00pm — 1 Comment

Energy Efficiency Programs in Progress!

On Wednesday,  January 5, 2011 Home Energy Consultants attended a marketing training seminar in Fayetteville sponsored by Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) and presented by CLEAResults Consulting, which is implementing the SWEPCO Residential Solutions incentive program.  The training session was intended for any participating contractor of the SWEPCO program, including contractors for heating and air conditioning, insulation, duct sealing, air sealing and energy…

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Added by Gary Kahanak on January 7, 2011 at 4:30am — No Comments

The Coolest Trend in Home Improvement



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Added by David Allen on January 6, 2011 at 7:07pm — No Comments

Looking for Air Leakage Data

 

Thanks to all those who have contacted us!

 …

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Added by Wanyu Rengie Chan on January 5, 2011 at 2:00pm — No Comments

The Next Big Leap

“So what can we do to keep homes improving from an energy efficiency standpoint?”

For a long time, answers such as “improve insulation” or “designed better HVAC” systems would have likely been what first came to mind. However, with new building guidelines,…

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Added by Nathan Christensen on January 5, 2011 at 7:03am — 3 Comments

Boston-Cambridge Electrician Launches Information Resources On Electrical Home Safety.

Boston-Cambridge, MA – H.O. Electric today announced the launch of…

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Added by H.O. Electric on January 3, 2011 at 6:17am — No Comments

Indoor Air Quality and Energy Audits

Can you improve indoor air quality with an energy audit?  You bet.  Recently our company was asked to do some troubleshooting on a 50 year old home in Northwest Arkansas.  The occupant has environmental sensitivity and respiratory issues, and was having difficulties staying in her home due to her physical reactions and symptoms.  The homeowner suspected the culprit was cellulose fibers from attic insulation added several years previously.

 

We showed up with our diagnostic…

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Added by Gary Kahanak on January 3, 2011 at 4:30am — 3 Comments

Energy Audits--A Radio Interview

KUAF Radio of Fayetteville, AR interviewed Home Energy Consultants about energy audits in December 2010.  Listen.

Gary Kahanak, President of Home Energy Consultants, Inc., and a RESNET-certified Home Energy Rater, talks with Christina Thomas of KUAF

91.3 FM about the basics of a home energy audit.  Thomas did a fine job

with the interview, condensing a lot of material into a cohesive,

informative 7-minute audio…

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Added by Gary Kahanak on January 2, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments

My Friend the Smart Meter

I am an unabashed supporter of smart meters. While testifying about energy efficiency at the European parliament, I logged into my home’s smart meter (in California) and showed them my current energy use. The members of Parliament were so impressed—none of them had ever seen output from a smart meter—that I may have influenced energy efficiency legislation in Europe. I teach a course about energy efficiency at the University of California, Davis, and I make every… Continue

Added by Home Energy Magazine on January 1, 2011 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Have a Listen: "The Blower Door Man is Coming to Town" from the Energy Circle Lounge

This past weekend Martin Holladay posted a series of "Christmas Carols from the Energy Nerd," classic Christmas songs hilariously rewritten for building energy nerds like us... and probably you, too.

So one of our team members, Greg -- a man of great talent and true genius -- decided to put one of them to a tune.

Special thanks to Martin Holladay for permission to sing his song. In…

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Added by Peter Troast on December 23, 2010 at 9:44am — 7 Comments

When the Prognosis is Bad

While browsing the daily news on Geology.com, I was first startled and then delighted to

see an article on the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. As is the

general rule for government agencies, this one is known by its acronym: DNR.

Do Not Resucitate. After having been the caregiver to two parents--one of whom died

under conditions that were made bearable only by morphine provided by Hospice, and

the other of whom fought like Custer until the…

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Added by Ed Voytovich on December 21, 2010 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Getting Past the Cost Objection

It's amazing what excuses homeowners will come up with when it comes to avoiding spending money.  Even though I have found that most people in our field truly feel they are helping people, salesmanship (often uneasily) still comes into play based on homeowner perception of sales people (and based on all the BS that floats around out there do you blame them). Getting past objections can sometimes become an art form.

 

I recently performed a full energy audit on the home of a…

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Added by Jon LaMonte on December 20, 2010 at 7:00pm — 7 Comments

Building Best Practices: Bag Your Safety Gear!

That’s right: Bag your safety gear! No, I don’t mean discard it. A practice I’ve established for myself is using a gear bag for dedicated storage of all my personal safety gear. And nothing else. Keeping everything in a single, protected place means I know where things are when I need them, and nothing gets lost, crushed, scratched, or outright destroyed. Face it; personal safety equipment is vitally important. It deserves its own, dedicated, protective carrier...[…

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Added by John Poole on December 19, 2010 at 5:56pm — No Comments

5 Reasons House Wrap Is Not an Air Barrier

It took me a while to figure out that a building is basically just a structural framework with control layers. Yeah, there's also electrical, plumbing, mechanical systems, and finishes, but the heart of a building is the stuff that holds it up and that moderates the flows of heat,…

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Added by Allison A. Bailes III on December 17, 2010 at 1:10pm — No Comments

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