All Blog Posts (1,263)

The NASCSP Landscape

That’s the National Association for State Community Services Programs, which held it’s annual training conference September 16-18 in Sacramento. NASCSP serves the DOE WAP program, as well as other low-income programs through training and advocacy in Washington D.C.

I’ve been to several of these conferences over the 15 years I have worked at Home Energy. There are always changes, but this year I noticed a big change. A lot of the leadership that shepherded WAP through the ARRA…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on September 21, 2015 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment

Air Sealing and Insulation Joins the Cost Versus Value Study

It’s really nice when hard work pays off.

As part of the collaborative efforts of the Value for High Performance Homes Campaign, we were able to get an energy efficiency measure – air sealing and insulation – added to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost versus Value study. This matters because it legitimizes a valuable, low-cost, and manageable home improvement project which home…

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Added by Melissa Ulbricht on September 17, 2015 at 9:38am — No Comments

What is a Green Building Rating System?

As the demands for Green Buildings increase, so does the demand for comprehensive rating systems that define exactly what a Green Building is. While it may seem like having a rating system for Green Buildings would confine Green Building and discourage innovation, this is not the case. Many different Green Building rating systems that are currently in place encourage innovation and builders who incorporate particularly innovative aspects into their Green Building can earn extra points and…

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Added by GBRI on September 17, 2015 at 5:00am — No Comments

Common acronyms and definitions

The building science and home performance industry is full of confusing acronyms. These acronyms are used a lot in articles, blog posts. social media posts, webinars, conference sessions, etc. To help you, we have compiled a list of some of the more popular acronyms you’re likely to hear or read.

ABAA – Air Barrier Association of America

The Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) was incorporated in Massachusetts in 2001 and consists of…

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Added by Kim Tanner on September 14, 2015 at 8:00am — 1 Comment

At PlugFest, Energy Efficiency Plays Well With Real Estate

If you haven’t heard, there’s a lot happening right now at the intersection of home energy performance and real estate.

Let’s set the scene first. As you may have experienced, when homeowners make improvements to an existing house, the most important aspects of home performance – including safety, comfort,…

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Added by Melissa Ulbricht on September 8, 2015 at 8:00am — 2 Comments

Four factors you need to know about measurement and calibration

On August 27, The Energy Conservatory (TEC) participated in a webinar called “Meeting the RESNET Equipment Calibration Requirements. Learn from the Experts,” hosted by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET).



While preparing for this webinar, we started thinking about the most important issues related to measurement and calibration. To ensure our gauge users are getting the most accurate readings, we have listed four factors every building tester should know about…
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Added by Kim Tanner on September 8, 2015 at 7:30am — No Comments

FREE Home Efficiency & Safety Assessments in the Los Angeles County area.

Since last June I have been qualifying homeowners in the Los Angeles County for the Home Upgrade "Energy Upgrade California" program sponsored by the State Of California, funded in part by the Federal Government, and YOU the Customer of the Utility Companies. 

We test your home and give you the results all at no cost to YOU! What's the catch you ask? Two appointments need to be made and kept by the homeowner(s). The program provides assistance and incentives up to $6500 for home…

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Added by John Kaye on September 4, 2015 at 12:00am — No Comments

Twenty-First-Century Energy Efficiency—with Carbon on Our Minds

After the first oil embargo, in 1973, our nation recognized the need to save energy in a coordinated way. It made sense to designate energy utilities to coordinate energy-saving activities in buildings, because nobody had better access to the customer and to key information about the customer. This led to three decades of utility-managed energy conservation programs. Many succeeded. Some did not.

But times change. Today, there’s a new imperative:…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on September 2, 2015 at 3:23pm — 2 Comments

Deconstructing and Moving a Historic Home

This spring in New Orleans I hosted “True Tales of Haunted Home Performance,” at the Home Performance Coalition National Home Performance Conference. I was joined in this true storytelling event by seven home energy pros, who contributed their real-life stories.

All the storytellers gave examples of what they had learned from the haunted houses they worked on, including John Tooley's heat pump from hell, and Chris Dorsi's haunted time capsule. We'll be reprinting these two stories in…

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Added by Tom White on September 1, 2015 at 11:00am — No Comments

It is time to replace your boiler, isn’t it?

Have you suddenly started noticing a spike in your energy bills? If yes, one of the main things you ought to check is your boiler/HVAC unit. May be it has very long since you brought it home. Perhaps you didn’t have an idea that your boiler is losing its life – since it might still be working – though erratic, slow, and noisy. Go through the following checklist and see if you can fix any problem that exists in your boiler/ HVAC unit.

If it’s Over 20 Years Old

Is your…

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Added by SmithWatson on September 1, 2015 at 6:00am — No Comments

Find out who's building some of the best-performing homes in the country today with DOE’s Tour of Zero

Home buyers across the country can find out where the home of the future is available today with DOE’s new Tour of Zero. The recently launched webpage offers…

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Added by Theresa L Gilbride on August 31, 2015 at 10:00am — 3 Comments

Want to Lead a Breakout Session at RaterFest! 2015?

We are adding something new to RaterFest! this year... attendee led breakout sessions on Saturday afternoon. 

Have something that you'd like to lead a discussion on?  Comment your topic idea below!  

If yours is chosen, we'll give you a space on-site and 45 minutes to discuss your ideas with other energy professionals.…

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Added by Hannah Finch on August 27, 2015 at 3:00pm — No Comments

2015 IECC Updates Help Homebuyers Make Informed Purchases

The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) constantly evolves to meet current energy efficiency needs. Over the years new requirements have been added to the IECC to make it stricter and increase overall energy efficiency of buildings. Some states are resistant to these changes, and some choose not to adopt an IECC at all. In fact, of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, 10 either haven’t adopted an IECC, or are operating under a code older than the 2006 IECC, according to the…

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Added by Kim Tanner on August 27, 2015 at 7:47am — No Comments

The Better Blower Door Test for Multifamily Energy Code

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen, 

I've been thinking about the topic of multifamily blower door tests for a while, and I want to get your opinion. This is an article that I wanted to publish in Home Energy Magazine but I thought it would be better to get up sooner. It's about energy code language regarding blower door testing. When I was at Steven Winter Associates, the NY State Codes Council asked for advice about blower door testing language, so that's where this originates. I hope you…

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Added by Sean Maxwell on August 27, 2015 at 12:24am — 3 Comments

Furnace Filter: Cleaning And Replacing Is A Must!

Have you ever learnt anything from Home Alone, aside from how to have a great weekend for the family, it's that furnaces are alarming. Yet, what's much scarier than the storm cellar staying, red hot mammoth itself is the outcomes of not staying aware of filter cleaning and evacuation.

A clean filter extends the furnace's life, upgrades the general execution, enhances the…

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Added by Awen Thomas on August 26, 2015 at 4:30am — No Comments

Aerosol Sealing Blocks Energy Waste, Locks in Savings

Reposted from Center for Energy and Environment's blog

From Helen Booth-Tobin, CEE policy and communications specialist:

Center for Energy and Environment’s research team explores and identifies cost-effective…

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Added by Tim Hanrahan on August 25, 2015 at 12:59pm — No Comments

Building Science is Worthless...

Building Science is Worthless...

Thousands of hours went in this construction detail. When we factor all the time spent by building science engineers, from all over the world,…

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Added by Chris Laumer-Giddens on August 25, 2015 at 3:30am — 1 Comment

What air conditioner filters work best?

When it comes to keeping your HVAC system maintained, nothing is more important or easier than making sure your filters get changed out every month or two.  Dirty, neglected filters have real affects on your AC system that end up costing you more in repairs and early replacement down the road than if they were changed regularly. 



When the air filter gets dirty it becomes restrictive to airflow passing through it, so your…

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Added by David Byrnes on August 24, 2015 at 1:00pm — No Comments

New Mastermind Training Course by Corbett Lunsford

Chad Laibly gave me a heads up about this and I thought I'd pass it on.  He says,

There's an awesome mastermind training coming up that I thought you should know about- I went through it last year, and got a lot out of it.  In case you don't know him, Corbett Lunsford is a really fresh and innovative voice for the home performance industry, and I personally really value the training he creates.  Plus, he's a super nice guy who actually answers his own phone if you…

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Added by Teresa Coffman on August 18, 2015 at 5:03pm — No Comments

This Might Be the Most Water-Efficient Shower Head Ever Invented

Residents of California are feeling firsthand what life is like with a limited water supply as they face the current drought. But the resource crisis extends far beyond one state: according to water.org, a child dies every minute due to a water-related disease and a staggering 750 million people (or the equivalent of two and a half times the U.S. population) lack access to clean water. It’s no wonder that plumbing-fixture manufacturers are continuing to research how to make products that…

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Added by Helen Best on August 18, 2015 at 3:50pm — No Comments

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