Featured Blog Posts (534)

Drainage Planes and Rotting Buildings

We had some serious problems with rotting in buildings that were constructed in the period 1980 and 2000s. ‘Leaky Condo Crisis’ reached fever pitch in Vancouver, BC and surrounding region (excellent Wikipedia entry details the problems, the situation and the fallout here.

In a nutshell, SoCal dry-hot climate details (no rainscreen, no overhangs)…

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Added by Shawna Henderson on January 15, 2015 at 9:00pm — No Comments

New $1.6 Million Program Helps Electric-Heated Buildings in Chicago Save Energy, Money

Many Chicago apartment buildings are electrically heated – meaning that the primary heat source is delivered via electricity, rather than natural gas or other sources. A …

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Added by Melissa Ulbricht on January 15, 2015 at 7:51am — 2 Comments

How Low Should I Operate my Heat Pump?

UPDATED: Break Even COP’s for MA

How do you know if you should install a ductless mini-split, or upgrade your air-conditioner to a heat-pump and create a dual-source application during replacement this Winter?  I have been asked this countless times over the past week!  I personally always prefer the option of multiple fuel sources, particularly since energy prices have been all over the place during the last decade.  Fortunately, using averaged…

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Added by Christopher Morin on January 14, 2015 at 11:30am — 3 Comments

What's Reasonable Versus What's Heroic

Ann Edminster, M.Arch, LEED AP (pictured left, observing work done in her attic) is a recognized international expert on green-home design and a principal developer of the LEED for Homes rating system. She travels widely and consults with builders, homeowners, developers, design firms, utilities, investors, and public agencies. We recently discussed what’s at the heart of the…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on January 7, 2015 at 1:52pm — 4 Comments

Duct Sealing Offers Veteran Comforts

It started with a leaky roof and ended with an ecstatic Vietnam vet who felt more comfortable in his home than he could ever remember.

Awhile back, Joe St. Pierre over at Aeroseal Solutions got a call from Dale McClelland, a licensed energy auditor he had met at a recent Chicago-area tradeshow. In his…

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Added by Brad Brenner on December 24, 2014 at 10:27am — No Comments

The Fast-Changing World of Saving Energy

In reviewing the content of Home Energy's January/February issue, I was struck by how rapidly the energy-saving business is changing. In the issue, we cover the come-from-nowhere explosion in LEDs. Another article about energy-efficient homes in Germany describes the rapid shift to near zero energy homes. That article also reminds us why it is getting risky to ignore activities on what used to be the…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on January 6, 2015 at 12:16pm — 2 Comments

Clean Energy Works Oregon: Total Home Performance

Clean Energy Works Oregon (CEWO) is the largest nonprofit home performance provider in Oregon, according to Derek Smith, CEO of CEWO. I spoke with Derek earlier this year about his work in the Pacific NorthWest region.

TW: Do you take a staged-retrofit approach? Or do homeowners complete the whole…

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Added by Tom White on December 17, 2014 at 5:02pm — 4 Comments

LED Lighting 24-month update 18,240 hours & counting

Background:

In November 2012 I replaced 80% of my home's interior lighting with LEDs (35 bulbs total) - see my LED Lighting, 6-month update blog post.

Today, 12December2014 is my 24 month update:

My 'Life-Test' bulbs (a pair of lights above my fireplace) have been 'ON' continuously for 25 months (760 days x 24hrs/day) - 18,240…

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Added by Dale Stephens on December 12, 2014 at 10:46am — 3 Comments

The Wired Home: Which Technologies Actually Work?

With today's sky-high energy costs, homeowners and energy industry professionals alike are constantly looking for ways to increase energy efficiency and save money. Fortunately, advancements in home automation technology have made this easier than ever.

From smart thermostats to air quality monitors to Wi-Fi enabled…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on December 17, 2014 at 4:32pm — No Comments

The 2015 New American Home

In September 2013, we posted a blog called Las Vegas: Bright Lights, Green City?questioning how energy efficient a place nicknamed “Sin City” could actually be. That post focused primarily on the growth of LEED-certified buildings in the city. Here we are now, and I see that the 2015 New American Home will debut at the International Builders Show in – where else – Las Vegas…actually, Henderson, which is…

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Added by Everblue on December 4, 2014 at 8:02am — No Comments

Poor HVAC Installation Leads to Increased Energy Use

A new study from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) revealed that poor installation of air conditioning and heat pump units often leads to unsatisfactory energy performance. This research took three years to compile, with the help of surveys, field evidence, and various measurements for modeling. The most common installation errors included leaky ducts, improper refrigerant charge, oversizing of systems, and restricted…

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Added by Everblue on November 26, 2014 at 8:26am — 1 Comment

RESNET Combustion Safety Deadline is Near

An important deadline is looming for existing HERS Raters. By January 1, 2015, all existing Raters must have passed both the combustion safety written and simulation exams to maintain their certification. If existing Raters do not successfully complete these tasks, they will lose their certification and will not be able to perform home energy ratings as part of their business. This also applies to existing RESNET Rating Field Inspectors.

If you earned your HERS certification prior to…

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Added by Everblue on November 18, 2014 at 9:15am — No Comments

So you want / need to pass RESNET’s CAZ Tests?

As many know, by the end of this year all HERS Raters & Field Inspectors (RFI’s) in good standing must complete a three prong CAZ training & testing requirement (assuming it was not part of their original training). While one can debate should they or shouldn’t they have done this, the die has been cast and the mandate has been made. In case this is news to you,…

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Added by Sean Lintow Sr on November 19, 2014 at 7:48am — No Comments

Multifamily Buildings Are Now Eligible to Apply for ENERGY STAR Certification

Sandeep and Carolyn Sood own several apartment buildings in Chicago, but the 55-unit building at 6731 S. Jeffery Boulevard is special. The building is one of the first in the country to receive the new ENERGY STAR® certification for multifamily buildings.

“For us, it’s an important designation. It shows people that want to live here that we care.…

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Added by Melissa Ulbricht on November 13, 2014 at 1:30pm — 1 Comment

Lighting Services for Aliens

You have probably seen those amazing images of the world at night as observed from space—hundreds of times. Below is one photo, but many others show expanded views of smaller areas. I still marvel at how those necklaces of light show the shapes of our cities. The lights tell stories, too. For example, the Korean peninsula appears surgically sliced at the Demilitarized Zone,…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on November 12, 2014 at 1:31pm — 2 Comments

Top Worst Crawl Space Insulation Ideas

With winter right around the corner, many of us start looking at various ways to reduce heat loss and improve energy savings. One of the most common practices of improving energy savings is by installing or improving our homes insulation. This is especially true for those of us who have the luxury of living above a crawl space. Installing or improving crawl space insulation can be very beneficial. But it can also have expensive, negative effects if not done correctly. Here is a list of a few…

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Added by Adam Swain on October 28, 2014 at 11:40am — 4 Comments

More 'clean' products that might not make the grade

While hard-surface flooring is on every list for improving indoor air quality, the type of hard-surface flooring may be problematic, especially if your clients' health is already compromised.

This article on formaldehyde levels in laminate flooring emphatically waves the health flag. The article is based on testing of Chinese-made laminate…

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Added by Shawna Henderson on October 10, 2014 at 10:50am — No Comments

Efficient Windows Collaborative Releases Window Selection Tool Mobile App

The Efficient Windows Collaborative (EWC) has released a mobile app based on it web-based Window Selection Tool. The app is currently available and can be downloaded on iTunes

The Window Selection Tool mobile app is a step-by-step decision-making tool to help…

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Added by Kerry Haglund on September 30, 2014 at 10:57am — No Comments

New Energy Code in Massachusetts

In July 2013, the State Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) voted to adopt the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (2012 IECC) and ASHRAE 90.1-2010 with MA amendments as the new baseline energy code. The BBRS allowed for the new regulations to run concurrently with the current energy regulations until July 1, 2014. During that time, either set of energy regulations could be used when applying for…

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Added by Everblue on October 8, 2014 at 6:56am — No Comments

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