Featured Blog Posts (642)

A(n Energy Efficient) Night Before Christmas

It seems like every one and their brother has a Night Before Christmas parody. Mine appeared in fragments on Twitter a short while ago, during an odd moment of creative inspiration, and would’ve been completely lost to Twistory, had it not been for my good friend Sean Lintow Sr.…

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Added by John Poole on December 23, 2013 at 10:37am — 5 Comments

Merry Christmas to all!

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a cool draft was freezing, to wake up the mouse.

The owner called a contractor with knowledge so rare,

In hopes that great comfort soon would be there. 

The children were nestled all snug in their bed,

With nary a cough or a cold in their heads.

And Momma in her Kerchief and I in my cap

Had just settled down for a long winters nap. 

When from my neighbor there a rose such a…

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Added by Pat Dundon on December 17, 2011 at 9:00am — 2 Comments

One Story Among Many at Home Energy Magazine

On November 1, 2013, Home Energy began its 30th year in existence. The story telling will begin officially in our January/February 2014 issue, when, along with a lot of new content and some new features, we reprise an article from our first issue—on the energy efficient use of water beds! Unofficially, the storytelling has already begun.

Home Energy began in an office at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a few years ago we moved our shop down the hill to West…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on December 18, 2013 at 1:13pm — 2 Comments

December 9, 2013...Will It Go Down In Weatherization History As The Day That Changed The Future?

“Weatherization Drives New Technology and the Home Performance Industry,” hosted by NASCSP, brought a full house of movers and shakers to the White House to demonstrate WAP’s technical innovations, leadership in the home performance industry, and role as a go-to partner for utility and other partnership projects. Brad Penney, on behalf of NASCSP, opened the event and thanked the…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on December 13, 2013 at 9:18am — 14 Comments

ACI California Home Performance Conference: Mind the Gap

[Cross-posted from the Home Energy magazine blog]

ACI hosted its Regional Home Performance Conference (#acica13) in La Jolla, Calif. last month for approximately 200 attendees and 23 exhibitors. This event comes at a critical juncture as the second phase of Energy Upgrade California (the first was during the ARRA Recovery Act period) is currently ramped up by the Regional Area Networks, the new configuration of…

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Added by Tom White on December 12, 2013 at 10:00am — No Comments

Over-sized Equipment No More!

4 or 5 ton systems should be multi-stage...

Despite the passing of…

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Added by Christopher Morin on November 19, 2013 at 7:36am — 4 Comments

"There can be no Economy where there is no Efficiency", Benjamin Disraeli

  For those who do not know, not that I would expect any of us should, Benjamin was a British Statesman and two-time…

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Added by Christopher Morin on November 25, 2013 at 11:14am — 3 Comments

How to Safely Handle CFLs

Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are one of the most popular energy-saving options because they emit as much light as a traditional bulb but use less energy. As simple as it may be to change a light bulb, there are some safety precautions that must be adhered to in order for the CFL to be an effective, safe, environmentally friendly option. Here are a few things you need to know when…

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Added by Everblue Training on December 2, 2013 at 9:18am — No Comments

Will California AB 327 work?

So I met a man from SDG&E the other day. It was a chance meeting as he was explaining to a customer how he was being charged for electricity. He was very informed and I picked his brain with a few question trying not to be to intrusive.  He explained some of the new changes in charges that will be forth coming. Flat rates for electricity in California

A little background.

 The great Enron Crisis of 2000 caused sweeping changes in rates and how we as consumers we are charged…

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Added by Glen Gallo on November 11, 2013 at 10:30pm — 2 Comments

Air Leakage Testing a New Off-Grid High Performance House

We had the great pleasure of air leakage testing a new off-grid, high performance house last week. It was the most air tight building we’d ever tested!

DSC_0524

Situated on a hill overlooking the sweep of the Saugeen River below.

Builder Steven…

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Added by Greg Labbe on November 12, 2013 at 11:30am — 2 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

Perception: The Service Technician

It was not too long ago that the HVAC Service Technician took great pride in representing the company he or she worked for. They would be at work early, enthusiastic for the day ahead; helping the elderly without heat first after the big snow storm. They would answer their emergency calls within minutes after the noise of the dreadful beeper, and later cell phone. It only took about five minutes, but shining their boots before heading out the door felt like an eternity. Removing them when… Continue

Added by Christopher Morin on November 10, 2013 at 11:35am — No Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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