Featured Blog Posts (523)

In Memoriam: Carol Markell

We are very sad to announce the sudden passing of our colleague, Carol Markell. Carol died unexpectedly on Thursday, July 19, in the company of her closest friends while on vacation in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. As Home Energy’s Advertising and Marketing Manager for over a decade, Carol developed relationships with scores of Home Performance industry professionals and advertisers, networking at…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on July 24, 2012 at 3:30pm — 4 Comments

Spooky Photo from the Field

Interesting Find During an Energy Audit

Working as Building Analysts doing Home Performance, we often make interesting discoveries. Some days in the field, you come across…

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Added by Peter Van Buren on July 20, 2012 at 1:17pm — No Comments

I Confess the Need for Building Standards and Worker Training

I was discussing an upcoming article with my colleagues at Home Energy magazine about the Standard Work Specifications (SWS) being developed by DOE for single home, multifamily, and manufactured housing retrofits, and it brought to mind an experience I had as teenager, the need for confession, and the importance of standards.

Here is my confession:

When I was in high school I worked after school and summers doing building maintenance at a local elementary school. (Brag…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on July 19, 2012 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Triple Evacuation vs. Deep Vacuum Method

Deep Vacuum Chart; Carrier…

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Added by Christopher Morin on July 12, 2012 at 11:36am — 1 Comment

The Unavoidable Future—Q&A with Cyro Boccuzzi

This past week, I had the opportunity to pick the brain of Cyro Boccuzzi, IEEE senior member and executive vice president at Brazil-based Enersul, as well as a smart grid technologies expert. Not only did he have insight into smart grid technology and trends, but he also says smart grids are the unavoidable wave of the future.  …

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Added by Macie Melendez on July 17, 2012 at 2:28pm — No Comments

Joliet couple first in county to get energy conservation home certification

The following post was written by Julie Johnson with Journatic News Service.  The original publishing of the story can be read here

(Office of Will County Executive Larry Walsh,…

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Added by Andrew Navolio on July 6, 2012 at 10:00am — 3 Comments

Look Before You Leap: Being a Desk Jockey Can Help You Do an Energy Audit

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

Typically, an energy auditor knows very little about the house she is visiting until she actually arrives at the house. In a previous i.e. post,…

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Added by Lester Shen on July 9, 2012 at 7:30am — 3 Comments

4 Things to Check Before Installing a New, High Efficient Heating System.

I had just completed a home energy audit and learned that insulation levels and air sealing measures were up-to-speed. After crawling into the attic, performing a duct blaster, checking the temperature of the hot water, and a bunch of other things, I had come to the educated conclusion that this home’s best chance for improved energy efficiency and lower energy bills while heating the house would include replacing the heating source.

The 80% gas furnace is in the garage right next to…

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Added by Don Ames on July 4, 2012 at 10:38pm — 7 Comments

The "Snackwell Effect" Revisited

(I posted this blog to the KQED Quest site a few years ago, but a recent discussion begun by Tom Delconte in the General Forum has raised the issue again. Hope to—paraphrasing Evan Mills in his response to Tom—make a mountain into the molehill it really is.)

Recent articles in USA Today and California's Flex Your Power e-Newswire discussed the phenomenon known in energy efficiency circles as "take back" or the "Snackwell Effect" (see "…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on July 11, 2012 at 10:30am — No Comments

Women in Energy: Research and Engineering

We're writing a series on women who work in the energy field and thought home energy professionals would be interested to hear their perspective.

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

Center for Energy and Environment focuses our research and programs on Minnesota buildings and homes, but …

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Added by Anna Jursik on July 3, 2012 at 9:28am — No Comments

Editorial: Why Japan's Electricity Crisis Matters

You may not read about it on the front page of the newspapers, but Japan is undergoing a second electricity crisis. The first took place last spring and summer after the Fukushima earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent meltdown of multiple nuclear power plants. That power crisis mostly affected Tokyo and northern Japan. This second crisis affects all of Japan, and it has implications for the United States (and the world) at many different levels.

From an energy perspective, Japan is (at…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on July 3, 2012 at 8:00am — 2 Comments

Century Club Contractor Spotlight: Hal Smith, Home Energy Performance By Halco

In 2011, Halco earned DOE and EPA's Century Club Award by improving the energy efficiency of 278 homes, more than doubling their Home Performance with Energy Star work in 2010, which was 121 homes. Working with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) program, Halco was not just able to improve energy efficiency in the area, but they did so with…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on June 28, 2012 at 12:00pm — No Comments

There's an App For That!

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

Like many other energy audit programs, CEE has begun to integrate smart phones and tablets into home energy audits. These devices will soon be essential pieces of the home energy auditor's tool kit. Their advantages include data collection and…

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Added by Lester Shen on June 27, 2012 at 9:16am — No Comments

Duct Gains: Why do we hate R-8?

Ever since the adoption of the 2009 International Residential Energy Conservation Code (IECC), duct sealing efforts have been tested using the total leakage or leakage to outdoors methods.  It really is amazing how much duct gains effect the operation of your equipment and the comfort of your customer.  The missing part of "duct testing" appears to be how well the ducts are insulated.  Sure, you are required to use R-8 insulation on supply ductwork when located outside the building envelope,…

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Added by Christopher Morin on June 26, 2012 at 1:13pm — 1 Comment

Century Club Contractor Spotlight: Fred Hutchinson, Hutchinson Plumbing Heating Cooling

Another Century Club Award-winner this year is Hutchinson Plumbing Heating Cooling. Working with the New Jersey State's Clean Energy Program, Hutchinson completed 431 jobs in 2011 that improved the energy efficiency of homes through the Home Performance with Energy Star Program. We had a chance to talk about this year's success with owner Fred Hutchinson. Here's his business profile and thoughts on the future.…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on June 27, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Book Review—Home Performance Diagnostics: The Guide to Advanced Testing

It (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) is superior to the larger book in two important ways. First, it is somewhat cheaper than the Encyclopedia Galactica. Second, it has the words “DON’T PANIC” inscribed in large, friendly letters on its cover.

—“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” Douglas Adams

If there were any book in my library that deserves that “Don’t…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on June 26, 2012 at 12:32pm — 2 Comments

Century Club Contractor Spotlight: Chad Ruhoff, Neil Kelly Company

Every year EPA and DOE recognize members of the home performance industry with the Century Club Award. The award goes to companies that improved the energy efficiency of more than 100 homes in a single year through the Home Performance with Energy Star program.

As we know, behind every successful efficiency program, there is a team of hard-working contractors. This year, we got a chance to speak to some of the contractors that participated in local programs to achieve these…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on June 25, 2012 at 3:26pm — No Comments

Site Survey: Windows & SHGC

  When completing your site survey for Manual J Load Calculations, significant time can (or should) be spent identifying window values.  Did you know that most windows these days come with an NFRC rating, a tag located in the window jam that you can reference on NFRC.org? This identification number can tell you important details like window coatings, u-value, light transmittance, air leakage, and solar heat gain coefficients (SHGC).  Not identifying the correct values can sway your load…

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Added by Christopher Morin on June 10, 2012 at 6:34pm — 2 Comments

How to Market Your Home Performance Business in the Summer

Reposted from the Energy Circle blog -- http://www.energycircle.com/blog.

We hear from residential energy efficiency pros around the country that spring and summer are particularly challenging times for their…

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Added by Johnny Ritzo on June 14, 2012 at 7:30am — No Comments

Portland’s First Passive House (Passiv Haus)

Jake Staub and Sonia Barrantes, two veteran former U.S. Navy Test Pilots in Portland, and Chris Corson, of EcoCor Design/Build in Belfast, have embarked on Portland’s first Passive House journey set to break ground in Spring 2012.

For Staub and Barrantes, the Passive House, or Passiv Haus for…

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Added by Samuel Strickland on May 24, 2012 at 8:08am — No Comments

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Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

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Best Practices (Residential)

Best Building, Retrofitting, or even Auditing Practices - what are they, what should change, what…See More
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