Featured Blog Posts (518)

This Winter Is 37% Warmer than 2010-11 (by Heating Degree Days)

We celebrated Groundhog Day earlier this month. Naturally, that means we held our annual juggling festival here in Atlanta, but some people associate groundhogs with their weather forecasting ability. My question this year was, How can Punxatawney Phil (the weather predicting…

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Added by Allison A. Bailes III on February 13, 2012 at 8:00am — 6 Comments

Thermostatus: The latest on Thermostat legal status

Many pros already know that a standard upgrade is to install a Honeywell IAQ thermostat! That's why you simply must take a look at this analysis on the Thermostat Wars, Honeywell versus Nest, which now threaten to pre-empt even the infamous browser wars, and cause consternation within the industry:…

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Added by Tom Delconte on February 16, 2012 at 5:30am — 12 Comments

Seeking Warmth in Maine - A Community Reaches Out

On Friday, The New York Times published an article titled "In Fuel Oil Country, Cold That Cuts to the Heart." The article, about the Hartford's, an elderly couple in Maine who can't afford to pay for the oil needed to heat their (rather leaky) home, is both heart-wrenching…

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Added by Macie Melendez on February 9, 2012 at 11:18am — 4 Comments

Fresh fallen leaves stuck on furnace filter

What does it mean if the furnace filter collects lots of lint just like what the dryer makes???...Perhaps the dryer is venting inside and the filter is askew and leaks in the return air or filter gap are pulling it into the furnace. Check 'em.

What does it mean if the filter has three-dozen oak leaves pressed onto it?? Today I found an unusually high bill and a handful of foliage fallen from the neighboring trees. In the attic I found a donut of leaves under the vent where the screen…

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Added by Joseph Lamy on February 3, 2012 at 5:56pm — 1 Comment

Illinois Carpenters Get Training for the Clean Energy Economy

Nick Magrisso recently posted a blog on the NRDC website highlighting the Carpenter Training Center in Elk Grove Village in Illinois as part of his series of exploratory video blogs on how energy efficiency is creating jobs in Illinois. It has been long recognized that a large amount of energy is wasted through improper or outdated building techniques. In addition to creating jobs,…

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Added by Andrew Navolio on January 31, 2012 at 8:01am — No Comments

Understanding Lead Gen Services for Home Performance Businesses

This is cross posted from the Energy Circle PRO Blog.

Everyone wants more and better leads, and a lot of people have been asking me recently about Lead Generation Services, particularly since I open sourced the Cost per Acquisition Model for Home Performance Businesses.

What is…

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Added by Peter Troast on February 4, 2012 at 9:30am — 1 Comment

Old Saws

    No, I’m not thinking of your grandfather’s hand saw . . . the one that cuts on the push stroke instead of on the pull stroke like the excellent Japanese hand saws. 

 

   Nor am I thinking of the beautiful (cast aluminum?) circular saws made by Rockwell right here in Syracuse for many years, but long since largely replaced by inexpensive tools made out of plastic and chewing gum.

(There are of course plenty of…

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Added by Ed Voytovich on January 28, 2012 at 12:46pm — 5 Comments

11 Steps to Becoming a Successful Home Energy Pro

I've made my living solely as a home energy pro since 2004, and I was building a high performance home for two years before that. For six of the past eight…

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Added by Allison A. Bailes III on January 28, 2012 at 6:16am — 2 Comments

Three jokers in the energy deck

This is the era of Big Oil. Could the next be the era of Big Efficiency?

 

A new report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy suggests the possibility. Re-invented with today’s smart energy technologies, energy efficiency could displace 40 to 60 percent of our total energy needs by the year 2050, according to The Long-Term Energy Efficiency Potential:  What the Evidence Suggests.

 

Sound far-fetched?  ACEEE says history backs its…

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Added by Elisa Wood on January 20, 2012 at 9:50am — 8 Comments

Energy Planning, Energy Action

Vermont has a new comprehensive energy plan that is full of thoughtful - though non-binding and unfunded - ideas. The plan calls for meeting 90% of the state's energy needs through renewables by 2050.

Energy professionals know that it makes sense to dramatically reduce the energy requirements of homes and meet a large portion of remaining needs with renewables. We know how to do the work, what we don’t know is how to pay for it – solar panels and insulation are just…

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Added by Paul Scheckel on January 19, 2012 at 6:42am — 1 Comment

Today's Power Trip - Heating Duct Insulation and Raccoon Paradise

by Don Ames,   www.detectenergy.com

Please read the article and catch the screen cast at the end of the article.

Earlier in the week, I spoke about construction flaws and how builders have a tendency to build energy waste right into the structure of a home. The contractors really don't mean too, we all understand that, but , never-the-less, poor construction design, short cut methods, and lack…

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Added by Don Ames on January 8, 2012 at 10:00pm — 3 Comments

US beats expectations saving energy

Americans tend to beat themselves up over their imperfections. We eat too much, watch too much TV and owe China too much money. Despite all of our sloth, we can feel good about one area: our progress saving energy.

report issued this week by the Institute for Electric Efficiency found that we saved enough electricity to power almost 10 million homes in 2010 (about 112 MWh). That’s 21…

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Added by Elisa Wood on January 8, 2012 at 5:42pm — 1 Comment

Becoming a LEED AP: Habitat for Humanity, BOULD, and You?

So you have decided you want to earn or become a LEED AP. There is just one small issue, unless you have or are working on a LEED project, just how are you supposed to gain the experience & show documented involvement on a project registered or certified for LEED? (AKA a letter of attestation) As some well know, finding or being able to gain the needed project experience can be a rare opportunity. Fortunately though, the chances for many looking in have an opportunity through a…

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Added by Sean Lintow Sr on January 8, 2012 at 10:00am — No Comments

The Tortilla, The Kitchen Fan and The Energy Auditor

The Tortilla, The Kitchen Fan and The Energy Auditor

So, I was getting ready for my morning bike ride to the coast and decided I needed some calories. Part of my choice was some tortillas. I placed them in the toaster oven and went about my morning. This included drinking my morning coffee and checking my email.

Mmm what is that smell? I had inadvertently put the…

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Added by Glen Gallo on January 9, 2012 at 6:30am — 4 Comments

Acronym CRAZY...

I don’t believe this is an industry specific issue but we do seem to have an excess of acronyms. 

For example we have RESNET, HERS, BPI, LEED, CSG, ACCI, ANSI, OSHA, WISHA, OMG, & LMAO! 

Confused yet?  No – then let’s try these on for size… ACH50, ACHNAT, SIPS, DMHP, HP, WH, HVAC, CFM, ELA, SLA and IECC, MEC, ASHRAE but don’t forget NYC! 

BTW can you name EPA, HERC, OSB, PVC, ABS, BD, DB, MDF, MDO, SEER, HSPF, HRV’s, ERV’s, DOE, NGBS, BIA, PV, UV, UVA, UVL, DHW, IAQ,…

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Added by Kent Mitchell on January 5, 2012 at 5:30pm — 4 Comments

Texas Worried About Not Having Enough Electricity in 2012

2011 was a challenging year for the operators of the Texas electricity grid.  2012, however, isn’t likely to be any easier. This according to ERCOT who holds the responsibility of insuring the reliability of the Texas grid. There are a large number of power plants that are scheduled to be decommissioned over the…

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Added by Holbert Janson on January 2, 2012 at 7:54pm — 3 Comments

Measuring Matters

Perhaps the greatest challenge to promoting energy efficiency is that you can’t see it. People understand electricity produced from a PV collector on the roof, and a kWh meter can easily report precisely how much energy was generated. But with more-efficient products, savings cannot be directly measured; instead, one must reckon the difference between a real and a hypothetical situation. This complexity creates a lingering uncertainty whether the promised savings did or did not actually…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on January 5, 2012 at 9:36am — No Comments

Today's Power Trip - Weatherization and Infrared Camera

by Don Ames,  www.detectenergy.com

Got a phone call from a Son today, he was down at the local Mall looking to exchange a shirt he got for Christmas. This is one of those times when I wish that cell phones would just go away. Why do we need to be in constant touch with everybody all the time?

"Yes son, I bought the shirt there and I don't know why I cut the tag off and I don't know what happened to the…

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Added by Don Ames on December 29, 2011 at 12:00pm — 3 Comments

Applied Passive-solar Structural Design

Passive-solar has been known to work well but certain things about our architecture fail the thermodynamic efficiency test and there are reasons why.

First is heat-transfer through conduction, the wood, drywall, sheathing all having rather high heat-transfer coefficients. Next is convection from a heat-riser which takes the warmth of the floor and moves it to the ceiling.

Until these are dealt with they cost a lot of energy, if one is trying to not require external heating for…

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Added by Tom Mallard on December 21, 2011 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Part 2 of: The "1-2 Punch" to HVAC "Not Understoods"

Proper sizing of HVAC equipment is smaller, and smaller means more comfort.

Probably the usual thought in the HVAC industry by technicians is that the units need to be made bigger for comfort. Perhaps this comes from the idea of coming home from work, and needing a set back thermostat to do its magic, and get the home comfortable fast,…

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Added by Christopher Cadwell on December 13, 2011 at 8:30am — 4 Comments

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