How many times as a technician have you gone out to the same customer's home because of unrealistic expectations? Some homeowners expect air-conditioners to work like an ice box, want you to size them for their big party on Fourth of July weekend, and expect you to show up at the drop of a dime when it doesn't meet their impossible notion. Of course, this could be avoided by establishing a standard during the sales process or a little customer education. I liked to talk about "The…Continue
Energy Efficiency Ratio, or EER, is a way to exhibit how well an air-conditioner is operating based on the power being used. Most homeowners are of course familiar with SEER, the ratio across an entire season. Since SEER is tested at a "partial load", the EER is a more realistic number to use when figuring energy savings. AHRI tests their EER of residential air-conditioners using 400 CFM per ton of airflow at 95F Outdoors / 80F Indoors and 67F Wet Bulb. This compared to the SEER testing…Continue
An industry's health is sometimes measured by the enthusiasm of its trade shows. Arguably, ACI is not a trade show, but it certainly is a bellwether for the home performance industry. And it rocked. By all measures, ACI was larger, broader, and more exciting than past conferences.
ACI continues to be a magnet for audiences ranging from contractors just starting out and receiving blower door training to engineers and building scientists. In this way, it serves as the premier…Continue
So, you're about to take a class to become a home energy rater or building analyst so you can go out and do energy audits. Maybe you've already taken a class and are out there trying to make a living at it now. You may be aware of this already, but…Continue
The Energy Out West conference is held every other year and began in 1996 when a group of people doing weatherization work in the Northwest thought they could help each other do it better. The current president of Energy Out West (EOW) is Mimi Burbage, who should be familiar to readers of Home Energy and anyone in weatherization. Mimi brings that independent, Alaska, straight talk style to whatever she does, from heading the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation to her work for EOW.…Continue
Non-condensables in a residential split air-conditioner can be, for most technicians, a pandora's box to diagnose. Fortunately, there is a simple process that can identify this condition without spending hours and hundreds of dollars in virgin refrigerant. I think we all are aware that R-22 has hit an all time high, so getting this right is more important than ever - if you want to retain your customer.
There are several ways air and/or water vapor can enter a sealed system. …Continue
This year ACI held its largest ever national home performance conference in Baltimore, Md. It was the largest in the number of workshop sessions: over 195 sessions, in 25 thematic tracks; with the largest number of exhibitors (115) and sponsors (48).
The three themes stood out: a) keep it simple (from the homeowners perspective); b) there is no silver bullet; and c) HVAC is jumping into home performance, maybe not head first, but at least with both feet in a measured…Continue
Added by Tom White on April 18, 2012 at 5:00am — No Comments
I remember installing some early version residential Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV) and discovering a potential freezing issue. Also, if I used only a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) than I would be drying the air during the Winter, and adding significant latent load in the summer. So, which one do I choose? The homes are tight enough these days to require mechanical ventilation, and I would much rather a balanced ventilation system that I can control.…Continue
In years past, the idea of the “passive house” was only a dream. In concept form, the passive house was one that minimized energy losses and operated at maximum energy efficiency. The result would be a home with little to no monthly energy expenses and a fraction of the environmental impact of most homes. Amazingly, the passive house is no longer just a dream; in fact, it’s become a reality. Several companies are able to build passive homes for everyday consumers, creating a huge shift in…Continue
Energy auditors and retrofitters know that it’s hard to sell the benefits of energy efficiency to homeowners. But the truth is that energy efficient upgrades save homeowners money, help sell homes quicker, and yield a higher profit when on the real estate market.
Because it’s not always easy to explain industry ratings and scores to homeowners, auditors need to be armed with statistics to help convey their message. I’ve compiled six statistics that show the importance of energy…Continue
Last month Chicagoland's multiple listing service …Continue
by Don Ames, www.detectenergy.com
I gathered up my auditing equipment and headed off to a neighboring community to perform a home energy audit that was constructed in 1901. Before I head out of the office and leave the comfort of my desk computer, I look up the home through County Records to determine about what year the home was constructed, about how big the home is, and if records show any remodel years.
When records indicate…Continue
Energy Battle is a new game that may be the solution to training a younger generation to save energy at home. It was developed by graduate students at Delft University of Technology.…Continue
Many homeowners searching the internet for crawlspace repair information end up in home repair forums. While there is some good information out there, there are many examples of bad and outdated advice related to repairing crawlspaces. I have witnessed firsthand the results of unprofessional crawlspace repair and would like to set the record straight on what I consider to be the worst 5 crawlspace repairs I've seen.
1. Adding more foundation vents…
When Sarah Coleman and Carl Sack first saw “Big Blue,” they knew they were home. The massive house, so named because all the rooms were painted shades of the color, was built in the 1920s on two and a half lots in the Corey-Merrill neighborhood of inner-city Denver.
While listening to Peter Troast of Energy Circle and Allison Bailes of Energy Vanguard speak in front of a room about social media and Internet marketing for the home performance industry, it's easy for your head to feel like it may explode. In the best possible way, of course.
I was lucky enough to get this feeling last week as the duo tag-teamed a presentation…Continue
by Don Ames, www.detectenergy.com
Now that the 5 year old has put down the foam dart gun and stopped crawling in and out of the blower door, it's time to make some energy saving recommendations to the homeowner. After completing an energy audit of the home, it is usually fairly easy to start the conversation with the owners on what they should…Continue
Below is the post that originally was put up on Mapawatt on the Utility Green Button. As the Green Button is adopted by more and more utilities, I believe Home Energy Pros should make sure to inform every customer of its existence and how it can help homeowners better manage utility bills.
The idea for the utility Green Button was first put forth by U.S. CTO Aneesh…Continue