Featured Blog Posts (703)

ACI National Home Performance Conference: Setting the Pace for Change

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…

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Added by Tom White on April 18, 2012 at 5:00am — No Comments

Green Cipherin' - What's Slowing the Mainstreaming of Green Building, and What Homeowners Can Do about It

MLSs (Multiple Listing Services) across the country are unveiling “green-field addenda” (GFAs) and searchable fields to highlight green features.  …

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Added by Melissa Baldridge on April 9, 2012 at 7:00pm — 2 Comments

New England; HRV or ERV?

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.…

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Added by Christopher Morin on April 9, 2012 at 10:30am — 2 Comments

The “Passive House:” Finally a Reality

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…

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Added by Jeff Wendland on April 9, 2012 at 6:45am — 3 Comments

5 Stats Your Next Client Must Hear

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…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on April 10, 2012 at 1:55pm — 2 Comments

Green Light for Good GreenMLS Design

Last month Chicagoland's multiple listing service …

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Added by Laura Reedy Stukel on April 2, 2012 at 12:41pm — 2 Comments

Home Energy Audit 111 Years Old

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…

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Added by Don Ames on April 4, 2012 at 10:33pm — 10 Comments

Game of Homes!

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.…

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Added by Tom DelConte on March 30, 2012 at 6:00am — 2 Comments

Top 7 Worst Crawl Space Repairs

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…

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Added by Larry Ralph Jr on March 10, 2014 at 6:54pm — 20 Comments

Big Blue Goes Green - How 203Ks May Be the Future of Green Mortgages

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.  

 

But their…

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Added by Melissa Baldridge on March 27, 2012 at 8:00pm — 10 Comments

Caution: Heads May Explode

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…

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Added by Macie Melendez on April 2, 2012 at 3:11pm — 2 Comments

Energy Audit And Energy Saving Measures For A Big Home

The Energy Audit is Complete: The Homeowner Chooses These Energy Saving Improvements

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…

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Added by Don Ames on March 18, 2012 at 10:20am — 3 Comments

Utility Green Button

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.

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The idea for the utility Green Button was first put forth by U.S. CTO Aneesh…

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Added by Chris Kaiser on March 25, 2012 at 1:00pm — 3 Comments

BPI at the Crossroads

This is a look at some of the recent changes & challenges facing BPI I originally posted on my site:http://blog.sls-construction.com/2012/bpi-at-the-crossroads-exams-new-certifications-standards

Lately BPI (aka Building Performance Institute, Inc.) has been growing exponentially and making plenty of waves in the certification field. Just this last July they had…

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Added by Sean Lintow Sr on March 25, 2012 at 4:30pm — 7 Comments

NOx NOx "Who's There?"

 

 

"Ellie." "Ellie who?"  "The Elephant in the living room."

 

The elephant in our room is NOx, and elephants eat a lot.  Then they poop.  A lot. We need to watch where we step. 

 

As technicians following the BPI Standards, we test for CO in the flue as well as in the ambient air as part of any audit where there are combustion appliances.  Imagine my surprise when my new…

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Added by Ed Voytovich on March 21, 2012 at 4:30am — 9 Comments

Illinois Home Performance Added to Northern Illinois multiple listing service

Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), the Chicagoland multiple listing service (MLS), has added additional green design, disclosure, and data verification to its connectMLS™ system. Following on the heels of MRED’s overwhelmingly successful integration of Walk Score®,…

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Added by Andrew Navolio on March 15, 2012 at 3:00pm — No Comments

When in doubt, Incentivize!

These are the latest ideas and bills in congress, which may or may not actually happen.

First up are new tax credits for homeowners investing in energy efficiency upgrades. The Cut Energy Bills at Home Act.

It's based on annual predicted energy cost savings from heating, cooling, hot water and “permanent lighting” in a primary residence. For a minimum credit of $2,000, homes would need to reduce energy costs by 20 percent. Incremental credits are…

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Added by Tom DelConte on March 14, 2012 at 5:30am — 2 Comments

Energy Audit: Hot tubs and Shortcut Return Air Ducts

Energy Audit: Now Recommendations for Energy Saving Up-dates

by Don Ames,   www.detectenergy.com

Now that we have the hot tub and the hole-in-the-wall under control, it is time to go ahead…

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Added by Don Ames on March 6, 2012 at 1:33pm — 4 Comments

Home Energy Audit With a Hole in the Wall

Why is there a heating register 4 feet up on the wall?

by Don Ames,   www.detectenergy.com

In my last article, I spoke about a home energy audit and the hot tub on the back deck. Remember, it was a manufactured home with a great deck overlooking a roaring hillside stream. Next door, the neighbors were the countryside recyclers, at least I suppose that's what they might call themselves.

Personally, I think I would call them by a…

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Added by Don Ames on March 1, 2012 at 11:30pm — No Comments

Metrolist, Colorado's 800-Pound Gorilla, Goes Green

On March 8, 2012, Metrolist, Denver’s real estate colossus, will finally unveil its “green-field addendum.”  And it’s been a long time coming, says Jamil Dillon.

 

Dillon would know because he helped hatch the idea.  He was the Residential Program Senior Associate at the Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) in 2010 when he and green home builder Sean Smith began conversations with some Colorado MLSes, including Metrolist, to provide “green” and energy-efficient home-listing info. …

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Added by Melissa Baldridge on February 28, 2012 at 4:30pm — 1 Comment

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