Featured Blog Posts (518)

Be a Little Like a Used Car Salesperson

Used car salesmen get a bad rap, and there are good reasons for that. But I think the home performance community can learn from them in some important ways. I say that as someone who once had a serious case of buyer’s remorse, but got over it.

When I first moved to California I was working at an independent bookstore in Berkeley, and I liked the idea of not having a car. But after a year I realized that I couldn’t get everywhere I wanted to go in a timely manner on BART (Bay…

Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on August 5, 2013 at 3:30pm — No Comments

What do Ducted Mini-Splits Look Like?

The most recognizable and commonly used mini-split system is the wall-mounted ductless system. They’re seen all over the world and are starting to become noticed and used here in North America, particularly in homes with small heating and…

Continue

Added by Chris Laumer-Giddens on July 31, 2013 at 5:18am — 11 Comments

PED's for an HVAC Technician?

An acronym for what is synonymous with all that is bad with the American Pastime, Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED's) have been proven to inflate a ballplayer's performance.  Most important in contract years, a player's performance is measured in specific statistics.  So, what if there was a pill, or cream, that an HVAC Technician or Salesperson could take to inflate their numbers.  Make them perform at the top of their field and get them the highest pay in the industry?  Would you take it?…

Continue

Added by Christopher Morin on July 25, 2013 at 11:29am — 4 Comments

Checklists—The Professional's Best Friend

Want to know why air travel is still, by far, the safest way to go? Do you want to know how hospitals around the world can cut the risk of post-surgical complications and death by more than half? Do you wonder why the greatest triumphs of engineering, buildings and infrastructure, are beautiful, as well as safe and functional? The answer is checklists. I was inspired by this simple and powerful tool after reading The Checklist…

Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on July 24, 2013 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Seeking Multifamily Building Operators, Quality Control Inspectors, and Retrofit Project Managers

Due to the need for additional responses, the Multifamily Housing Job Task Analyses Validation Study is being extended until Friday, July 26 at 5 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time (PDT).  In particular, we are seeking responses from Multifamily Building Operators, Multifamily Quality Control Inspectors, and…

Continue

Added by Steve Lommele on July 22, 2013 at 1:00pm — No Comments

A/C a Necessity in New England?

  I remember not all too long ago, yes I am still on what I hope to be the first half of my life, that Central Air-Conditioning was a luxury.  Like the radio, then the television; next the telephone, and now the cell phone, Air-conditioning has become a necessity.  What was before Air-Conditioning?  What did the weather people (yes, politically correct here on Excess Air) say to the elderly before they would recommend "staying inside, out of the heat"?

  I remember what I used to do…

Continue

Added by Christopher Morin on July 7, 2013 at 6:00pm — 3 Comments

Public Art to Promote Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency can be a tough sell. Providing detailed information about financial savings and environmental benefits doesn’t always motivate conservation. So when rational arguments don’t work, how can we influence energy behavior? Perhaps by creating an emotional response with inclusive and engaging public art installations, such as the upcoming Northeast Green Light Project.…

Continue

Added by Anna Jursik on July 9, 2013 at 9:00am — 1 Comment

Modernizing the Residential Utility Disclosure Ordinance in Chicago

Back in the ‘80s, the Center for Neighborhood Technology and others helped the City of Chicago pass a residential utility disclosure ordinance that required the disclosure of heating bills when residential properties are sold or leased in the city. Why? Heating expenses constitute a significant home expense, and it’s important for consumers and Realtors to have access to this information.

Until now, complying with the ordinance could take up to two weeks: a Realtor submitted an…

Continue

Added by Melissa Ulbricht on July 9, 2013 at 1:23pm — 3 Comments

Elder Star

All of us have elderly relatives or friends, but have you ever considered their energy consumption patterns? On the surface, those patterns may look little different from your own, but in fact the aging population brings new needs across the whole spectrum of health, transportation, recreation, housing, and safety. And since the over-65 cohort is a growing…

Continue

Added by Home Energy Magazine on July 9, 2013 at 3:51pm — 3 Comments

Window Improvement vs. Window Replacement

Most energy audit reports place windows very low on their list of energy improvement priorities. This isn't surprising because of the relatively high cost of replacement windows coupled with what are commonly marginal improvements in their thermal performance. Since audit reports generally prioritize energy efficiency improvement opportunities according to their cost vs. thermal benefit  (fuel savings) ratio, the energy…

Continue

Added by Robert (Bob) Bacon on June 22, 2013 at 11:25am — 2 Comments

Zero to 60 - Scores of Green Appraisers Hit the Streets Overnight in Colorado

Home builder Sean Smith feels like Sisyphus – the Greek mythological figure doomed for eternity to push boulders uphill only for them to crash downhill when he neared the top.  Smith’s boulder?  Higher appraisal prices for the green homes he builds in metro Denver.

 

“We built a house a couple of years…

Continue

Added by Melissa Baldridge on June 21, 2013 at 7:05am — 31 Comments

The Process Approach of Human-Building Interaction (HBI)

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

In the early nineties, I began developing interactive CD-ROMs to teach school age children about energy and environmental issues. We created games to teach these concepts. An essential step in our process was…

Continue

Added by Lester Shen on June 26, 2013 at 7:00am — No Comments

Weatherization Program Brought Back to Stability for FY 2013 and 2014

I recently received the email below from a fellow supporter of the Weatherization Program regarding the current status of Federal funding for the Low Income Weatherization program.  

Relatively speaking, while I have done little in terms of personal lobbying in DC at the Federal level on Weatherization, Brad Penney deserves credit as one of the greatest leaders in personally convincing members of Congress to fund the Weatherization program during the FY2013 and 2014 - the two years…

Continue

Added by Stan Harbuck on June 30, 2013 at 5:34pm — No Comments

Not getting it

I live in New England, New Hampshire, to be specific, and I just don't get the lack of seriousness about weatherization and credentials here. I'm BPI Certified Building Analyst and Envelope Specialist, have taken the Resnet Energy Smart Contractor test, have OSHA 10, lead certified renovator, the list goes on and on. Means nothing here. Area contractors insulate to be just good enough and nothing more. I can't tell you how many times that I have gone to a new construction job and have been…

Continue

Added by Robert D York Jr on July 4, 2013 at 6:50am — 3 Comments

Three WWWs to completing the Appraisal Institute’s Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum

The Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum is a form used to standardize the reporting of high performance house features from green certifications to incentives offered.  The Addendum can be downloaded in a PDF format from the Appraisal Institute’s Website.  It is seems there is much confusion on who should be completing the Addendum, why they should complete it and what they…

Continue

Added by Sandra K. Adomatis, SRA on June 16, 2013 at 6:18pm — 3 Comments

Home Performance and HVAC Contractors: Recent Legislative Initiative In Texas

As energy auditors and raters went about their business of testing homes, performing energy audits and HVAC system inspections, they discovered and reported certain “problems” to the homeowners of Texas. For example, they reported that HVAC systems were oversized, or suffering from massive duct leakage! In late 2011, The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), which oversees the HVAC industry,…

Continue

Added by Home Energy Magazine on June 19, 2013 at 11:07am — 3 Comments

Code Conflict Between 2012 IRC and 2012 IECC

It has come to my attention that there may be a building science-based conflict in the language of the 2012 International Residential Code (IRC) and 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).

The 2012 IECC sets the mandatory blower door tested and certified air infiltration rate at 5 ACH50 in CZ1 & 2 and an even tighter 3 ACH50 in CZ 3 and above. The problem lies in the fact that the new…

Continue

Added by Home Energy Magazine on June 19, 2013 at 1:09pm — 1 Comment

More Evidence of Link Between Energy Efficient Homes and Occupants' Health.

New Study: "Impact of LEED-Certified Affordable Housing on Asthma in the South Bronx"

Here is more evidence that the occupants of energy efficient, healthy, and affordable housing enjoy better health compared to those in traditional low-income housing. The results of an in-depth study by Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City of residents who recently moved into LEED-certified low-income multifamily housing showed:

  • Decreases in continuous daily respiratory…
Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on June 20, 2013 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Passive Proponent—Q&A with Brandon Weiss

President and founder of Chicago-based Weiss Building & Development, Brandon Weiss is a third-generation builder who credits time spent in Europe to his sustainable approach to life.

While he’s built more than 90 high-performing homes since he started his company in 2005, it wasn’t until recently that he started work on his own family home.…

Continue

Added by Macie Melendez on June 13, 2013 at 8:32am — 3 Comments

Scrutinizing Condensing Boilers With the Second Law of Thermodynamics (SLT)

“It’s amazing. Every year, we find somebody who comes up with a way of going around the second law (of Thermodynamics) and somehow convinces people who are very smart that it will work.”      MIT lecture on  Thermodynamics and & Kinetics, Spring 2008

 

 

Since the 1980s, hot water condensing boilers (CB) have…

Continue

Added by Igor Zhadanovsky on May 29, 2013 at 9:31am — 15 Comments

Home Energy Pros

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.

Latest Activity

Rob Madden, Solar Home Broker posted a blog post

Phoenix 3rd Quarter Solar Resale Statistics Continue to Impress

Phoenix solar home sales were up during the third quarter of 2014, including the resale of homes…See More
14 hours ago
Everblue posted a status
"Green job alert! Energy Auditor in Baltimore, MD with Advanced Green Home Solutions. Check it out: http://bit.ly/1xhQuXO"
16 hours ago
Chris Clay replied to Isaiah Borel's discussion Blown Cellulose VS Blown Fiberglass in the Attic
"The Cold Climate Housing Research Center in Fairbanks, AK has alot of information about this…"
16 hours ago
Richard L. Sanderson replied to Bud Poll's discussion Inconsistant Local Authority
"Bud: I like the idea of a third party review board. My own experience in local government is that…"
yesterday
Matthew Lutz commented on Kaplan Clean Tech's blog post The Difference Between Home Inspection and Energy Auditing [Infographic]
"I would have to agree with Steve on this.  I am a Certified Energy Manager and have performed…"
yesterday
Matthew Lutz joined Diane Chojnowski's group
Thumbnail

Hall of Shame

In this group, members share an array of images from the field, showing the kinds of issues…See More
yesterday
Matthew Lutz replied to Kari Sauder's discussion Easy Water Heater Venting in the group Hall of Shame
"I have been in the HVAC trade since 1986. I have recently completed a Home or Real Estate…"
yesterday
Susan E. Buchan posted an event

EEBA Houses That Work at Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park

November 3, 2014 from 8am to 4:30pm
Registration: 8:00 amSession: 8:30 am to 4:30 pmWorkshop Covers:Introduction to EEBA and its…See More
yesterday

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service