Featured Blog Posts (587)

Getting Out the Message on Home MPG

We've created a blog post at AlabamaWISE.com comparing home energy efficiency to auto energy efficiency over time, using photos to help people visualize the prevailing technology when homes were built: http://www.alabamawise.org/whats-your-home-mpg-rating/

Added by Brian Brainerd on January 8, 2014 at 3:48pm — 2 Comments

The Basics: Superheat

Vital to the operation of the refrigeration cycle, superheat must be maintained and stable to protect the compressor.  We all know that the heart of the system cannot compress liquid (slug) without bad things happening.  This would represent low/no superheat.  But, did you know high superheat can cause valve and compressor problems as well?  No matter the reason for attaching your gauges to the system, you must check the superheat, in the air-conditioning cycle.…


Added by Christopher Morin on January 10, 2014 at 12:03pm — 3 Comments

How Change Happens in Home Performance

I was reviewing an article in Home Energy by Steve Mann that came out in the January/February issue (“DOE’s Challenge Home,” p. 6). He wrote on the latest iteration of DOE’s Challenge Home Program. Steve points out, in his usual insightful and articulate way, what he sees as the strengths and weakness of this program. I hope you’ve read it, or will read it. Send us your comments by email, or on the Home Energy website.

Reading Steve’s article made me think, “Wow, do…


Added by Jim Gunshinan on January 6, 2014 at 3:00pm — 8 Comments

Thirty Years of Waterbeds and Home Energy Magazine

The January/February 2014 issue of Home Energy magazine officially kicks off our 30th year in print. In commemoration of our 30 years we will be reprinting some of our earliest articles. We hope that these articles are both entertaining and informative.

This first…


Added by Home Energy Magazine on January 2, 2014 at 10:14am — 2 Comments

Ode to Efficiency

Ode to Efficiency

The cellulose was blown in the attic with care

In hopes a cold winter soon would be there

The leaks and the cracks and the holes are all foamed

Plugging up spaces…


Added by Matthew Damon on January 2, 2014 at 10:31am — No Comments

A(n Energy Efficient) Night Before Christmas

It seems like every one and their brother has a Night Before Christmas parody. Mine appeared in fragments on Twitter a short while ago, during an odd moment of creative inspiration, and would’ve been completely lost to Twistory, had it not been for my good friend Sean Lintow Sr.…


Added by John Poole on December 23, 2013 at 10:37am — 5 Comments

Merry Christmas to all!

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a cool draft was freezing, to wake up the mouse.

The owner called a contractor with knowledge so rare,

In hopes that great comfort soon would be there. 

The children were nestled all snug in their bed,

With nary a cough or a cold in their heads.

And Momma in her Kerchief and I in my cap

Had just settled down for a long winters nap. 

When from my neighbor there a rose such a…


Added by Pat Dundon on December 17, 2011 at 9:00am — 2 Comments

One Story Among Many at Home Energy Magazine

On November 1, 2013, Home Energy began its 30th year in existence. The story telling will begin officially in our January/February 2014 issue, when, along with a lot of new content and some new features, we reprise an article from our first issue—on the energy efficient use of water beds! Unofficially, the storytelling has already begun.

Home Energy began in an office at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a few years ago we moved our shop down the hill to West…


Added by Jim Gunshinan on December 18, 2013 at 1:13pm — 2 Comments

December 9, 2013...Will It Go Down In Weatherization History As The Day That Changed The Future?

“Weatherization Drives New Technology and the Home Performance Industry,” hosted by NASCSP, brought a full house of movers and shakers to the White House to demonstrate WAP’s technical innovations, leadership in the home performance industry, and role as a go-to partner for utility and other partnership projects. Brad Penney, on behalf of NASCSP, opened the event and thanked the…


Added by Home Energy Magazine on December 13, 2013 at 9:18am — 14 Comments

ACI California Home Performance Conference: Mind the Gap

[Cross-posted from the Home Energy magazine blog]

ACI hosted its Regional Home Performance Conference (#acica13) in La Jolla, Calif. last month for approximately 200 attendees and 23 exhibitors. This event comes at a critical juncture as the second phase of Energy Upgrade California (the first was during the ARRA Recovery Act period) is currently ramped up by the Regional Area Networks, the new configuration of…


Added by Tom White on December 12, 2013 at 10:00am — No Comments

Over-sized Equipment No More!

4 or 5 ton systems should be multi-stage...

Despite the passing of…


Added by Christopher Morin on November 19, 2013 at 7:36am — 4 Comments

"There can be no Economy where there is no Efficiency", Benjamin Disraeli

  For those who do not know, not that I would expect any of us should, Benjamin was a British Statesman and two-time…


Added by Christopher Morin on November 25, 2013 at 11:14am — 3 Comments

How to Safely Handle CFLs

Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are one of the most popular energy-saving options because they emit as much light as a traditional bulb but use less energy. As simple as it may be to change a light bulb, there are some safety precautions that must be adhered to in order for the CFL to be an effective, safe, environmentally friendly option. Here are a few things you need to know when…


Added by Everblue Training on December 2, 2013 at 9:18am — No Comments

Will California AB 327 work?

So I met a man from SDG&E the other day. It was a chance meeting as he was explaining to a customer how he was being charged for electricity. He was very informed and I picked his brain with a few question trying not to be to intrusive.  He explained some of the new changes in charges that will be forth coming. Flat rates for electricity in California

A little background.

 The great Enron Crisis of 2000 caused sweeping changes in rates and how we as consumers we are charged…


Added by Glen Gallo on November 11, 2013 at 10:30pm — 2 Comments

Air Leakage Testing a New Off-Grid High Performance House

We had the great pleasure of air leakage testing a new off-grid, high performance house last week. It was the most air tight building we’d ever tested!


Situated on a hill overlooking the sweep of the Saugeen River below.

Builder Steven…


Added by Greg Labbe on November 12, 2013 at 11:30am — 2 Comments

Electric Thermal Storage vs. Heat Pump Water Heaters

Contributing Author: Ben Schoenbauer 

Which residential water heating technology is best for meeting electricity savings goals? It will depend if the goal is reducing total consumption or lowering peak demand

In Minnesota,…


Added by Anna Jursik on November 5, 2013 at 8:40am — 39 Comments

Perception: The Service Technician

It was not too long ago that the HVAC Service Technician took great pride in representing the company he or she worked for. They would be at work early, enthusiastic for the day ahead; helping the elderly without heat first after the big snow storm. They would answer their emergency calls within minutes after the noise of the dreadful beeper, and later cell phone. It only took about five minutes, but shining their boots before heading out the door felt like an eternity. Removing them when… Continue

Added by Christopher Morin on November 10, 2013 at 11:35am — No Comments

We're Too Serious

While preparing for Home Energy’s 30th anniversary, we leafed through some of the earliest issues. Today’s issues are slick compared to those early years. It was amateur hour then because an untrained staff researched and wrote articles, prepared artwork, edited, typeset, proofed, and much more. Still, the topics have not changed much and—sadly—some of the editorials from the 1980s…


Added by Home Energy Magazine on November 5, 2013 at 10:00am — No Comments

Check out the latest "Housing and Home Environment News"

Home Energy authors and Cornell College of Human Ecology professors Joe Laquatra and Mark Pierce and colleagues provide important information for anyone interested in energy efficient and healthy homes. In this issue they cover the presence of dangerous levels of radon in natural gas extracted through…


Added by Jim Gunshinan on November 4, 2013 at 3:30pm — 3 Comments

Tucking a garage under the second floor is a common practice, but is it a GOOD one?

As the price of land edges up, the practice of tucking a garage under the second floor of a house is common practice, but is it good practice? The bedroom above the garage has earned the moniker of “The Bonus Room” as it tends to be the most troublesome room in the house with the most comfort complaints from home owners.



Added by Greg Labbe on October 28, 2013 at 3:30pm — 3 Comments

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