All Blog Posts Tagged 'energy' (132)

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

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

The Five Disadvantages of Solar Power Again

Does Solar Power Have Disadvantages? How Can Anyone Say This About Renewable Energy?

Posted by Tom Delconte on www.homeenergypros.lbl.gov

Comments by Don Ames, www.detectenergy.com

Tom posted the 5 "disadvantages" listed below. I did not agree with the list so I thought I would post them as Tom did and then add my comments below each one. Be sure and join the discussion by posting…

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Added by Don Ames on March 20, 2012 at 10:30pm — 1 Comment

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

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

The five disadvantages of solar power


It's intermittent. Solar energy is only available when the sun is shining.

It's low efficiency. It requires large areas of land.

It's not completely free of environmental impact. Ultrapure polysilicon is now scarce.


It's high cost.


You must climb your roof to wash it off. Just ask Ed Begley, Jr.!



Added by Tom DelConte on March 13, 2012 at 8:30am — 3 Comments

Three Steps to Get You Started on Do-it-Yourself Smart Home Automation.

Three Devices That Will Get You Closer to Saving Energy Through Smart Home Automation

by Don Ames,   www.detectenergy.com

I have been enjoying the advertisement on the radio that goes something like this, "If your home was built in the 1950's, why would you expect it to perform better than a T.V. built in the 1950's?"

The point is well taken if you are interested in energy conservation. Homes built in the 1950's do not perform…

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Added by Don Ames on March 10, 2012 at 8:15pm — No Comments

What leading edge developments should I be focusing on?

You woke up this morning full of vim and vigor, ready to tackle the world of home energy efficiency. Of course, your first dreamy thoughts were: is this major solar flare going to knockout electricity in the midwest power grid, and then, if Fermilab has found proof of the Higgs Boson, will I be able to fully explain the phenomena of convection and chimney effect to people? After your morning coffee, the reality check sets…

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Added by Tom DelConte on March 7, 2012 at 5:30am — 1 Comment

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

Is There a Smart Home in Your Future?

iPhone to Home: It's All About Communication and Home Automation.

by Don Ames,  www.detectenergy.com

Right now, it's more of a joke than a reality. For some reason, even with an iPhone or Tablet in our hands, we fail to realize the fact that someday, in the near future, we will all be living in a Smart Home. Yes, for a while, it will probably be like coming to terms with our first…

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Added by Don Ames on February 18, 2012 at 4:45pm — No Comments

BCAP Gap Analyses a Resource for Midwest States

Energy Code Gap Analyses are reports that document a particular state’s energy code infrastructure to assess current gaps, identify best practices, and give recommendations for how these practices can be improved. The Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP) has conducted several Gap Analyses over the course of the past year and these analyses can be a major step towards informing the state on how to reduce energy use by improving energy codes in those states. The gap analyses are part of…

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Added by Andrew Navolio on February 15, 2012 at 9:00am — No Comments

Uncertain Future for Wind Energy in the U.S.

Congress has closed the books on a another dramatic year in American politics with no real accomplishments. Among many lingering questions is the future of wind power subsidies. Introduced in the early 1990’s, government subsidies for wind power have played a major role in the expansion of the young…

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Added by Holbert Janson on February 13, 2012 at 9:00am — No Comments

EcoDog: Part Three: The Bottom Line on FIDO Energy Monitor

FIDO Says, "I will show you where to save energy."

by Don Ames,   www.detectenergy.com

I have been spreading the news about a home energy monitoring system called FIDO by EcoDog Energy Monitoring. This is part three of a three article series. You may be interested in backtracking a little and checking out part one, 13 strong points to …

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Added by Don Ames on February 10, 2012 at 11:28am — No Comments

5 Things You Want in a Shower Head, 3 Things You Do Not

by Don Ames,   www.detectenergy.com

When I am at a residence in the middle of a Home Energy Audit and it is time to clock the flow of water at the shower nozzle in the master bathroom, I always feel like I am getting a little too personal. Have the people found what is the best shower head or are they using a gully washer of an energy waster. Have these people ever asked themselves, What is…

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Added by Don Ames on February 4, 2012 at 8:13am — 1 Comment

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

What is Air Sealing

What is Air Sealing and How can it Save Energy?

by Don Ames, www.detectenergy.com

Air sealing is important because air leaks through the walls, floor, and ceiling of your home. Air leaks out of your home when the air pressure inside the home is greater than the air pressure outside the home. Air also travels from hot to cold. The bigger the hole and the greater the pressure or temperature difference, the more air…

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Added by Don Ames on January 23, 2012 at 12:01am — 1 Comment

Where to Look For Construction Flaws and Energy Waste

by Don Ames,  www.detectenergy.com

Construction flaws waste energy, reduce comfort, and encourage building deterioration. A little knowledge about construction methods can help you locate and correct these flaws. Let's face it, homes were not created equal, homes are the result of a hundred hands belonging to fifty different people that will never live in the house, but, never-the-less, have great influence…

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Added by Don Ames on January 5, 2012 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Dryer Problems: Inefficiency and Fire

Clothes Dryer Problems Can Lead to Inefficiency and Fire.

by Don Ames,   www.detectenergy.com

Story appeared in my local newspaper the other day about an apartment laundry room that had dryer problems. It occurred to me, being the highly trained home energy auditor that I am, that any clothes dryer that had such a problem that it would catch fire, must have been a very inefficient clothes dryer for a long…

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Added by Don Ames on December 18, 2011 at 11:03pm — 2 Comments

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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.

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Bob Blanchette replied to Hal Skinner's discussion Any success getting landlords to energy upgrade a single family rental unit?
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Hal Skinner replied to Hal Skinner's discussion Any success getting landlords to energy upgrade a single family rental unit?
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Programmable tstat for electric baseboard?

Ok, just want to throw this out there. I live in the high desert, 6800' or so. My house is pretty…See More
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