Ed Voytovich's Blog (13)

The Cult of the Blower Door

A homeowner was referred to me as someone who might be able to help him solve a serious moisture problem in his home here in Central New York.  The caller’s home started out in the 1950s as what we near the Adirondacks refer to as a “camp,” but it had been greatly expanded and improved over the years, and such places are often really lovely.


He mentioned that the moisture problem is so severe that he has a commercial dehumidifier going 24/7/365 (366 in leap year), and he…


Added by Ed Voytovich on November 8, 2013 at 8:49am — 3 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…


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

Old Saws

    No, I’m not thinking of your grandfather’s hand saw . . . the one that cuts on the push stroke instead of on the pull stroke like the excellent Japanese hand saws. 


   Nor am I thinking of the beautiful (cast aluminum?) circular saws made by Rockwell right here in Syracuse for many years, but long since largely replaced by inexpensive tools made out of plastic and chewing gum.

(There are of course plenty of…


Added by Ed Voytovich on January 28, 2012 at 12:46pm — 5 Comments

Ridge Vent . . . and Nothing But the Ridge

Can anyone convince me that this picture shows anything other than the fact that the ventilation provided here is effective only in the first five inches down from the ridge? And yes, there is continuous soffit venting that is baffled and open to the…


Added by Ed Voytovich on December 29, 2011 at 12:20pm — 13 Comments

Greenitude, Chainsaws, and Everything Else

 This blog is cross-posted with Remodeling Magazine with the kind permission of the editor.


Let me recommend an excellent, well-written blog indeed.  Melissa Baldridge goes well beyond the nuts-and-bolts conversations in which we so often engage, and she presents ideas from a broader perspective.  At the point where remodeling meets building performance, the industry necessarily concerns…


Added by Ed Voytovich on July 15, 2011 at 1:16pm — 3 Comments

So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright



     Once a month or so Marie and I have dinner with a group of old friends, all of whom happen to be particularly interested in theater and other creative arts. The subject of architecture in general and Frank Lloyd Wright in particular popped up during one such recent gathering over Indian food.  Our friends burbled enthusiastically about their past visits to various Wright buildings and how beautiful they are. 


     I got into trouble when…


Added by Ed Voytovich on June 11, 2011 at 2:00pm — 3 Comments

ACCA Existing Residential Building Improvement Standard: Some Thoughts

My company, Building Efficiency Resources  (www.TheBER.com) is--among other things--a HERS providership.  We see a tremendous opportunity now and into the future for Raters on the retrofit side, and we are devoting considerable effort to exploring and developing ways for our Raters to seize that opportunity.  We bring to that task a clear understanding that not all Certified Raters are highly knowledgeable about existing homes, and that the farther back we…


Added by Ed Voytovich on April 24, 2011 at 9:14am — 2 Comments

Fun with Watts: Getting down to the Facts!

Whatever We Think, The Odds Seem To Be . . .Nine to One Against (Until We do our Homework)

Check out my revised blog over on Remodeling Magazine.  It's an interesting story about learning from sloppy thinking . . .   my own!  Still, it turns out to be an interesting lesson.



Added by Ed Voytovich on April 20, 2011 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Innovative Training Strategy

Building Efficiency Resources is offering Energy Star v3 training online and in 2-hour sessions that are presented outside regular working hours. This approach saves travel expenses, preserves your work day, and allows you to absorb the material in manageable segments.…


Added by Ed Voytovich on March 15, 2011 at 5:51pm — No Comments

Forget the Groundhog . . .


     Here's a real harbinger of spring in Syracuse:




Added by Ed Voytovich on February 18, 2011 at 2:19pm — 2 Comments

Icing on the . . . Cake??


     R-49 attic insulation is recommended for this climate, and I spec R-60 for most attic floors because…


Added by Ed Voytovich on February 12, 2011 at 8:51am — 1 Comment

When the Prognosis is Bad

While browsing the daily news on Geology.com, I was first startled and then delighted to

see an article on the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. As is the

general rule for government agencies, this one is known by its acronym: DNR.

Do Not Resucitate. After having been the caregiver to two parents--one of whom died

under conditions that were made bearable only by morphine provided by Hospice, and

the other of whom fought like Custer until the…


Added by Ed Voytovich on December 21, 2010 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Archimedes, Einstein, and Home Energy: Searching for the Eureka Moment

These thoughts come from somewhere out in left field WRT home performance--from the perspective of a humanist intellectual who happens to have a fascination with applied building science. The subject is not solving a problem it is a philosophical consideration of The Problem. Some readers may find accordingly that the remarks below are interesting--others not so much.

Humanist intellectuals in general are people who are interested in a wide spectrum of subjects and who often study them… Continue

Added by Ed Voytovich on November 28, 2010 at 6:41am — 6 Comments

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