Jim Gunshinan's Blog (59)

Storytelling Our Way to a Better Life



The poet Muriel Rukeyser once said something like this: The Universe is not made of atoms; it’s made of stories. I think that conferences are made of stories too, like the one I’m at this week, the National Energy and Utility…

Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on June 23, 2015 at 2:00pm — 1 Comment

Unexpected Blessing

When I received an email from Larry Zarker of BPI, informing me that I had been inducted into the BPI Building Performance Hall of Fame, I thought it must be a big mistake. Then I looked at the list of previous inductees and was sure it was a mistake! I haven’t even done a blower door test all by…

Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on May 27, 2015 at 1:30pm — 6 Comments

Highlights from the NASCSP Annual Training Conference, 2014

The National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP) met in Raleigh, North Carolina, for its annual training conference. Here are some personal highlights:

  • Raleigh, North Carolina, is a beautiful town but hard to take in from the 6th floor of my hotel room. All I saw…
Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on September 23, 2014 at 2:03pm — No Comments

My Energy Upgrade California—The Numbers Are In

Here are the final numbers for my Energy Upgrade California home retrofit.

Table 1. Air…

Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on July 10, 2014 at 11:30am — 26 Comments

Energy Upgrade California—Up Close and Personal Part 3

Here is the latest from the 10 Maple Lane Retrofit Project.

Met with Bill Stewart on Monday and signed an agreement for:

  • Wall insulation
  • Vapor barrier on crawlspace floor
  • Duct repair and some air sealing

I also asked them to move the filter to the return grill so…

Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on May 21, 2014 at 2:54pm — 7 Comments

ACI National Home Performance Conference 2014 Highlights

As usual, the ACI National Home Performance Conference contained too many highlights to mention in one blog post. So I will share just a few.

Got up early on Tuesday and went with Tom White, Home Energy Publisher, to a rehab house in a neighborhood of…

Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on May 2, 2014 at 2:00pm — 3 Comments

A Bit More on Energy Out West 2014

I'll be flying out to Detroit for the ACI National Home Performance Conference next Monday, but before get to Detroit and that great conference, I thought I'd share one more special moment from Energy Out West.

On Thursday afternoon last week, just after lunch, John Tooley, Anthony Cox,…

Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on April 24, 2014 at 11:00am — 2 Comments

Energy OutWest 2014

David Hepinstall (right) and his colleague from the Association for Energy Affordability in New York City through their work provide a powerful antidote to cynicism. 
I was at the Energy OutWest Conference several years ago, but a memory still…
Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on April 17, 2014 at 11:30am — 4 Comments

Energy Upgrade California—Up Close and Personal Part 2

I am in San Diego for the Energy Out West conference (see photo), and I want to write about it, but while it is fresh in my mind I want to fill you in on my latest Energy Upgrade California experience first.

Before getting on a plane for San Diego, Bill Stewart of Stewart Heating and Air…

Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on April 16, 2014 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Energy Upgrade California—Up Close and Personal



Our furnace is approaching 25 years old and we have no cooling capabilities, so my wife Michele and I are looking into buying some new equipment before the temperature climbs this summer. I am especially interested in installing a mini-split heat pump, which would allow us to get rid of the ductwork and…

Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on April 7, 2014 at 2:00pm — 13 Comments

ARRA Keeps Working for You

Almost two years ago I posted a blog about the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA); ARRA, or the “Stimulus Bill”, has gotten pilloried in the media as a colossal failure and waste of taxpayer dollars. But if you would take the time to do a little research, you would see that most of the coverage has been far from the truth.

Because of ARRA’s support for DOE’s Weatherization…

Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on March 21, 2014 at 3:30pm — 13 Comments

The Passive House Revolution

An email came from Faith Morgan with a link to a documentary film called “Passive House Revolution,” produced by the Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions in Yellow Springs, Ohio. It was a busy day, but I thought I could use a break from words, so I left the stack of unopened emails for a while and watched the film. I’m glad that I did.…

Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on March 14, 2014 at 4:02pm — 13 Comments

More Proof that Weatherization Works—To Increase Kid's Health

Weatherization is about more than just energy efficiency. It has always been about the health and comfort of the weatherized home’s occupants as well. For a long time these benefits of weatherization have been called “non-energy benefits.” But the health effects of weatherization have now taken pride of place alongside energy benefits. Now there is new research showing increased health and well being among families whose homes have been weatherized. A recent Home Energy article—available…

Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on March 13, 2014 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Which Communicating Thermostats are Consumers Most Likely to Use?

With the Google buyout of NEST thermostats, attention has turned from the “smart meter” to the thermostat as a focal point of residential energy efficiency. (Read this recent editorial by Alan Meier.) But several years ago Energy Star decided…

Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on March 6, 2014 at 2:00pm — 15 Comments

Standard Retrofit Packages—What Works?

If we want to make good, or great, home performance a reality for more people and families across North America, we must come to some agreement on standard retrofit packages that work. Not every house is the same, but we can agree on standards that can be widely, quickly, and efficiently applied to similar housing types. The home performance community has more than three decades of experience to bear on the question. Please add your voice to the discussion.

Join Scott Yee, PARR;…

Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on March 4, 2014 at 11:35am — No Comments

A Valentine's Day Lesson

 Here is the offending thermostat. Check out the mercury switch under the dial! Thank goodness we don't make them the way we used to…

Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on February 14, 2014 at 2:23pm — 26 Comments

Let's Hear It for People Who Sweat and Get Dirty!



I worked as a janitor at St. Camillus elementary school after school and in the summers when I was in high school. I enjoyed the camaraderie with the other high school kids I worked with, and the crusty Dutch man who was our boss. We cleaned every afternoon in the school year and on weekends, and then painted, cut the grass, and did maintenance on the heating system and other equipment in the summer. We took pride in our work, but we also had fun—once in a while playing a game…

Continue

Added by Jim Gunshinan on January 30, 2014 at 2:20pm — 12 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…

Continue

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

Continue

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

Continue

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

Blog Topics by Tags

Monthly Archives

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

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.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network.

Latest Activity

Hannah Finch posted a blog post

Want to Lead a Breakout Session at RaterFest! 2015?

We are adding something new to RaterFest! this year... attendee led breakout sessions on Saturday…See More
2 hours ago
Rod Fox replied to Rod Fox's discussion Does calcification affect electric water heater aquastat temperature sensor performance?
"We're in climate zone 5 (near Santa Fe, NM) where it's dry as a bone. Gonna head to that…"
3 hours ago
Bud Poll replied to Rod Fox's discussion Does calcification affect electric water heater aquastat temperature sensor performance?
"The two 4500 watt elements will never operate simultaneously.  It will be one or the…"
3 hours ago
Rod Fox replied to Rod Fox's discussion Does calcification affect electric water heater aquastat temperature sensor performance?
"Correction to this last posting... This model only operates one element at a time, not two in…"
3 hours ago
Rod Fox replied to Rod Fox's discussion Does calcification affect electric water heater aquastat temperature sensor performance?
"Agreed. Incidentally, I just called tech support at Bradford White (and actually spoke to a…"
3 hours ago
Hans Joachim Preiss replied to Rod Fox's discussion Does calcification affect electric water heater aquastat temperature sensor performance?
"Rod, Because the tank is not overheating, the behavior is either normal for this tank or there is a…"
4 hours ago
Rod Fox replied to Rod Fox's discussion Does calcification affect electric water heater aquastat temperature sensor performance?
"Hey thanks Hans. I didn't know about the benefit of the heatpump units having the elements…"
4 hours ago
Rod Fox replied to Rod Fox's discussion Does calcification affect electric water heater aquastat temperature sensor performance?
"I'm not sure if the tank was flushed at the time of element replacement. I would have hoped…"
4 hours ago

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service