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Energy-Smart Details

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Energy Smart Details slideshow

Inefficient homes not only incur high energy costs, they also waste energy. To help you reduce your energy bills, we’ve assembled a handy collection of Energy-Smart Details covering ice dam prevention, basement insulation retrofits, and more. Whether you’re designing a new home or retrofitting an existing one, these tips and solutions will help you achieve an energy efficient home.

begin slideshow
  • How to Seal 4 Hidden Air Leaks in Your House
    How to Seal 4 Hidden Air Leaks in Your House

    Although you can't see them, air-leaks there, and they are costing you money. In this article, you'll learn what the four hidden air leaks in you house are and how to seal them. Read more...


    Window Shading

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    Window Shading next

  • Window Shading
    Window Shading

    Contributing editor Martin Holladay offers seven principles for windows in a hot climate, demonstrates two retrofit methods—shed roofs and sunscreens—and shows how to get the flashing details right. Read more...


    Preventing Ice Dams

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    Preventing Ice Dams next

  • Preventing Ice Dams
    Preventing Ice Dams

    Ice dams are a sign of an inefficient house. Here are some tips to help prevent them.  Read more...


    An Unvented, Superinsulated Roof

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    An Unvented, Superinsulated Roof next

  • An Unvented, Superinsulated Roof
    An Unvented, Superinsulated Roof

    In this Energy Smart Details article we tackle the best way to approach building an unvented, superinsulated roof. Read more...


    Airtight Drywall

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    Airtight Drywall next

  • Airtight Drywall
    Airtight Drywall

    Leaky homes waste a lot of energy, but airtight houses can control energy losses. These energy smart tips will help you build a tight house with redundant air barriers. Read more...


    4 Options for Shear Bracing Foam-Sheathed Walls

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    4 Options for Shear Bracing Foam-Sheathed Walls next

  • 4 Options for Shear Bracing Foam-Sheathed Walls
    4 Options for Shear Bracing Foam-Sheathed Walls

    When rigid-foam sheathing is installed on the exterior of framed walls it raises potential problems. Seeing as rigid foam isn’t structural, how are the walls braced to prevent racking? Here are at least five ways to brace a foam-sheathed wall. Read more...


    Flashing Windows in Rain-Screen Walls

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    Flashing Windows in Rain-Screen Walls next

  • Flashing Windows in Rain-Screen Walls
    Flashing Windows in Rain-Screen Walls

    It’s important to consider fastidious window-flashing details before you raise the walls of any house. Although foam sheathing and furring strips can make a wall thicker, you need to make sure the sill can drain and the head is tight. Read more...


    Basement Insulation Retrofits

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    Basement Insulation Retrofits next

  • Basement Insulation Retrofits
    Basement Insulation Retrofits

    Finished basements are a great way to add living space to a house without adding on. When finishing a basement, it pays to consider moisture management, air sealing, and insulation. Read more...


    Rigid Foam on the Roof and Walls

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    Rigid Foam on the Roof and Walls next

  • Rigid Foam on the Roof and Walls
    Rigid Foam on the Roof and Walls

    In cold climates, warm, humid interior air can leak through wall penetrations and form a layer of frost on the interior side of the wall sheathing. Learn how adding rigid-foam insulation on the exterior side can increase R-value and prevent condensation. Read more...


    Frost-Protected Shallow Foundations

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    Frost-Protected Shallow Foundations next

  • Frost-Protected Shallow Foundations
    Frost-Protected Shallow Foundations

    These energy smart details will help you build a tight house with a warm floor. Read more...


    Airtight Window Installations

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    Airtight Window Installations next

  • Airtight Window Installations
    Airtight Window Installations

    Installing a window is tricky; especially when every window is part of your home’s air barrier. Here are some energy smart details to help install airtight windows. Read more...


    Air-Sealing a Basement

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    Air-Sealing a Basement next

  • Air-Sealing a Basement
    Air-Sealing a Basement

    Although the attic floor is the most important place in a house to air-seal, it's also important to air-seal the basement. This Energy-Smart Details article outlines the places in a basement where cold air is most likely to leak in during the winter, and he provides suggestions on the best ways to seal these areas. Read more...


    Double-Stud Walls

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    Double-Stud Walls next

  • Double-Stud Walls
    Double-Stud Walls

    Double-stud walls are a low-tech way to create highly energy-efficient walls with common materials and familiar assemblies. Read more...


    Outdoor Kitchen Inspiration

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    Outdoor Kitchen Inspiration next