tag: energy efficiency


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Whats the Best Way to Control Indoor-Air Quality and Humidity in a House?

What's the Best Way to Control Indoor-Air Quality and Humidity in a House?

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The tighter the house, the greater the need for whole-house ventilation. But what system would work best for your house?

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Finally, a foam gun that will last (I hope)

Finally, a foam gun that will last (I hope)

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Years ago, I grew tired of spending money on disposable cans of spray foam. With the exception of some of the newer multi-use throw-away cans (see a video here), I knew the reusable spray foam guns...

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Is Formaldehyde-Foam Insulation Safe?

Is Formaldehyde-Foam Insulation Safe?

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When high-performance builders talk about spray-foam insulation, they’re typically talking about polyurethane. But it turns out there’s more than one kind of spray foam used in...

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Q&A Spotlight: Getting a Fair Shake on a Green House

Q&A Spotlight: Getting a Fair Shake on a Green House

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Many people are having trouble getting loans to build better houses because appraisers and lenders won't put real value on energy efficiency and durability.

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Blower Door Testing Prior To Remodeling

Blower Door Testing Prior To Remodeling

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Blower Door testing is a way to measure how "tightly" your house was built. You're heard me preach about Build Tight, Ventilate Right. Well, this is the way we ensure that we've Built Tight. This essential test is required if we have any hope to tighten the building envelope while remodeling. In this video you'll see how it's performed and what can be learned. -Matt Risinger

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The Goldilocks Approach to Tight Houses: Is There A 'Just-Right' For Leakiness?

Many say "Tight houses need to breathe." To which, tight house advocates say "Where should I poke the hole, and how big should it be?"

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Solar Power Advocacy, with a Balk at the Nuclear Option

A utility watchdog in North Carolina touts solar as an economically viable alternative to nuclear power, while a Florida politician highlights solar’s jobs-generating potential

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Q&A Spotlight: Can Solar Heat Be Stored for Next Winter?

Q&A Spotlight: Can Solar Heat Be Stored for Next Winter?

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Solar collectors crank out plenty of hot water during the summer, and can even make some contribution to space heating in winter. But conventional solar systems can’t store enough heat to make...

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Lawsuit Highlights a Weatherization Safety Issue

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A case in Michigan serves as a reminder that encounters with potentially hazardous materials are common for retrofitters, including those working under the Weatherization Assistance Program

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Exploiting Heat and Photons in Solar Power Devices

Researchers at Stanford explore concepts for a solar cell that uses both photons and thermal energy for electricity generation

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Feeding Real-Time Data to Microsoft's Hohm

Blue Line Innovations’ PowerCost Monitor is designed to track Hohm subscribers’ energy use by the second

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Insulating behind a brick wall?

Insulating behind a brick wall?

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I audited a brick house this week. There's no insulation in the walls. The customer doesn't want to blow from the inside (b/c the inside walls are papered and they're concerned about how the finishes...

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Q&A Spotlight: How Do I Choose the Best Energy-Efficient Window?

Q&A Spotlight: How Do I Choose the Best Energy-Efficient Window?

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There was a time when opening, closing, and letting in light was all that any good window had to do. Nowadays, windows are anything but simple.

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Q&A Spotlight: How Green Are Tankless Water Heaters?

Q&A Spotlight: How Green Are Tankless Water Heaters?

If your super-efficient tankless system gives you an endless supply of hot water, you might actually be more likely to waste energy and water.

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Heat Pump, Schmeat Pump

Heat Pump, Schmeat Pump

13 comments

Ground source heat pumps don't save energy because the electricity used by the 'pump' isn't part of the equation. Moreover, electricity is one of the least efficient ways of making power.

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Does Rigid Foam Insulation Trap Moisture in the Walls?

Does Rigid Foam Insulation Trap Moisture in the Walls?

9 comments

You can seriously cut your home's demand for energy by adding rigid insulation, but will wrapping your home with foam cause the walls to rot?

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Podcast Brain Teaser Winner Announced

Podcast Brain Teaser Winner Announced

This week on the podcast, learn about the govenrment's new Home Star program and find out who won the Milwaukee Job Saw Kit from last week's episode.

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¡Viva Verde!

¡Viva Verde!

For green building to survive it has to become bilingual.

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UPDATE: Winners Chosen in our Toward a Zero Energy Home Book Givaway

UPDATE: Winners Chosen in our 'Toward a Zero Energy Home' Book Givaway

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Leave a comment here by 1pm, Tuesday, May 18, for a chance to win the book "Toward a Zero Energy Home", a complete guide to energy self-sufficiency at home.

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Zero-Energy Homes Start With Air-sealing, Insulation, and Weatherproofing

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Basements, walls, and roofs that keep weather out and heat in are the foundation of a durable, energy-efficient home. Read this introduction to how heat, air, and water move and how to control them.

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