January 2013 Blog Posts (22)

Rock Wool Old Dog New Tricks

I've been reading a lot of info from Europe on rock wool. It is claimed to be close in R-value to foam and much greener with open vapor. I am interested in using for exterior and basement insulation. Does anyone have experience using rigid rock wool? Thanks.

Added by Richard Scott Mills on January 31, 2013 at 4:32pm — No Comments

Transaction Process Summit on High Performance Houses in Washington DC on January 30, 2013

I attended a meeting yesterday in Wash. DC sponsored by DOE and titled, Transaction Process Summit, - intended as a first attempt to develop a strategic road map to help the residential transaction process recognize the value of high performance homes.  Sam Rashkin of DOE led the lively discussion on the issues that surround the residential high performance home transactions.  Champions in the room included representatives from government agencies, MLS, NAR, NAHB, Mortgage…

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Added by Sandra K. Adomatis, SRA on January 30, 2013 at 5:46pm — 3 Comments

Natural Draft Orphaned Hot Water Heater

We keep running into these.

Natural Draft Orphaned Hot Water Heaters that will not pass Draft.

Any thoughts on economical solutions?

These are typically in a pre-Weatherized house.

Added by Jim Peck on January 30, 2013 at 9:44am — 12 Comments

7 Reasons to Come to the RESNET Conference This Year

I've been going to the RESNET conference at the beginning of each year since 2009. I also went in 2004, and I can tell you that it's a great learning and networking opportunity if you're in the home energy industry. Are you on the fence about coming to the RESNET conference this year? Are you not on the fence but just haven't registered yet? Even if neither of those apply, see…

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Added by Allison A. Bailes III on January 25, 2013 at 3:22pm — No Comments

Jim Roche Named Plumber Manager at H.O. Electric, Plumbing, Heating & Cooling

Jim Roche, a North Shore resident, has been named Plumber Manager at H.O. Electric, Plumbing, Heating & Cooling.

Roche, who joined H.O. Electric in December of 2012, started his career in Massachusetts and brought his skills down to Florida for a time. Deciding on returning back to the Greater Boston Area he found his home with H.O. Electric as the companies new Plumbing Manager. In his new role,…

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Added by H.O. Electric on January 24, 2013 at 12:00pm — 1 Comment

A Greener Deal from Across the Pond

Reposted from i.e., the Center for Energy and Environment's Innovation Exchange blog -- http://mncee.org/Innovation-Exchange/ie/

 

From Sep 2010 to Apr 2011, CEE’s residential program staff had the…

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Added by Lester Shen on January 23, 2013 at 1:04pm — 4 Comments

Do Words Matter for High Performance Homes?

When people consider high performance homes the term “label” gets used most broadly – in both a positive or negative context.  In general, when people talk about…

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Added by Laura Reedy Stukel on January 18, 2013 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment

HVAC Contractors: Survive and prosper in hard times

The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC 2009 and 2012) requires HVAC ducts to be tested to prove a minimum leakage.  While many states and localities will adopt this code outright, it is likely that many will also amend it to allow inspection and sealing alternatives. Many HVAC contractors are bound to breathe a sigh of relief at not having to face potential failure and the subsequent looking for the 'leak in the trunk line' that will eat up their profit margins by the…

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Added by Scott Graham on January 17, 2013 at 5:11pm — 1 Comment

Oil Tanks in Your Home

 For a technician or auditor that works outside of the Oil Heating Industry, seeing a tank leaking in a basement can send you into a moment of shock.  Then of course, the dreaded conversation with the Homeowner will cast a cloud.  The key is to have a plan, and know what to do.  The smallest amount of knowledge in this subject could make you the hero.  Simply stating, "Call your Oil Company!" can leave them feeling helpless.  Of course, that oil delivery company must know about a leaking…

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Added by Chris Morin on January 15, 2013 at 2:52pm — 3 Comments

Sacred Work

A building is not sacred. A church or a temple, no matter how old, or big, or beautiful, by itself is not sacred. It’s the attitude of the people and the things that people do in a building that make it sacred or not. I have met many people in the home performance field who quietly go about the work of…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on January 11, 2013 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Get the Most out of Home Energy Efficiency Tax Credits in Illinois

As part of the “fiscal cliff” legislation signed into law early this year, Congress provided a number of 2012 and 2013 tax credits for home energy efficiency improvements. These tax credits, coupled with financial incentives available for energy efficiency improvements, make right now a lucrative time to invest in home energy…
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Added by Melissa Ulbricht on January 11, 2013 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Time to Stand Up and Be Counted!

If a tree falls in the…

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Added by Laura Reedy Stukel on January 10, 2013 at 5:36pm — No Comments

Energy Efficiency & Real Estate in 2013?

This new year has the promise of some bright signs in the housing market.  There are equally…

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Added by Laura Reedy Stukel on January 10, 2013 at 5:06pm — No Comments

Book Review: An Introduction to Green Homes

The Appraisal Institute’s An Introduction to Green Homes is yet another valuable tool from the Institute, paving the way for appraisers to handle green home assignments. The book, authored by long-time appraiser, REALTOR, and educator Alan Simmons in 2010 helps appraisers new to this work “know what they don’t know.” The book equips appraisers to identify green building certifications, techniques,…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on January 9, 2013 at 1:11pm — No Comments

Clocking a Gas Meter

  After writing last week's post: "High CO Reading, Now What?" it occurred to me that not as many people out there: technicians, raters, or auditors; are up to speed on the age old firing rate calculation.  I hope this simple procedure is easily understood as you may find it useful if you are working with negative pressure gas valves, with Energy Star Homes, or just simply forgot your manometer at the shop.  I…

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Added by Chris Morin on January 8, 2013 at 9:29pm — 4 Comments

We have blown way past the climate tipping point!

For some reason this is never reported in the popular media, anywhere: We have blown Way Past the climate tipping point! The proof of this follows:

The Climactic Tipping Point we passed it 5 years ago! More…

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Added by Tom DelConte on January 8, 2013 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Secondhand Smoke Animations

Reposted from i.e., the Center for Energy and Environment's Innovation Exchange blog -- http://mncee.org/Innovation-Exchange/ie/…

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Added by Lester Shen on January 8, 2013 at 11:21am — No Comments

Bang for the buck: deep-energy retrofit approach

"Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing...after they have exhausted all other possibilities."                                                                                                      Winston Churchill

How much does it cost to perform a deep-energy retrofit at a 100-year-old single-family home? Thanks to a recent study in Utica, New York, we now know the answer: about $100,000.…

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Added by Igor Zhadanovsky on January 3, 2013 at 4:44pm — 32 Comments

High CO Reading, Now What?

Things used to be so easy when working in this business back in the day. When carrying tools for some old timers, I remember some replacing an air filter and kicking the furnace while saying"Yup, still here!" Maintenance these days, for great reason, has taken a more efficient operation mentality, mainly because energy prices have started to affect our wallets. These days, 68% steady state efficiency oil boilers and gas furnaces with high carbon monoxide readings mean something. But, does it… Continue

Added by Chris Morin on January 3, 2013 at 2:36pm — 1 Comment

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