Featured Blog Posts (765)

Heating Houses in Hawaii (pt. 1)

This entry is published here:

http://www.terrawatthome.com/news/2017/11/29/heating-houses-hawaii

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It can get cold in Hawaii.  I…

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Added by Blake Reid on December 11, 2017 at 1:14pm — 4 Comments

3 Myths About Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Misconceptions About Air Quality and Home Performance

Recently I wrote a blog about the October 2017 firestorms in Northern California. I live and work in the city of Sonoma and was directly affected by the fires. My family and I evacuated our home and waited out the fires on safer grounds until the danger passed. We are OK, life has resumed, but the impact on the region will last for several years.

In my last post, I wrote about how air quality was impacted in the area, and how people responded by using N95 face masks…

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Added by Efficiency First California on December 12, 2017 at 3:43pm — 1 Comment

Degree Days Shuffle

A 2015 study, “Impacts of global warming on residential heating and cooling degree-days in the United States,” comparing heating degree-days (HDD), cooling degree-days (CDD), and HDD + CDD across the United States during the historical period 1981–2010 and the future period 2080–2099 predicts that New York City weather will become more like today’s Oklahoma City weather and Seattle’s will become more like present day San…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on December 12, 2017 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Tell me again: Exactly where do I place that vapor barrier again?

There may be much confusion as to where vapor barriers are placed in building systems. Some people think that it really doesn’t matter just where these are installed whereby others believe that it really does matter.  A critical factor determining the vapor barrier placement is where the building is located; in Northern Climates where heating is the main concern and in Southern Climates where air conditioning is the concern. We…

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Added by John Krochmalny on December 11, 2017 at 11:30am — No Comments

Cool—and Warm—Clothing

“Why do you need to cool and heat the whole building? Why don’t you cool and heat individual people?” asked Yi Cui, professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford University.

Putting on or taking off articles of clothing works to keep a body cool or warm within a certain temperature range; outside that range we rely on heating systems and A/C to keep us comfortable. But what if one garment did both the heating and the cooling?

Cui’s colleague and postdoctoral fellow…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on November 30, 2017 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Split Level Solarized Home Models

  This past month I wanted to expand on an idea I had designing tiny homes for use with larger ranch and split level homes.  The split level home is ideal in the  mountain regions where I live at where we have lots of hills and mountain side…
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Added by Dannie Jackson on November 23, 2017 at 8:00am — No Comments

IAQ and Mold

What Is Mold?

According to the IICRC S520 “Molds are microorganisms that utilize organic substrates as nutrient sources in the presence of moisture.” Well, to put it more simply: molds are little organisms that like to grow on wet, organic materials (A.K.A. wood floors, dirt, and drywall).

Mold doesn't grow on inorganic materials; However, it can grow on the dirt present on the…

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Added by Summer Reyes on November 22, 2017 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Equipment We Use: Detecting Water With Infrared Cameras

You know water is somewhere on the property, you can smell the mildew, but can't determine the source of the leak. So how do you find water that you can't see? As a water damage restoration company, one of our most important tools in our arsenal is an FLIR camera, or an infrared camera. …

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Added by Summer Reyes on November 10, 2017 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Strategies for Hiring and Interviewing for Home Performance Professionals

Hire slow and fire fast.  It’s a phrase that experienced managers and human resources professionals live by because many of us have learned the hard way that it only takes one bad hire to put your business into DEFCON Red Alert mode, which unfortunately tends to last weeks or even months after the event.  Certainly, robust training programs, quality assurance, employee perks, good pay and an encouraging work environment all contribute to a company’s success, but it’s the human element, the…

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Added by David Byrnes on November 19, 2017 at 1:01am — No Comments

People Who Save Energy

According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), there are millions of workers in the country creating homes that are more energy efficient, and safer and more comfortable to live in. In fact, the Department of Energy puts that number at more than 2-million people working for energy…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on November 15, 2017 at 2:35pm — No Comments

Focusing on payback to motivate customers?

From the OmStout Blog

My experience has shown that focusing on payback is usually one of the least effective ways to motivate homeowners to invest in projects that save energy. Other motivators like comfort, healthier homes, lower bills (yes,…

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Added by Mike Rogers on November 9, 2017 at 12:54pm — No Comments

Building a Market for High-Performing Homes

There is a growing number of labels, scores, and certifications in the market today that assign a metric of performance to existing and new homes that include energy efficiency features. Some residential scores and labels are national, like Home Energy Score, but many are local or regional, like our friends at Pearl Home Certification (which you can read more…

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Added by Home Performance Coalition on November 9, 2017 at 8:47am — No Comments

Coping with Dust and Smoke From Fires

October will long be remembered in Northern California, where wildfires destroyed over 8,000 structures, killed scores, and forever changed Sonoma and Napa counties. Survivors face new threats and hazards seldom addressed in design-build magazines and chat rooms.

We instinctually fear flames from…

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Added by Home Energy Magazine on November 7, 2017 at 2:57pm — 1 Comment

Designing A Smart Home With Phase Change Thermal Mass



A phase change thermal mass material that is applied over

wall cavity insulation before the drywall is applied.

This material is rated to store 91 Btu per square foot.

Phase Change Energy Solutions USA…

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Added by Dannie Jackson on October 2, 2017 at 7:45pm — 2 Comments

HPC Responds to the Direct Testimony of Randall Short - West Virginia Public Service Commission

The Home Performance Coalition (HPC) recently wrote Hon. Michael A. Albert, Chairman of the West Virginia Public Service Commission in response to the September 15, 2017 Direct Testimony of Randall Short in Case No. 17-0401-E-P, which reaches the extraordinary and unsupported conclusion that with the proposed EE/DR programs “from an economic perspective, customers are better off if the proposed programs are denied.” (Short Testimony, Page 7).

HPC believes that the economic conclusions…

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Added by Home Performance Coalition on October 26, 2017 at 3:30pm — No Comments

New Home Builders Tackle Zero-Energy Home Building in Connecticut

Connecticut’s 2016 Zero Energy Challenge reinforces the growing interest in the zero-energy home building movement. In addition to increased participation among experienced homebuilders, the 2016 challenge had an influx of inexperienced zero-energy home builders trying their hand at zero-energy homebuilding for the first time, with two winning.

How did they do it?

Research, research, and more research

While…

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Added by Jim Gunshinan on October 26, 2017 at 2:30pm — 1 Comment

How To Make Use Of Passive Geo Thermal Energy For Cooling



From article "Earth Tube Materials"



  In the above picture we see a massive earth tube

construction being built for use by a large building.


  Sometime in the 1970's some engineers decided that they could make use of the geo thermal energy of…
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Added by Dannie Jackson on October 1, 2017 at 11:30am — No Comments

3 Issues HVAC contractors Should Know About Impacting Customer Comfort and Health

There is an epidemic of people suffering in many of the 100 million homes across the U.S.  Many of your customers are living in uncomfortable and unhealthy homes, and are wasting money trying to heat and cool their homes.

Even after HVAC contractors have installed higher efficiency, properly sized equipment in their homes, many are still getting call backs from customers because they have rooms and entire homes that remain too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter.  The HVAC…

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Added by Marc Tannenbaum on October 19, 2017 at 11:30am — 5 Comments

Sizing Solar Space Heating Panels

Solar Space Heating Panels

 USSolarHeating.com
   This article is open to additional information being added later as I can manage the time. I would want to detail as much useful information as possible, however for today what we have here is a good start.


   In this discussion we will be looking at solar space heaters of the air…
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Added by Dannie Jackson on October 7, 2017 at 11:00am — No Comments

Core Heat And Other Concepts









  In some places the use of solar heated liquids from hot water solar panels are used to provide heating for floors which are fitted with tubing in the floor to move the heated liquid through.  Heated liquid from hot water solar panels can also be sent to registers or radiators in remote places in a home such as its core.



  Another innovative way that heated liquids can be used is to move the liquid into a…
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Added by Dannie Jackson on October 9, 2017 at 2:30pm — No Comments

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