Featured Blog Posts (92)

Case Study: Experiences in an All-LED Home

The kitchen is illuminated with ten 12W ceiling can lights. The two pendant lights are 3W LEDs. LED equivalents were not yet available for the fluorescent undercounter lights.  

This all started in August 2010 when we discovered that a rat had eaten gaping holes in the outlet hose of our dishwasher. When all the damage was counted, we were looking at a complete…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on April 24, 2017 at 6:42am — No Comments

Case Study: Aiming for Net Zero Energy in Florida

The north side of the Parker-Shepperd house after remodeling. Note from the “before” photo (below) that sloped roof trusses were added to accommodate insulation and PV panels, and that an addition pushed out into the original front porch.…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on April 17, 2017 at 7:03am — No Comments

Case Study: Deep Energy Retrofit in Ohio

The Wilson-James family in front of their remodeled 1942 Cape Cod–style home.

Owners: Jeff Wilson and Sherri James

Location: Athens, Ohio

Climate Zone: Cold

Jeff and Sherri’s original plan was to buy a house in town, do a quick…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on April 10, 2017 at 10:00am — No Comments

Lighting Choices to Save You Money

Light your home using the same amount of light for less money. An average household dedicates about 5% of its energy budget to lighting. Switching to energy-efficient lighting is…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on April 2, 2017 at 10:02am — No Comments

Landscaping for Shade

A trellis with a climbing vine can shade a home and still allow air circulation. 
| Photo courtesy of John Krigger, Saturn Resource.

A trellis with a climbing vine can shade a home and still allow air circulation. 
| Photo courtesy of John Krigger, Saturn Resource.…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on March 27, 2017 at 6:00am — No Comments

Bring in the sun with daylighting



Daylighting is the use of windows and skylights to bring sunlight into your home.

Today's highly energy-efficient windows, as…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on March 20, 2017 at 6:38am — No Comments

Tankless water heaters

Diagram of a tankless water heater.

Diagram of a tankless water heater.…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on March 13, 2017 at 6:00am — No Comments

Landscaping for Energy-Efficient Homes

This map shows the four broadest categories of climate zones for the lower 49 United States. Understanding your climate zone can help you determine the best energy-saving landscaping strategies for your home.

This map shows the four broadest categories of climate zones for the lower 49 United States. Understanding your climate zone can help you determine the best energy-saving landscaping strategies for your…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on March 6, 2017 at 7:00am — No Comments

Energy Savings Project: Insulating Your Water Heater Tank

Just like insulating your walls or roof, insulating your hot water tank is an easy and inexpensive way to improve energy efficiency and save you money…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on February 27, 2017 at 7:00am — No Comments

Home Energy Audits

A home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment, can help you understand the whole picture of your home's energy use. An audit can help you determine how much energy your home uses, where your home is…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on February 20, 2017 at 6:30am — No Comments

Saving Energy in the Kitchen

ENERGY STAR<sup>&reg;</sup> Refrigerators Are Cool! ENERGY STAR-qualified refrigerators use 15% less energy than non-qualified models. Models with top-mounted freezers use 10%-25% less energy than side-by-side or bottom-mount units.
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Added by Diane Chojnowski on February 13, 2017 at 5:30am — No Comments

Buy lumens - not watts

lighting_sub.jpg

When you're shopping for lightbulbs, compare lumens to be sure you're getting the amount of light, or level of brightness, you want. The Lighting Facts Label will help. This new label will make it easy to compare bulb brightness, color, life, and estimated operating cost for the year.

BUY LUMENS, NOT WATTS…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on February 6, 2017 at 5:41am — No Comments

Should you replace those old windows?

Sometimes there are compelling reasons not to replace old windows. Some old windows are beautiful, thoroughly appreciated, and repairable. Some are in historic homes, where the local ordinances prohibit replacing them. Or you may find the cost of window replacement too high, while other,…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on January 30, 2017 at 6:48am — No Comments

Things You Should Know: Dryer Vents Can Be a Fire Hazard

Originally posted on BPIhomeowner.org.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 17,000 home clothes dryer fires…

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Added by Quinn Korzeniecki on January 26, 2017 at 10:27am — No Comments

Congratulate Yourself on Achieving One Easy Energy-Saving Resolution

You can cut wasted electricity used for lighting by as much as 30% when you replace manual light…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on January 9, 2017 at 7:00am — No Comments

Minimizing Energy Consumption and the Future of Energy Efficient Buildings

As the world turns to the issue…

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Added by Samantha Jones on January 7, 2017 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Where to insulate in a home

Examples of where to insulate. 1. In unfinished attic spaces, insulate between and over the floor joists to seal off living spaces below. If the air distribution is in the attic space, then consider insulating the rafters to move the distribution into the conditioned space. (1A) attic access door 2. In finished attic rooms with or without dormer, insulate (2A) between the studs of "knee" walls, (2B) between the studs and rafters of exterior walls and roof, (2C) and ceilings with cold spaces above. (2D) Extend insulation into joist space to reduce air flows. 3. All exterior walls, including (3A) walls between living spaces and unheated garages, shed roofs, or storage areas; (3B) foundation walls above ground level; (3C) foundation walls in heated basements, full wall either interior or exterior. 4. Floors above cold spaces, such as vented crawl spaces and unheated garages. Also insulate (4A) any portion of the floor in a room that is cantilevered beyond the exterior wall below; (4B) slab floors built directly on the ground; (4C) as an alternative to floor insulation, foundation walls of unvented crawl spaces. (4D) Extend insulation into joist space to reduce air flows. 5. Band joists. 6. Replacement or storm windows and caulk and seal around all windows and doors. Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Examples of where to insulate. 1. In unfinished attic spaces, insulate between and over the floor joists to seal off living spaces below. If the air distribution is in the attic space, then consider…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on January 3, 2017 at 5:57am — No Comments

Water uses energy. Energy uses water.

Water uses energy. Energy uses water. The "water-energy nexus"—as it has come to be known—is one of the emerging hot topics when it comes to making homes greener and more resource-efficient. The …

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on December 26, 2016 at 6:32am — No Comments

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