Home Energy Saver's Blog (47)

DOE Challenge Home Spotlight in Illinois—Q&A with Brandon Weiss

While attending the 2013 Solar Decathlon in southern California, we also had the pleasure of attending DOE’s Housing Innovation Awards ceremony. Impressed by the various builders committed to…

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Added by Home Energy Saver on January 6, 2014 at 8:30am — No Comments

Understanding Energy-Efficient Window Ratings

High-performance windows come in a variety of designs and offer multiple benefits to consumers. The term “energy-efficient” has become an integral part of the homebuilding industry but it’s a term that can be confusing to those who don’t do enough research on either new or replacement windows.

What are the benefits of energy-efficient windows?

High-performance windows substantially reduce…

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Added by Home Energy Saver on December 30, 2013 at 8:30am — No Comments

Real Estate Investor Sells "Green-and-Flips" for More

Real estate investor Kassi Pelley had bought and sold a number of “fix-and-flip” homes in metro Denver when she fell down the rabbit hole of green building and certifications.  She’s gotten a price bump – the “green premium” – on every home she’s upgraded…

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Added by Home Energy Saver on December 23, 2013 at 8:30am — No Comments

How Solar Energy Systems Can Work with Home Performance

Before you even think about adding solar, you need to understand that there’s more to energy efficiency than using renewable energy resources. It's important to know that your home is at its most efficient when it has a tight building envelope.

  • What is a tight building envelope? When a home has a tight envelope, it…
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Added by Home Energy Saver on December 16, 2013 at 8:30am — No Comments

Folk Labels and Home Energy

You’ve almost certainly seen them: a yellow Post-it on the thermostat or a brief note scribbled near the water heater controls, or perhaps a dog-eared card taped to the clothes washer. These are reminders to ourselves (or visitors) about how to operate the device. We call them “folk labels” so as to distinguish them…

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Added by Home Energy Saver on December 9, 2013 at 9:00am — No Comments

Getting the Most from Your Fan

Ceiling fans are one of the most popular and generally well regarded of all home energy efficiency features. They have a very pragmatic appeal to those who want to cut summer electric bills. At the same time, they offer a decorative alternative to typical light fixtures. So it should come as no surprise that two-thirds of American households now have ceiling fans.…

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Added by Home Energy Saver on December 2, 2013 at 8:30am — No Comments

Making the Invisible Visible: Valuing Energy Efficiency Improvements in a Real Estate Transaction

Often, when homeowners make improvements to an existing house, the most important aspects of home performance – including safety, comfort, energy efficiency, durability, and environmental impact – are literally invisible during key steps of any home sale or refinance…

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Added by Home Energy Saver on November 25, 2013 at 8:30am — No Comments

5 Simple Steps that Will Save You in Energy Costs

How can we save more money without significantly changing our lifestyle? The answer may surprise you. Making energy-efficient improvements to your home and the way you choose to use your resources is much simpler than you may be anticipating. In fact, once you start living sustainably, you'll have a hard time imagining how you did it any other way. Here are five major…

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Added by Home Energy Saver on November 18, 2013 at 9:00am — No Comments

Weatherizing Homes to Uniform Standard Can Achieve $33 Billion in Annual Energy Savings

With winter around the corner some homeowners may be thinking about plugging all the leaks in their home to make them less drafty. Imagine if every homeowner in the country did that—how much energy could be saved? Using physics-based modeling of the U.S. housing stock, researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) found in a new study that upgrading…

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Added by Home Energy Saver on November 11, 2013 at 9:00am — No Comments

No-Regrets Remodeling Second Edition: Creating a Comfortable, Healthy Home That Saves Energy

Want to create an attractive home that meets your needs while being more energy efficient, comfortable, and durable? The second edition of No-Regrets Remodeling shows readers how to plan and design homes that are less costly to operate and maintain, and healthier for their family. 

No-Regrets Remodeling…

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Added by Home Energy Saver on November 4, 2013 at 8:30am — No Comments

This is the Future

On October 3, 2013 I attended the opening ceremony of the Solar Decathlon in Irvine, California. The Solar Decathlon is a competition that challenges collegiate teams to design and build energy-efficient houses powered with solar energy. Nineteen total teams successfully…

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Added by Home Energy Saver on October 28, 2013 at 8:00am — No Comments

Energy Awareness is a Powerful Tool

Home performance pros hear it all the time: “I had no idea I was using that much energy!” Homeowners are often unaware of just how much energy their appliances, electronics, and systems are using. This is the reason behind many marketing…

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Added by Home Energy Saver on October 21, 2013 at 8:30am — No Comments

Lighting Controls and Zero Energy Homes

An article in the September/October issue of Home Energy, "Boosting Multifamily Energy Savings Through Lighting Control Settings" (page 38), has implications beyond dramatic savings in stairwells in apartment buildings. Ostensibly the…

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Added by Home Energy Saver on October 14, 2013 at 8:30am — No Comments

Subtle Green Home Renovations

Encouraging a greener lifestyle is incredibly important, especially with so much waste in the world. And although many people in 2013 are starting to cut back in whatever way they can, others are unfortunately more resistant to change.

Some people assume that they need to sacrifice certain comforts in the name of…

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Added by Home Energy Saver on October 7, 2013 at 8:30am — No Comments

Heating Errors

A German industry organization has listed several  “big errors” that it claims are costing consumers money and reducing the effectiveness of their home heating. WÄRME+ objects to opening the windows a crack during the heating season and shutting down…

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Added by Home Energy Saver on October 1, 2013 at 8:30am — 1 Comment

Autumn Home Energy Checklist

Fireplace and Chimney

The fireplace is an absolute must for maintenance and inspection. Although fireplaces are not energy efficient in most cases, they can be a money saver if you have a wood source. They are also most efficient when a…

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Added by Home Energy Saver on September 24, 2013 at 9:30am — No Comments

At Home in The Sumac Grove

The mission began when our last child graduated from college and we began to look to downsize our living accommodations. We have lived in the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, since the late 70s, and as nature lovers were looking for some land with a little elbow room. In 2011, after about a year of searching, we found a five-acre parcel, The Sumac Grove, that suited our…

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Added by Home Energy Saver on September 16, 2013 at 8:30am — No Comments

Why Japan's Electricity Crisis Matters

You may not read about it on the front page of the newspapers, but Japan is undergoing a second electricity crisis. The first took place last spring and summer after the Fukushima earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent meltdown of multiple nuclear power plants. That power crisis mostly affected Tokyo and northern Japan. This second crisis affects all of Japan, and it…

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Added by Home Energy Saver on September 9, 2013 at 9:00am — No Comments

A Housing Recovery, but Not for All Americans

Driven by rising home prices and growing demand, the U.S. housing recovery is well underway, concludes The State of the Nation’s Housing report released recently by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. While still at historically low levels, housing construction has…

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Added by Home Energy Saver on September 2, 2013 at 8:30am — No Comments

The Rising Cost of Water

The chart below recently caught my attention (1). It shows the changes in prices over time of residential “utilities,” that is, electricity, natural gas, water and sewage, and telephones. My attention normally goes directly to the familiar energy utilities, electricity and natural gas. But wait! Water and sewage…

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Added by Home Energy Saver on August 26, 2013 at 9:00am — No Comments

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