Diane Chojnowski's Blog (164)

Energy 101: Lighting Choices

Lighting your house can be up to 10% of your electricity bill. Here are some good ways to save on lighting costs.

Added by Diane Chojnowski on July 15, 2014 at 8:30am — No Comments

Adding Insulation to an Existing Home

Understand how a structure such as a house works to create a comfortable interior environment and learn the ways insulation is added to an existing home.

Added by Diane Chojnowski on July 7, 2014 at 11:00am — No Comments

Case Study: Historic Home Gets a Remodel

If you’re a homeowner, whom do you call when you find mold in a closet and on the ceiling of a bathroom? How about when paint starts peeling on your dining room wall? Whom do you call when there’s standing water in your crawl space? Whom do you think to contact when it’s getting harder and more expensive to keep the house…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on June 29, 2014 at 8:34am — No Comments

Case Study: Low-Pain Gain in California

In considering the electricity usage we wanted to offset, I imagined our 3,200-square-foot home’s energy performance would be at least modestly good since it was built under California’s progressive Title 24 energy code. Additionally, our climate zone in Oakland is mild and I considered my family to be energy efficient. I was in for a…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on June 26, 2014 at 6:05am — No Comments

Ask Energy Saver

Temperatures are rising but your energy bills don't have to!



This month, Energy Department experts are answering your questions about saving energy during summer -- whether you want to know about more efficient ways to cool your home or the best air conditioner for your needs.…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on June 19, 2014 at 5:30am — No Comments

Case Study: A Living Laboratory in California

The Beeler house at the time of purchase in 1998.

In 1997, George and Ellen Beeler “decided to get serious about living a green lifestyle.” This included living in town to reduce automobile fuel use and improving an existing house. George is an…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on June 16, 2014 at 5:30am — No Comments

Tips: Landscaping

Buildings and Trees—Natural Partners. Deciduous trees planted on the south and west sides will help keep…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on June 9, 2014 at 8:30am — No Comments

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…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on June 2, 2014 at 6:30am — No Comments

Case Study: Pacifica Coastal Cottage

The Pacifica Coastal Cottage was built in 1934 by the current occupant's father, a couple hundred yards from the Pacific shoreline, south of San Francisco. The original 700 ft2 shack was added onto haphazardly over the years to a total of 1,503 square feet, and it grew to 1,706 square…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on May 27, 2014 at 6:30am — No Comments

Work with Nature to Keep Your House Cool in Summer

The primary goal in cooling is to avoid experiencing heat. Keep the sun out, let cool breezes in, turn off your lights and appliances, and seek the coolest spot indoors or out. The summer sun is a potent heat source; it affects your house primarily on

  • the east side in the…
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Added by Diane Chojnowski on May 19, 2014 at 6:56am — No Comments

Case Study: Living off the Sun

From Alison Wiley, Diamond-Cut Life

One year into having our rooftop solar panels installed here in Portland Oregon, we’re living off the sun. That’s to say, we producing slightly more…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on May 12, 2014 at 6:30am — No Comments

Financial Incentives

Even though most investments in energy efficiency pay for themselves many times over, finding the cash to do it isn't always easy. This problem is addressed by rebates provided by energy companies and others, creative mortgage products provided by banks, tax credits provided by state and federal government, and even cash incentives for scrapping…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on May 5, 2014 at 6:30am — No Comments

Crawl Spaces

If your house has a raised floor and no basement, the crawl space is the area between the floor framing and the ground below. This space can be either vented (the most co…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on April 28, 2014 at 5:30am — No Comments

Washing Dishes: By Machine or by Hand?

Studies have found that a new, energy-efficient dishwasher saves significant amounts of both water and energy compared to hand dishwashing. So if your dishwasher is more than seven to ten years old, you’ll probably want to consider buying a new one. Not only can a new dishwasher save water and energy, but some of them are exceptionally quiet.…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on April 21, 2014 at 7:13am — No Comments

Do Today or Do Later?

Planning projects you can do today:

    Make an appointment with a home performance assessor.

    Start a Homeowner’s Manual for your home.

    Try out some no-budget changes that make better use of space and energy.



Planning projects that will take more time:

    Carefully consider your goals for this project.

    Interview…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on April 15, 2014 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Keeping food cold can use a lot of energy

Keeping food cold can use a lot of energy. Here’s another area where you need to make careful decisions.…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on April 10, 2014 at 6:30am — No Comments

Top 8 Things You Didn’t Know About Daylight Saving Time

8. This month, people across the country set their clocks forward an hour, marking the start to Daylight Saving Time. But it hasn’t always happened on the second Sunday in March. The Energy Policy Act of 2005, which was implemented in 2007, added four weeks to Daylight Saving Time by changing it to start on the second Sunday in March and end on the first Sunday in…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on March 21, 2014 at 7:00am — No Comments

Choose the Right Advanced Power Strip

Remember the days when your home had only one TV and a computer was something you only needed at work?…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on March 13, 2014 at 6:33am — No Comments

Portable Heaters

Small space heaters are typically used when the main heating system is inadequate or when central heating is too costly to install or operate. In some cases, small space heaters can be less expensive to use if you only want to heat one room or supplement inadequate heating in one room. They can also boost the temperature of rooms used by individuals who are sensitive to cold,…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on March 5, 2014 at 5:47pm — No Comments

#AskEnergySaver about Insulation

One of the most cost-effective ways to improve your home's comfort is to add insulation to your attic. Learn more about insulation. | Photo courtesy of Dennis Schroeder, National Renewable Energy Lab.…

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Added by Diane Chojnowski on February 26, 2014 at 7:19am — No Comments

Forum

Unseen Energy Wasters [Infographic] 4 Replies

Started by Home Energy Saver in Start a Conversation. Last reply by Andrea Bozzi May 14.

Your House is a System 1 Reply

Started by Mike Kandel in Case Studies. Last reply by pumicefluff Sep 18, 2019.

Energy Efficiency Meets Home Automation 1 Reply

Started by John Cargile in Start a Conversation. Last reply by Arushi Arora Oct 16, 2017.

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