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Wednesday, 29 January 2014 11:46

God Save the Queen!

queen elizabeth

Just heard on NPR that with all this cold weather, Buckingham Palace is looking to energy efficiency to help reduce costs. At 77,000 square feet, an energy upgrade that saved just 20% of their energy, the Queen could save this much:

$160,000 per year!

This big number is partly because the cost per kWh in Great Britain is somewhere around $.52 - a little more than four times what we pay here.

Thursday, 09 January 2014 14:40

The Duct System Trifecta

 

babyovercrawlspace

The average duct system is about 30% leaky. This is not just an energy efficiency problem (it can make energy bills in summer and winter nearly double). It is a three part air quality problem. High pressure inside leaky duct systems will do three things:

Comfort: It will force conditioned air into unconditioned areas (attics, crawlspaces) at leak locations. Resulting pressure loss makes systems work harder to maintain temperature, and rooms at the end of the duct runs may be uncomfortable.

Allergens: Pressure difference can bring dirty, dusty air into the duct system and distribute it throughout the home or office through supply vents. This dust can aggravate allergies. Worse, if there is mold or other allergens present in attics or crawlspaces, well, you're breathing that too.

Monday, 06 January 2014 15:59

Cold Snap Top Ten

DIY hat

1. Hats aren't just for people. If your house has a good 'hat' (air and thermal barrier) on the top, it will be a LOT warmer.

2. Step away from the thermostat! Heat pumps go into emergency heat (or worse, freeze up) if you move the temperature more than one or two degrees at a time.

3. Help your heat pump: set it a bit lower, but wear layers to keep warm.

4. Unvented gas fireplaces can be deadly. (And so can any fireplace, vented or not). Don't leave it on all night - even if it's tempting. Any fireplace, but especially unvented gas fireplaces, can produce enough Carbon Monoxide to make you very sick - or worse.

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