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Preventive Maintenance: The Best Investment for Multifamily and Commercial Buildings

The Best Investment For Buildings We energy specialists brag about investing the customer’s money at 50% to 100% return on investment, which translates to a one or two year payback. Preventive maintenance (PM) can provide much better payback compared to insulation or other conservation measures, often as short as a month or two. Given the[…]Read more

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Solar-PV-Powered Heat Pumps: Why not all homes?

Irrational Exuberance about Heat Pumps The  Passive House and Net-Zero movements  have spawned some irrational exuberance about heat pumps. When you build a home that requires less than 5 BTU/hr per square foot of floor space, you can often heat and cool it with solar-generated electricity using a heat pump. From that reality, some folks[…]Read more

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Passive Houses

What is a Passive House? The passive house concept was pioneered in the Northern U.S. and Canada in the late 1970s and early 1980s when it was called “superinsulation”. European builders have improved the superinsulation technology and applied it to both single-family dwellings and apartments. The Passive House founders, including Dr. Wolfgang Feist, believe that reducing building energy[…]Read more

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Energy Conservation for Buildings: Our Best Investment

Approximately half of all energy used in the U.S. is consumed within buildings. Half of that energy is wasted because of shortsighted design, sloppy construction practices, and careless building operation. Energy conservation in buildings is the easiest and best solution to our energy crisis. It could dramatically reduce our current energy and carbon excesses with[…]Read more

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Cooling Your Home with Night Air

Tired of your house always being hot? Nighttime ventilation works well for cooling buildings in many climates, especially in milder summer weather. Nighttime temperature and relative humidity are big factors for determining whether you can use nighttime ventilation. The nighttime temperatures should ideally be less than 68F or 20C, but it all depends on how acclimatized the occupants are to[…]Read more

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Saving Electricity and Improving Comfort in Hot Weather

 Saving Electricity and Staying Cool in Hot Weather Summer is just around the corner and for many that means air conditioning. Unfortunately it can also mean higher electric bills. But you can do something about it. Saving electricity for air conditioning is easy if you know how. Try these low-cost or no-cost solutions for high[…]Read more

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The Mystery of Air Leakage

Air leakage causes curiously high heating and cooling costs in buildings that are supposed to be energy-efficient. This shouldn’t be a mystery. You can’t achieve airtightness without trying. Airtightness has never been a goal of the building construction industry, and that isn’t changing. Most buildings, both homes and larger buildings, don’t really have an air[…]Read more