Affordable Comfort in Denver

ACI in Denver In two weeks, we at Saturn will attend the ACI Conference in Denver. Affordable Comfort or ACI is an exemplary conference that nurtures the energy-conservation-home-performance-weatherization community with opportunities for growth, learning and networking. I’ve attended most of these conferences over ACI’s  more than 30-year history. The conference is well planned and well-executed. …

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Energy Standards: Common sense Basics

Our Current Energy Standards-Making Process Engineers and other contributors often write national energy standards, or change them without a clear idea of the desired benefits or the unintended consequences. The process of updating standards resembles software updates. The updates aren’t so much designed for the user’s benefits but for the income of the updating organization. …

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Hands-On Training: The Worst Can Happen

Bruce Manclark and I were training contractors in Pacific Power’s mobile-home weatherization program in a mobile-home court in Yakima, Washington during 1994. We were working on three mobile homes with about 30 participants; insulating, air-sealing, and performing maintenance on heating and cooling systems. At the end of the second day, we buttoned up one roof …

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Ranking Window Treatments & Rethinking Storm Windows

Weatherization and home performance practitioners should reconsider the value of window treatments, especially storm windows. Early energy conservation programs overused storm windows and storms were subsequently banned from some weatherization programs because weatherization agencies selected storms through personal preference. Storms are thought of as a measure that will be overused because they are easy to …

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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 …

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Questioning Worst-Case Combustion-Safety Testing

What new health-and-safety mandate will the home-energy community embrace next? We have worst-case combustion testing, the new lead regulations, the ASHRAE 62.2 ventilation standard, and new asbestos policies. Given the distraction from the energy-conservation mission and the high cost, I can’t help but wonder how these mandates relate to statistical risk and how effectively the prescribed testing and mitigation strategies reduce that …

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