Archive for the 'HVAC' Category

How’s that remodel working out? Greening up a modest tract house

Bill and Becka Doering did a whole-house green remodel on their Santa Barbara home, and I wrote a Pardon Our Dust feature about it, which you can read here. Bill is both an engineer and a green-building enthusiast. With his firm, Doering Design & Engineering, he helps others make their homes more energy-efficient. Also, the [...]

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The secrets of the spider webs

Here we have two identical windows on the same wall in a bathroom. A spider has built a web on one window (top), but not the other (bottom). Do you wonder why? It’s all about air leaks and food. Spiders don’t choose their home sites like we do. They don’t check Zillow for nearby home prices, [...]

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Casting Call — ‘Professional Grade’ on HGTV

Think you can renovate better and chaper than a contractor? Do you live in the Los Angeles area? Then HGTV’s popular new renovation show Professional Grade is looking for you. The goal is for you to find high-end materials on the cheap, do most of the labor yourself, and hire and manage subcontractors — such as plumbers [...]

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A hot new career for women — home energy auditor

First, what are home energy auditors? These are professionals (accredited through BPI or certified through RESNET) who go into homes and measure or assess how much energy is being used and wasted through leaks and lack of insulation and bad HVAC systems and watt-sucking appliances. The idea is to figure out ways to make that home more [...]

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Air conditioner on the fritz? Maybe it’s been stolen

Here’s an embarrassing situation: Your air conditioner stops working so you call out the repair company. When they arrive, they’re puzzled to see a bare concrete slab where your air conditioner used to be. Your AC has been stolen. This happens and not infrequently, unfortunately. Thieves can sell the copper in an AC unit for [...]

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A deep energy retrofit — coming soon to a very HOT climate

In case you’re not familiar with central Florida, let me break it down for you: it’s HOT, HOT, HOT. And humid. Think sunshine, thunder and flash rain storms in the summer. So what does this mean? Houses in hot and humid climates need to be built differently from those in, say, cool and dry climates. [...]

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Tired of heating and air conditioning your attic space?

The video below shows the hands-on basics of sealing your ducts. I like the part where this HVAC expert uses toilet paper to find leaks in the system. Then, he shows you how to seal them up. This is not just theory or book learning, folks. This is the real thing. So will you spend [...]

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Affordable green prefabs

When it comes to green building, some professions and industries get it, and some don’t (yet). Those who get it are architects and manufacturers. Those who are playing catch-up are suppliers and retailers, and most contractors and subcontractors. So if you can get those who get it — architects and manufacturers — into one room, [...]

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