home energy efficiency





6/14/2016
This past year has been a hallmark year for the advancement of Light Straw-Clay building. The publication of our new book The EcoNest Home and the latest edition of Franz Volhard’s book Light Earth Building translated into English, and the inclusion of Light Straw-Clay Building in the International Residential Code has made this beautiful form of construction accessible to more people than ever before in modern times.
6/14/2016
As the energy industry evolves, so does big data. Big data is probably best known for tracking people’s behaviors, purchases and viewpoints, but it can have many other applications. Now the energy sector is tapping into the resources big data has to offer. From renewable energy to oil, gas and coal, this data science can help many companies maximize profits, reduce costs and even lower risk.
5/26/2016
A seemingly simple, light-trapping prism could revolutionize the future of solar power. The glass prism, which maximizes the amount of energy it can derive from sunlight, contains a 28-square centimeter, four-junction miniature module that works by utilizing a hybrid receiver designed to convert electricity from each sunbeam more than other devices.
5/20/2016
Gas range or induction cooking? The speed and efficiency revealed. Because I’m off-grid, induction will be my go-to cooking method when sunshine is ample, offering an option for fossil-free cooking!
5/3/2016
There quite a few home improvement projects to help increase your energy efficiency including updating your home's floors, bathroom, as well as your water system.
4/14/2016
Choosing the right size solar photovoltaic system for your home depends on where you live, how much electricity you use, the specifications of your roof, as well as the policies in place at the state, municipal and utility level. By optimizing your system, you can make the most of your solar investment.
2/25/2016
Many homeowners don’t realize that energy efficiency measures and solar panels are each effective ways to save on electricity costs, and when you combine them, they can save you even more.
1/29/2016
Winters can be brutal, especially on our homes when it comes to our energy costs. Winter tends to drive up energy costs but there is a way to prevent that from happening this winter including eliminating drafts, smart thermostats, and more.
1/27/2016
There are many ways to save energy in the home and one of the most efficient is the right use of home automation. Here are the top five ways you can use home automation to turn your house into a smart, energy-saving abode.
12/10/2015
Home insulation can no longer be regarded as something homeowners simply put off as a vague way to be environmentally conscious. Insulating one’s home properly is the best way to cut down on those surging energy costs plaguing every homeowner.
11/16/2015
Don't fall into the "greenwashing" trap when buying a new home. Gain tips on how to avoid it and insight into how one website is trying to safeguard against the real estate practice.
11/12/2015
There are five main areas of the home responsible for wasting the most energy. At the top of that list is windows, and one of the most effective ways to decrease your home’s carbon footprint is by replacing old, drafty windows with new, air-tight Energy Star-qualified windows.
11/6/2015
This green homes blog post describes energy-efficient, fiberglass windows and the impact they have on energy costs in your home.
11/4/2015
Take notice of your environmental footprint over the festive period and follow our guide for a greener Christmas.
9/28/2015
Net-zero homes are very popular. What are they and how do you get one? Here are some tips.
9/24/2015
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the amount of energy lost annually through windows costs consumers $35 billion. Heat loss and heat gain through and around windows accounts for between 10 and 25 percent of our heating and air conditioning usage, the largest consumer of energy in a modern home. Here are some ways to make sure your windows are as energy-efficient as possible.
6/2/2015
Ever thought about designing and building your own space? Darles Eaton will walk you through thoughful design, best materials and lessons learned.
10/7/2014
From choosing affordable floods for the bedroom remodel to switching out the oven-hood incandescent, Jennifer details how much it cost to light her house sustainably, as well as forecast her long term savings.
5/6/2014
Spring is the perfect time to give your home cooling equipment a check-up before hot weather arrives.
3/24/2014
Going solar at home will save you both money and energy. See why it's the future for renewable energy in residential areas.
3/4/2014
A new building insulation guide is available from NAIMA Canada to assist homeowners in choosing the right insulation for new building and DIY home renovation projects.
2/25/2014
High efficiency air source heat pumps are proving their worth for cold climate heating and cooling.
2/6/2014
Energy Star for Homes is a worthwhile green building certification with demonstrated market value.
12/2/2013
Old homes are often thought of as second-hand or sub-par quality. There are a lot of things you can do to modernize your home, and even make it more energy efficient that many new homes.
8/30/2013
Our efforts to improve energy efficiency in the United States might be faltering.
7/15/2013
There are many ways we can conserve energy, and be more eco-friendly, especially with the advancements that technology is making every day.
7/5/2013
New standards for Energy Star refrigerators and freezers will reduce energy consumption and include “connected” features.
6/27/2013
A home’s air-tightness is just as important as how much R-value it has.
5/1/2013
More than the electricity needed to run these machines, the “rinse hold” hot water setting that many households use is the biggest energy drain associated with dishwashers – as much as 80 percent of the energy your dishwasher uses goes to heat water.
4/29/2013
When you get home, go to your hot water heater, remove the cover and turn it down to 120 degrees (sometimes labeled “hot” as opposed to “very hot”).
4/26/2013
Replacing a task that uses electricity with one that does not is a no-brainer when trying to save on your energy bill — and air drying is one of the easiest ways to go.
4/25/2013
Heating water is the highest drain that laundry machines and dishwashers have on your bill. Onaverage, water heating accounts for 18 percent of your energy bill.
4/24/2013
Many people don’t know that most HVAC systems don’t produce more or less heating or cooling based on the room temperature – they simply blow air for longer.
4/4/2013
There are two situations which do not require you to be heating your home: when it is warm and when you are not at home. Since it is still a bit chilly outside, you may want to consider setting up a routine of turning down the set temperature on your thermostat when you head out in the morning and when you go to bed.
4/3/2013
Some large electronics can use as much energy as a light bulb while in "stanby" mode, meaning you should unplug them when you leave the house or know you won’t use them for awhile. Having a large electronic setup plugged into a  power strip makes it much easier to completely power it down, especially if it has a lot of plugs like a home theater system or computer.
4/1/2013
Tonight when you get home from work or school, call your utility company and ask what incentives they have for you to get an energy audit for your home. Many utilities have been offering free energy audits for years, but very few people have actually taken advantage.
3/13/2013
A 3-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.
2/25/2013
The basement of Dan Chiras' net zero energy home is outfitted with PVC pipes, insulation and concrete.
2/13/2013
If someone told you that you were losing money just by sitting in your home, you would probably want to do whatever you could to change that. Well the reality is that your home is using up energy regularly, and there is a huge chunk of that energy that you do not even need. Luckily, we live in a time when technology is constantly coming up with ways to fix problems such as these. Here are some of the ways that technology can help to save the environment, as well as your wallet.
2/13/2013
How packing snow against your house can add R-value to your insulation - and subtract energy costs.
6/21/2012
This blog contains a detailed list of most of my initial design priorities for my net zero energy home so others may benefit from my thinking and experience on creating a passive solar, net zero energy, green home.
6/14/2012
In this blog, I highlight the earliest decisions I had to make to create a net zero energy home: how I was going to build the foundation and walls. Thermal bridging, air tightness, insulation, cost, and greeness are all key deciders.
6/5/2012
In this blog, my architect James Plagmann and I begin to tell the story of the construction of Dan's new net zero energy homes. Dan begins by laying the ground, defining a few terms and describing his experience in this field.
9/20/2011
Before winter's chill starts to compromise comfort and elevate home energy bills, there are 5 energy-saving upgrades you can complete.
4/19/2011
An energy audit can help the homeowner determine the best strategies for improving the home's energy efficiency.
3/9/2011
Any net zero-energy home needs two things. The first is the sun, providing passive solar energy. The second necessity is retaining maximum heat.  
3/8/2011
There are many ways that each of us can lessen our unhealthy dependence on filthy fuels. You can do so in every area of your life, from choices you make regarding your house and home improvements, to food, transportation, and other consumer choices.
2/8/2011
Scott Davis’ “Solar Projects, Big and Small” video offers inspiration for both solar energy enthusiasts and folks who are just curious. Tips and advice pertaining to solar energy can be found at the Yahoo! group Simply Solar, and you can make your dream project a reality with Gary Reysa’s instructions.  
2/4/2011
Most of us would love to live in energy-efficient homes that are good for the environment and have low, low energy bills. But what are the best real options available? How do you create an extremely energy-efficient home that’s still affordable for most people?
1/25/2011
Green home improvement and retrofit projects that only require a minimal investment and that have a sure (and often speedy) payback. These relatively low-cost improvements can reap real savings. Plus, a link to info on tax credits and rebates.
12/5/2010
A BIG issue in everyone’s lives today is increasing fuel costs. The seriousness and scope of our energy problems calls for an all-out effort for sustainable solutions, starting as soon as possible.
7/18/2010
A look at the completed project and some of the features.
6/9/2010
Check out these high-quality workshops on solar electricity, home energy efficiency, and small wind energy systems. Geared to homeowners, aspiring professionals, students and teachers - anyone wishing to learn more about renewable energy systems
6/6/2010
From switching out light bulbs to bundling up your water heater, environmental journalist, Simran Sethi, shares some simple and stress-free tips on how to save energy in your home.
5/13/2010
Three-day workshop announcement on net zero energy homes by leading authority on energy efficiency and renewable energy, Dan Chiras. Learn how to reduce your utility bill through conservation, effriciency, & clean, affordable, renewable energy.
3/30/2010
We'd like to hear about projects you have planned that will help you save energy, save water or otherwise make your home greener.
1/8/2010
Dan Chiras of The Evergreen Institute invites readers to attend a one-day conference on the future of building in Wichita, Kansas.
1/6/2010
Renewable energy expert Dan Chiras shares tips for saving on energy costs by sealing leaks in your home.
6/23/2009
Let's dream a little dream of green home improvement, without worries about funding.
4/29/2009
Having a “green home” means lots of different things. What does it mean to you?
3/31/2009
Have you found helpful ways to cut your energy use at home? Whether it's turning down the thermostat or installing new light bulbs, tell us what you've done to conserve energy and how well it's worked.
7/31/2008
Have you thought about adding more insulation to your home to reduce your energy bills? Here are some good places to go for more information.




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