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Picks of the Month

Home > Browse By Topic > Renewable Energy > Home Heating > Books

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1.

THE HOME ENERGY DIET

Paul Scheckel
Paperback

Price: $6.00

CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $18.95 AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

Learn how to get the most bang for your energy buck. The Home Energy Diet, a Mother Earth NewsBook for Wiser Living,…

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CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $18.95 AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

Learn how to get the most bang for your energy buck. The Home Energy Diet, a Mother Earth News Book for Wiser Living, was designed to help readers take control of their personal energy usage and costs so they can save money, live more comfortably and help reduce environmental impacts. With rising energy costs, homeowners are beginning to examine the energy efficiency of their own homes, asking questions about where energy comes from and how much it costs, how to choose new appliances and what options exist for renewable energy.

The Home Energy Diet answers all these questions and more while helping readers take control of their personal energy use and costs. Energy auditor Paul Scheckel first explores energy literacy, and then describes how your home uses and looses energy you pay for through electricity, hot water, heating and air conditioning, windows, walls and insulation.

The Home Energy Diet involves readers in learning about their own homes by: measuring, metering, investigating and considering habits related to household energy use; learning how to quantify energy consumption and cost and making informed decisions about cost-effective improvements and upgrades. The book explores the misunderstood concept of efficiency versus cost by comparing fuel costs and equipment choices, including the possibility of using renewable energy for meeting home energy needs. This authoritative guide makes efficiency fun through personal anecdotes and humorous tales-from-the-basement energy misadventures.

About the author:

Paul Scheckel is an energy auditor who has visited thousands of homes, educating people about energy efficiency, cost-effective improvements and indoor air quality. With a passion for efficiency and renewables, he walks the talk by living in a solar-powered house and driving a car powered by vegetable oil in his home state of Vermont.

2.

GOT SUN? GO SOLAR

Rex A. Ewing and Doug Pratt
Paperback

Price: $20.00

If you're considering a solar or wind system for your home or business, this solar power guide is a valuable resource. In Got Sun? Go Solar, the authors explain how installing a solar or wind system i…

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If you're considering a solar or wind system for your home or business, this solar power guide is a valuable resource. In Got Sun? Go Solar, the authors explain how installing a solar or wind system is an economically attractive and environmentally responsible option.

From Vermont to California, homeowners are plugging in to a hot new idea — reducing or eliminating their electric bills by using free energy from the sun and wind. In this straight-talking new solar power guide, authors Rex Ewing and Doug Pratt tell other grid-connected homeowners how to capture alternative energy and put it to use in their home.

Renewable energy is going mainstream, thanks to affordable new technologies with rebates and incentives from many states. Today more and more homeowners believe that installing a home RE system is the economically-attractive and environmentally-responsible thing to do. Whether they install a solar/wind system to benefit their checkbooks or to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, they also enjoy the added independence of a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

This solar power guide covers battery backup versus non-battery systems, as well as equipment needed and installation considerations. Other topics include legal and safety issues, incentives/rebates, and permits and paperwork. An extensive appendix of resources, state energy offices, system sizing worksheets, and much more turns this 160-page book (filled with more than 120 photos and illustrations) into a must-have book for anyone interested in exploring their power options.

Contents:

  • Why invest in renewable energy for your home?
  • Is it legal and safe?
  • How solar electricity works
  • Batteries or not?
  • Sizing your system
  • Got Wind?
  • What does it cost?
  • Any financial help out there?
  • Permits and Paperwork
  • The Nuts and Bolts: what to look for, what to avoid
  • Who does the installation?
  • Appendix: manufacturers, web resources, state energy offices, sizing worksheets, glossary and more

About the authors:

The authors of this solar power guide know firsthand how these systems work. Rex Ewing, author of Power With Nature has lived off-the-grid in the Colorado Rockies since 1999. Doug Pratt, the former technical editor of the Solar Living Sourcebook, lives in a grid-tied home in northern California, and has been on the front lines of the renewable energy revolution since 1985.

Recommended product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, Mother Earth News is recommending books to its readers. For nearly 40 years, Mother Earth News has been North America's "Original Guide to Living Wisely," creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.

3.

THE HOMEOWNER'S GUIDE TO RENEWABLE ENERGY

Dan Chiras
Paperback

Price: $28.95

This Mother Earth News Book for Wiser Living helps you understand the sometimes confusing array of renewable energy technologies and techniques, plus shows how you can slash energy bills.

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This Mother Earth News Book for Wiser Living helps you understand the sometimes confusing array of renewable energy technologies and techniques, plus shows how you can slash energy bills.

The coming energy crisis caused by a peak in global oil and natural gas production will profoundly affect the lives of all North Americans. As the price of these vital fuels rises, homeowners will scramble to cut their fuel bills. Two options for meeting the upcoming challenge are dramatic improvements in home energy efficiency and efforts to tap into clean, affordable, renewable energy resources to heat and cool homes, to provide hot water and electricity and even to cook. These measures can result in huge savings and a level of energy independence.

This 290-page book opens with basic facts about energy and an outline of likely impacts of fossil fuel shortages. It discusses how to conserve energy and cut heating bills, and how to prepare for renewable energy options. Focusing on strategies for replacing specific fuels, the book then examines each practical energy option available to homeowners.

The Homeowner's Guide to Renewable Energy gives readers sufficient knowledge to hire and communicate effectively with contractors and, for those wanting do installations themselves, it recommends more detailed manuals. With a complete resource listing, this well-illustrated and accessible guide is a perfect companion for illuminating the coming dark age.

About the author:

Dan Chiras is the father of two boys, and the author of more than 20 books on environmental issues and sustainability. He teaches courses on renewable energy, green building and sustainability at Colorado College. His free time is spent mountain biking, camping, canoeing, kayaking, playing music and gardening with his boys.

4.

THE HUMAN-POWERED HOME

Tamara Dean
Paperback

Price: $29.95

What if I could harness this energy? An unusual question for anyone putting in a long stint on a treadmill perhaps, and yet human power is a very old, practical and empowering alternative to fossil fu…

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What if I could harness this energy? An unusual question for anyone putting in a long stint on a treadmill perhaps, and yet human power is a very old, practical and empowering alternative to fossil fuels. Replacing motors with muscles can be considered a political act -- an act of self-sufficiency that gains you independence.

The Human-Powered Home is a one-of-a-kind compendium of human-powered devices gathered from a unique collection of experts. Enthusiasts point to the advantages of human power:

  • Portable and available on-demand
  • Close connection to the process or product offers more control
  • Improved health and fitness
  • The satisfaction of being able to make do with what is available
This book discusses the science and history of human power and examines the common elements of human-powered devices. It offers plans for making specific devices, grouped by area of use, and features dozens of individuals who share technical details and photos of their inventions. For those who want to apply their own ingenuity, or for those who have never heard of human-powered machines, this book is a fine reference. For those who are beginning to understand the importance of a life of reduced dependency on fossil fuels, this book could be a catalyst for change.

5.

CREATING CUSTOM GARDEN SPACES ON CD-ROM


CD Rom (learn more)

Price: $19.95

This e-book on CD-ROM is packed with 20 customizable designs, gardening tips and tricks and conventional wisdom about the many uses of herbs. Creating Custom Garden Spaces is a fabulous guide to plann…

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This e-book on CD-ROM is packed with 20 customizable designs, gardening tips and tricks and conventional wisdom about the many uses of herbs. Creating Custom Garden Spaces is a fabulous guide to planning an organized, beautiful and practical garden for any space, large or small. Whether you’re a first-timer or an avid gardener, our detailed illustrations and maps will help give your garden personality with our easily understandable designs, including:

  • Mexican herb and green salad food gardens
  • Medicinal herb gardens
  • Gardens for pots and for tight spaces
  • Fragrant and flowering herb gardens
  • Gardens for children
  • Gardens that prevent deer
  • Fence line and mailbox gardens
  • Hammock and walkway gardens
  • Gardens designed for use with a rain barrel
  • Gardens that attract birds and butterflies
With the help of this convenient digital handbook, you’ll learn about companion planting and building raised beds. You'll also learn about medicinal uses for herbs. With this great resource, creating a custom garden will be easy and enjoyable.

FREE SHIPPING!

See a larger image of the Creating Custom Garden Spaces CD

Also available: Creating Custom Garden Spaces as a downloadable e-book

*PC requirements: CD-ROM drive, Adobe Acrobat Reader (available from Adobe.com)

6.

TOWARD A ZERO ENERGY HOME

David Johnston/Scott Gibson
Paperback

Price: $13.71

CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $27.95 AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

A "zero energy" home — a home that produces as much energy as it consumes — is an idea whose time has come. By reduc…

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CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $27.95 AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

A "zero energy" home — a home that produces as much energy as it consumes — is an idea whose time has come. By reducing or eliminating utility bills, zero energy homes offer a new direction for housing in America. It is a win-win for the homeowner, for the planet and for a new generation of builders who are building houses that better meet the energy challenges ahead of us all.

With unequaled knowledge and a passion for the subject, authors David Johnston and Scott Gibson explore the design and construction of energy self-sufficient houses from start to finish and feature 12 houses that were built for zero energy living.

About the authors:

A leader in the green building movement, David Johnston is the author of Green From the Ground Up and founder of Green Building and What's Working. His approach to green building has been embraced by building professionals, municipalities, homeowners and sustainability advocates nationwide. Co-author Scott Gibson is a freelance writer and longtime contributing editor to Fine Homebuilding magazine.

Recommended Product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, MOTHER EARTH NEWS is recommending books to readers. For 40 years, MOTHER EARTH NEWS has been North America’s “Original Guide to Living Wisely,” creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.

7.

HOME SWEET ZERO ENERGY HOME

Barry Rehfeld
Paperback

Price: $17.95

Zero energy homes produce at least as much energy as they consume through a combination of energy efficiencies, passive design and renewable energy production. California has adopted zero net energy a…

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Zero energy homes produce at least as much energy as they consume through a combination of energy efficiencies, passive design and renewable energy production. California has adopted zero net energy as the new residential standard for 2020; many other governments are considering similar policies. Developing zero energy homes is the first step toward making all buildings zero energy — a critical step in mitigating climate change as buildings account for 40% of material and energy use worldwide.

Home Sweet Zero Energy Home is the first practical guidebook that clearly shows how zero energy homes can be good, livable, affordable homes. The author identifies all the pieces of the zero energy puzzle and how they fall into place, and explains how homeowners and buyers can also take smaller steps toward sharply reducing the energy use of existing buildings. Focusing on real costs and savings, this book takes an in-depth look at:

  • Site selection and passive design
  • Insulation, windows, doors and building materials
  • Heating and cooling
  • Appliances and electronics
  • Financial resources and incentives
Whether you are a prospective buyer, owner or developer, Home Sweet Zero Energy Home is your complete guide to creating a more comfortable, efficient, environmentally friendly home without breaking your back or your bank account.

8.

WOOD HEAT

Andrew Jones
Paperback

Price: $19.95

Wood Heat is a comprehensive and practical homeowner's guide to using wood as a reliable source of heat with the latest woodstoves and traditional fireplaces. The book explores the efficiency of wood …

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Wood Heat is a comprehensive and practical homeowner's guide to using wood as a reliable source of heat with the latest woodstoves and traditional fireplaces. The book explores the efficiency of wood compared to other fuels, the environmental impacts of various fuel types as well as sustainability issues that have led to so many adopting a woodburning lifestyle.

Heating with wood does more than keep a house warm. Though it can be a hands-on expression of self-reliance, it does bring us closer to the land by using fuel that is renewable and sustainably harvested, and renews our wonder in the cycle of the seasons. And the biggest benefit is that wood heat saves money in the long run.

There are four ways that wood can be used to heat a home or cottage: woodstoves (the most popular), fireplace inserts, pellet stoves and masonry heaters. Wood Heat explains the pros and cons of each.

The book provides all of the information and advice needed to convert to a wood-heated life. How-to topics (with step-by-step directions) include:

  • The comparative advantages of heating with wood
  • Buying, cutting, splitting, stacking, storing and moving firewood
  • Building the perfect woodpile
  • Varieties of wood and their burning characteristics
  • The latest technology for burning wood efficiently and cleanly
  • Energy content of wood varieties per air-dried cord (BTUs)
  • Catalytic and non-catalytic stoves
  • Cooking with a woodstove
  • How to make a good fire
  • Essential hearth and fireplace tools
  • Sizing woodburning appliances
  • A chimney maintenance checklist

Currently, more than 10 million U.S. households use wood as their main heating fuel or to supplement other forms of heating. Unstable, increasing fuel costs and the desire of many people to move toward self-sufficiency will only increase the numbers of those choosing to burn wood for heat. Wood Heat is the ideal guide for all.

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