Installation Quality Control (Loose-fill insulations)

Part 6 of Loose-Fill Insulation. Voids and Gaps To ensure a quality installation, there are several things to watch out for when installing loose-fill insulation—whether you do the job yourself or hire a professional. You may create undesirable voids or gaps if you install the insulation at too low a density or if you do […]

Sunspace Design Guidelines

Part 3 of Sunspaces. Passive solar systems structures are conceptually simple. However sunspace designers and builders must pay close attention to details to ensure maximum performance and reliability of the structure. Computer software is now available to help design and establish criteria for specific projects such as passive solar sunspaces. This software makes it relatively […]

Increasing Water-Heating System Efficiency

Part 3 of Energy-Efficient Water Heating. Reducing hot-water usage is primarily a matter of common sense and exerting a little extra effort to not be wasteful. Once you have applied a few simple, low-cost measures for reducing hot-water consumption, you may want to consider water-heating system improvements if you wish to further reduce your energy […]

Storage Water Heaters

Part 2 of Selecting a New Water Heater. Storage water heaters remain the most frequently used type of water heater for residential purposes. A variety of fuel options are available for conventional storage water heaters—electricity, natural gas, oil, and propane. Ranging in size from 20 to 80 gallons (75.7 to 302.8 liters), storage water heaters […]

Additional Options for Reducing Heat Loss and Gain through Windows

Part 4 of Energy-Efficient Windows. Movable insulation, such as insulating shades, shutters, and drapes, can be applied on the inside of windows to reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Shading devices, such as awnings, exterior shutters, or screens, can be used to reduce unwanted heat gain in the summer. […]

Reducing Heat Loss and Condensation

Part 3 of Energy-Efficient Windows. Manufacturers usually represent the energy efficiency of windows in terms of their U-values (conductance of heat) or their R-values (resistance to heat flow). If a window’s R-value is high, it will lose less heat than one with a lower R-value. Conversely, if a window’s U-value is low, it will lose less […]

Controlling Air Leaks

Part 2 of Energy-Efficient Windows. When air leaks around windows, energy is wasted. Energy is also transferred through the centers, edges, and frames of windows. Eliminating or reducing these paths of heat flow can greatly improve the energy efficiency of windows and, ultimately, of homes. Several options are available to reduce air leaks around windows; […]

Save Money with Better Insulation and Weatherization

Part 3 of Ways to Save Money on Energy at Home. Checking your home’s insulating system is one of the fastest and most cost-efficient ways to use a whole-house approach to reduce energy waste and maximize your energy dollars. A good insulating system includes a combination of products and construction techniques that provide a home […]