Posts by: James Dulley

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Balancing comfort in a two-story home

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Posted on Oct 01, 2015 in Energy

by James Dulley We have a new heat pump, but we have a problem keeping all of the rooms in our home comfortable. Someone is always too hot or too cool. What are some simple methods to even out the temperatures throughout the house? The problem you are experiencing is common, particularly in a two-story… Continue reading.

Understanding home heat loss

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Posted on Sep 01, 2015 in Energy

I plan to hire a contractor to make a few efficiency improvements to my home. I would like a better understanding of how a home loses and gains heat so that I am not persuaded into unnecessary projects. Can you help? It never hurts to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible about the… Continue reading.

Roofing materials impact AC costs

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Posted on Aug 01, 2015 in Energy

My black asphalt shingle roof needs to be replaced. I want to install a new roof that will last longer and help keep my home cooler during hot summer afternoons. What type of roof do you recommend? From the standpoint of a long life and keeping your home cooler, a black asphalt shingle roof is… Continue reading.

Stay comfortable with less AC

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Posted on Jul 01, 2015 in Energy

My family is trying to use less air conditioning this summer to save electricity. Do you have any good tips for us so that we are not terribly uncomfortable in our home? There are quite a few free, low-cost improvements and simple lifestyle changes you can make to reduce the amount of air conditioning needed…. Continue reading.

Efficient home construction methods

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Posted on Jun 01, 2015 in Energy

We are empty nesters and have decided to build our dream home. What are some of the most energy efficient home construction methods that also offer strength? Severe weather is always a concern in our area. There are several relatively new home construction methods that are much stronger and more efficient than typical insulated, wood… Continue reading.

The basics of backup generators

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Posted on May 01, 2015 in Energy

When severe weather hits, I want to be prepared, and I’m considering purchasing a backup generator for my home. What types would you recommend to take care of the entire house? Purchasing a backup generator is becoming more common. Residential backup generators are called standby models because they are only used when electricity from the… Continue reading.

Increase comfort with thermal mass

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Posted on Apr 07, 2015 in Energy

We are planning to remodel our older home, and I’ve read that increasing thermal mass can improve energy efficiency. What exactly does this mean, and how do we incorporate it into our home? Increasing the thermal mass means increasing the ability of materials to retain heat energy. This can be done anytime, but it is… Continue reading.

‘No hands’ make light work

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Posted on Jan 26, 2015 in Energy

My kitchen faucet has a very slow drip and the finish is worn. I want to replace it with one that is attractive and convenient to use. I often wash dishes by hand, so what is the most efficient design to purchase? Most people think of a kitchen faucet as just a simple valve to… Continue reading.

Warming body and soles

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Posted on Dec 14, 2014 in Energy

I often feel chilly in my home, especially during the winter months. I know electric resistance heating can be expensive to use, but I really like the idea of in-floor heating. Does it only work with tile flooring, or can it be used under carpet? What types are available? Electric resistance systems are expensive to… Continue reading.

Extend indoors out

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Posted on Mar 01, 2012 in Energy

Q: I have an old picture window I want to replace with a bay window. My budget is tight. Which type is best and most efficient? Should I buy an entire unit or assemble one from individual windows? Those old, large single-pane picture windows, which were common in houses built many years ago, are extremely… Continue reading.

Protect electronic devices

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Posted on Feb 28, 2012 in Energy

Q: We have many electronic gadgets in our house, and I am concerned about a voltage surge ruining them. Are there whole-house surge suppressors that will protect everything electric in our house?  People often think of only electronic gadgets, such as computers, game consoles, and audiovisual items, as being at risk from electrical surges. Actually,… Continue reading.

Balancing temperatures

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Posted on Jul 28, 2011 in Energy

Q: We have a problem keeping several rooms comfortable. These rooms are either chilly during winter or hot during summer. What are some simple efficient methods to balance out room temperatures? Nearly every house has some problems keeping all the rooms evenly warmed or cooled. The heating, cooling, and ventilation system (HVAC) is one of… Continue reading.