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Blower door

Seal tight; ventilate right

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Posted on Nov 29, 2016 in Energy, Product Picks

By Patrick Keegan and Amy Wheeless Now that winter is here, I’d like to make my home more comfortable by keeping cold air out. I’m planning to have a contractor inspect and seal air leaks. However, a neighbor mentioned that I could seal up my home too much and cause ventilation problems. Is this true?… Continue reading.

Don’t slop those energy hogs!

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Posted on Nov 01, 2016 in Energy

By Patrick Keegan and Amy Wheeless I’m trying to make my home as energy efficient as possible. I recently installed a new heat pump and water heater, and increased the amount of insulation. A home energy audit found little air leakage. However, my energy bills still seem higher than they should be. Can you point… Continue reading.

Not enough batts in your belfry?

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Posted on Sep 29, 2016 in Energy

By Patrick Keegan and Amy Wheeless My neighbor added more insulation to his attic this summer. How can I tell if adding more insulation in my attic would be a good idea, too? When your home is not properly sealed and insulated, cold air sneaks in and heat escapes, making your heating system work harder… Continue reading.

Is geothermal right for you?

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Posted on Sep 01, 2016 in Energy

By Patrick Keegan and Amy Wheeless I’m considering replacing my current heating system with a geothermal heat pump. It is comparatively pricey to other options. Would a geothermal heat pump be a good choice for me? Heating and cooling account for a large percentage of overall home energy use, so upgrading to a more efficient… Continue reading.

Manage your energy use with these handy apps

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Posted on Aug 19, 2016 in Energy

Tracking your steps, tracking your children, monitoring your banking activity or locating your parked car —these days, it seems like there is an app for everything. If you are efficiency-savvy and want to manage your energy use, there may be an app that works for you. While there are several energy use apps to choose… Continue reading.

Air Filter

Are your air ducts in a row?

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Posted on Aug 01, 2016 in Energy

By Patrick Keegan and Amy Wheeless I recently moved from a home with wall-mounted heaters to one with central heat and air, and a duct system. How can I ensure my ducts are working efficiently? Homes with central forced-air heating and cooling systems, like furnaces, central air conditioners and heat pumps, use air ducts to deliver the… Continue reading.

Clothesline

Wash energy waste from your laundry

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Posted on Jul 01, 2016 in Energy

By Patrick Keegan and Amy Wheeless We have two kids, which means we do a lot of laundry. It never ends! What are some ways we can reduce our energy use in the laundry room? The average American family washes about 300 loads of laundry per year — all that laundry uses a lot of… Continue reading.

What is a ‘Zero Net Energy’ Home?

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Posted on Jun 01, 2016 in Energy

By Patrick Keegan and Amy Wheeless I am considering installing solar, and a neighbor asked if I was going to have a “Zero Net Energy” Home. Can you explain what that is? A Zero Net Energy (ZNE), or Net-Zero, Home is one where all of the energy that is used in the home is completely offset by… Continue reading.

Seal the envelope

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Posted on May 01, 2016 in Energy

By Patrick Keegan I recently moved into a new home, and it feels drafty. I added weatherstripping to the doors and windows, but it doesn’t seem to have solved the problem. What additional steps I can take to increase comfort? The average home leaks about half of its air every hour through various cracks and… Continue reading.

Energy sleuths

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Posted on Apr 01, 2016 in Energy

By Patrick Keegan I keep hearing about home energy audits. How do they work, and will they save me money? Spending a few hundred dollars on an energy audit now could save you thousands of dollars over time. A home energy audit is a detailed assessment of your home that can give you a roadmap… Continue reading.

Up to snuff

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Posted on Mar 01, 2016 in Energy

By Patrick Keegan I want to make my home more energy efficient, but some of the work needed is more than I can do by myself. When I’m hiring contractors to do these projects, how can I be sure that the work is of good quality? There are many contractors performing high-quality energy efficiency work…. Continue reading.

Pet setting

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Posted on Feb 01, 2016 in Energy

By Patrick Keegan I recently adopted a dog, but I work during the day. I want to make sure he stays comfortable without making my electrical bill go haywire. Can you offer any tips? Congratulations on your new furry family member! It’s a good idea to think about your energy bills. I remember working with… Continue reading.

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