Air Conditioning

The Pros and Cons of Heat Pumps

by Erik North on June 13, 2017

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What is a Heat Pump? Heat pumps are all the rage in Maine’s efficiency community in recent years. Efficiency Maine, the organization that, you guessed it, runs energy efficiency programs in Maine, has issued more rebates and loans for heat pumps than all other qualifying measures combined. But what exactly is a heat pump and […]


Does More Wall Insulation Reduce Cooling Cost?

by Erik North on June 10, 2013

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      Hey, hey…It’s warm enough so that I can get back to publishing those air conditioning articles from last summer’s backlog. Does More Wall Insulation Reducing Cooling Costs? A little but way less than you think. That’s the short answer. The long answer will take…a bit longer. Adding insulation reduces heat flow. That’s […]


Post image for Air Conditioning and Dehumidifiers: The Friendly Rivals

  Huge swathes of the country condition air to make sweltering hot weather manageable and they are also blessed with incredibly humid weather. When I first moved to Maine, some friends asked why? I mean other than the hiking, biking, skiiing, golf, lobster, plentiful microbrews, great fishing, somewhat accessible ocean (I’ve never understood the extreme […]

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Why Do Air Conditioners Drain Water?

by Erik North on September 26, 2012

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    On a hot, humid day, air conditioners are awesome. They’re awesome most other days as well but on hot, humid days especially so. As an energy auditor, even on particularly sweltering days, it feels a wee hypocritical having an electricity hog AC cranking away. But it sure is nice. Air Conditioners Help How? […]


Natural Cooling – Like Trellis for Shade

by Erik North on September 4, 2012

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  The title may not make much sense but I just saw ‘Like Water For Chocolate’. When we first were house shopping, I looked for a place with a good south solar facing. I had thoughts of a PV system tied in with a mini ductless split heating/cooling system and heat pump down the road. […]


Get Natural Cooling with Shade Trees

by Erik North on August 20, 2012

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  Anyone else want to crack a Monty Python shrubbery joke first thing? No? Just me then. Oh, well anyway … My company, Free Energy Maine, has a motto: “The best bill is one you don’t have to pay.” We were thinking about heating and oil bills when we coined it, but it’s just as […]


Post image for Get Ready for Air Conditioning Season (In Time for September)

  Yeah, this is what happens when your writing begins to back log. At least future summers will be able to enjoy this post. In any case, I’m pushing for a September-October heat wave. I’ve written in-depth articles about each of these snippits before. I figure it’s about time we had cursory, tossed-off versions collected […]


Post image for The Difference Between Air Conditioners and Dehumidifiers

  There’s a great Patton Oswalt bit where he contemplates meeting George Lucas in 1996 (gotta love the oblique intros). After slobbering over the original trilogy and just about suffering an aneurysm over a possible new trilogy, his enthusiasm tapers down dramatically. He finds out what the new movies will be about, namely all the […]


Post image for Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.10 – Release The Kraken!

    This image comes from John Poole of A Preservationist’s Technical Notebook via Allison Bailes over at Energy Vanguard. It’s a well traveled picture. We don’t have air ducting as often in Maine as other sections of the country. Less need for air conditioning means less need for ducting for air conditioning. These installations […]


Expensive and Ugly? Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioning

    You don’t even know what I’m talking about yet but right, up front, I’m joking. Customers may wonder if there is an air conditioner which is as expensive to install as a central air system, but still uses the same big clunky boxes as window ACs like some air conditioning Reese’s Peanut Butter […]