Electricity

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 […]

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Infrareddit – A Second Look at Infrared Cameras

by Erik North on September 18, 2012

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    In the early days of this blog, I slammed out a few articles about various pieces of equipment regularly used during audits. Looking back, the posts were a little too technical and didn’t cover enough of their practical uses in investigating homes. While the various screen resolutions and USB ports are nice, it’d […]

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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. […]

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Natural Cooling – Awnings and Eaves

by Erik North on August 31, 2012

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  Hah! I haven’t dropped of the planet. Wrapping up the natural cooling series, I’m covering awning and eaves. Granted, they’re radically different in utility as one can be added easily (awnings) and the other can be added even more easily by calling a contractor and dropping a couple grand (eaves). Seriously, I thought I’d […]

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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 […]

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  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 […]

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Green, Energy Efficient and Money Saving Links

by Erik North on April 16, 2012

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  Say what?!? Solar electric spray paint? That’s right…paint that generates solar electricity. Electric car doesn’t have enough range *bang* electric paint. Smart phone is dying *bang* electric paint. Technology can get us a little giddy every once in a while but this feels positively Jetsonian. The List 10 Tips for When You’re Remodeling Your […]

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Color Temperature – Why You Need To Know

by Erik North on March 5, 2012

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  Ack, I had one more lighting article kicking around…and here it is. Color temperature is one of those topics everyone will be familiar with, but not understand. And you don’t really need to understand it, but if you’re discussing lighting and light quality, then color temperature will come up. The radiation mechanics and what […]

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Knob and Tube Wiring and Insulation

by Erik North on March 2, 2012

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  Folks often call about energy audits part of the way through their thinking on a project. Sometimes the big project decisions have already been made; homeowners are just looking for final guidance. On more than a couple occasions, those plans to blow cellulose over an attic flat are brought up short by live knob […]

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Knob and Tube Wiring – Electricity Pre-History

by Erik North on February 29, 2012

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  I made a joke recently that it is almost an energy auditing truism: Houses that need more insulation and air sealing usually need electrical work. Now at the time I was referring to the difficulty in finding grounded outlets in older homes. However that sentiment applies equally to knob and tube wiring. What is […]

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