How to Seal Air Ducts

by Erik North on March 25, 2012

How to Seal Air Ducts

  One of the most underappreciated and most easily fixed problems in homes is that of poorly sealed duct work. Homes which control their interior climate with ducted air systems can only do so as effectively as the distribution system moves the conditioned air. If you seal the return and supply air ducts, it can […]


The Difficulties In Heating Ranch Style Houses

by Erik North on December 13, 2011

The Difficulties In Heating Ranch Style Houses

  I don’t have many energy audits with ranch style houses despite their popularity. I suspect it has to do with their compact size and correspondingly reasonable heating bills. If it isn’t costing a bundle to heat, where’s the pressure to have an audit? However I find that owners of ranch style houses call about […]

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Should I Install Hot Water Pipe Insulation?

by Erik North on November 30, 2011

Should I Install Hot Water Pipe Insulation

  Funny aside: I was looking for a clear photo of hot water pipe insulation. I went through about 25 audit files and nothing. Every time I found a photo, it was unusable. Eventually, I grabbed a camera and went to my basement and snapped a photo. So that’s my basement. Notice the XPS insulation […]


Post image for Should I Insulate My Crawl Space (Yes, it’s A Mini-Basement)?

  A sister question to a previous post, should you insulate your basement crawl space? Are there savings and comfort benefits that make such a large project worthwhile? Through my energy auditor eyes, good insulation ranks right with a nice brown ale – Newcastle, maybe – within a list of the world’s great things. Should […]


Should I Insulate My Garage Ceiling or Garage Walls?

by Erik North on October 28, 2011

Should I Insulate My Garage Ceiling or Garage Walls?

  This is what happens when you write a post with crazy enthusiasm. I ripped through this previous post and in my enthusiasm to tackle insulating finished rooms over the garage, I forgot to clearly state the garage ceiling vs. garage walls question. So let’s be a little less opaque: both approaches can work but […]


How To Save Money (On Your Home Heating Bill)?

by Erik North on October 28, 2011

Post image for How To Save Money (On Your Home Heating Bill)?

    I know … ‘How to save money’…how broad a question is that? When having conversations with customers, it’s always more fruitful when our focus is more wide ranging. When discussing how to save money in your home, why discuss just the heating system or insulation? To best understand how to save money, you […]


Can Ceiling Fans Save Money?

by Erik North on October 23, 2011

Post image for Can Ceiling Fans Save Money?

  Ceiling fans are incredibly popular and add an elegant look to most rooms. The popularity of great rooms and cathedral ceilings coupled with myriad design choices make ceiling fans a great option to fill what may otherwise be a dreary ceiling space. But can ceiling fans save money? Beyond the aesthetics, properly run ceiling […]


Post image for Do Programmable Thermostats Save Money (And Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs)?

  Do programmable thermostats save money and how does this involve bacon wrapped hot dogs? The bacon wrapped hot dogs will make some sense by the end of the post. Some sense. OK, not much. OK, I just love that picture. Anyway, I love how this has evolved into the “Should I … ” series […]


Should I Insulate Interior Walls (Umm, No…)?

by Erik North on October 17, 2011

should i insulate interior walls

  Another question that crops up in audits (have you gathered that questions about almost everything come up?), is whether it makes sense to insulate the interior walls in your home. Heat is escaping everywhere, so it makes sense to slow it down as much as possible right? Short answer: No. Longer answer: Noooooooooooo. Much […]


Should I Insulate My Garage (Or Insulate it Better)?

by Erik North on October 14, 2011

should I insulate my garage

  I often have discussions about garages and even more often about the finished spaces above them. These finished rooms are the source of frequent complaints about cold rooms, drafts and heating problems. I had one customer who couldn’t get their FROG (awesome acronym … Finished Room Over Garage) over 55 F. Brrr. Why Is […]