Post image for Should I Insulate My Basement Ceiling – Infrared Chimes In

The most popular post on this site is,’Should I Insulate My Basement Ceiling‘. Yay, 1st spot on Google searches! The number of reader comments is also a pretty good measure and I get a number of emails. There are tons of questions and some dissenting opinions. My view is that the easiest, most consistent approach […]


How to Avoid Mold Part 2 – Control Temperature

by Erik North on August 26, 2013


      An Energy Auditing Blog article on reducing mold risk by reducing the homeowner’s ‘water sports’ (water related activities in the house) was published at GBA last week. Allison Bailes, the self-described energy guy with the funny name, rightly pointed out that temperature plays a key role as well. Temperature Makes Humidity Relative […]


R-Value is a Lie (And Other Provocative Titles)

by Erik North on August 21, 2013

Post image for R-Value is a Lie (And Other Provocative Titles)

    Or at least as Allison Bailes posted earlier this year, it is not a constant. Green Building Advisor once published my post on thermal bridging. The audience there is an extraordinarily knowledgeable one which leads to some spirited discussions. Following the thermal bridging article, there was some jockeying over whether R-value is an […]


Ice dam

  When my wife and I bought our current house, one appeal was that it was largely uninsulated. Given the choice between somewhat insulated and uninsulated, give me the blank slate every time. We moved in September and between the start of a super busy audit season and unpacking, any desired projects were temporarily back-burnered. […]


Spray Foam and Cold Climates

by Erik North on August 7, 2013

Post image for Spray Foam and Cold Climates

    Spray foam is a great tool for insulating and weatherizing. It can be applied to horizontal and vertical surfaces, can be the air barrier and vapor and thermal control layers once cured (at least for closed cell foam) and provides some of the highest R-values per inch available. It slices! It dices! It […]

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Post image for Hot Water Pipes and Basement Sills – The Secret Heat Loss

    I’ll preface this by saying that this photo is from my basement…notice the insulated sills in the background (*strains arm patting self on the back*). I wrote previously about low cost/high impact DIY projects for the enterprising homeowner. These are projects that are both common and if so desired, well within the means […]


5 (Fairly) Simple DIY Projects to Save Energy

by Erik North on June 17, 2013

Post image for 5 (Fairly) Simple DIY Projects to Save Energy

    I like simple projects because, hey, simple. It’s like whipping up a nice tortellini and pesto dish versus tackling a full blown chicken mole (and for the non-culinarily inclined, check out this epic you-gotta-be-kidding-me recipe for Rick Bayless’ Oaxacan Chicken Mole). They’re both satisfying but one is liable to make the average home […]


Should I Insulate My Garage Door?

by Erik North on June 14, 2013

Post image for Should I Insulate My Garage Door?

    One of the core questions an auditor asks themselves during a home inspection is ‘Where is the thermal boundary?’ and ‘Where is the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts?’ Those two questions run neck and neck. The thermal boundary is the demarcation line for energy movement between the unconditioned exterior and conditioned interior air. This can […]


Does More Wall Insulation Reduce Cooling Cost?

by Erik North on June 10, 2013

Post image for Does More Wall Insulation Reduce Cooling Cost?

      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 […]


A Belated Energy Auditor New Year’s Resolution

by Erik North on May 20, 2013

An Energy Auditor's New Year's Resolution

      The beauty of this title given my article backlog is that I can publish it any time, even next year. It’s multi-purpose. The folks at Maine Green Building Supply have been discussing the ‘Pretty Good House’ for several months now and I’ve had the chance to sit in on a few of […]