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 […]


Post image for The Worst House Ever Audited (Was Built in 2008) Part 3

    To recap: Last post I started reviewing possibly the worst house I ever audited. The house had built in 2008, which hit one of my pet peeves: That new automatically means good. But to reiterate a buddy’s favorite saying, “a house built to code is the worst house you’re legally allowed to build.” […]


Blower Door 2 – Blower Door Harder

by Erik North on November 7, 2012

Post image for Blower Door 2 – Blower Door Harder

    And that post title does sound vaguely raunchy but oh, well. Continuing from from a few weeks back where I realized I ought to do a post talking a bit more about how these tools are actually used. Blower doors are spoken of in reverential tones in energy circles. Or at least they […]

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Do Insulating Window Kits Work?

by Erik North on June 27, 2012

Post image for Do Insulating Window Kits Work?

  In case you can’t tell, I wrote this in November just as I was hanging up my 3M window film. Just wait for my January posts on the best window mounted air conditioners! Everyone knows about insulating window kits. They’re simple cheap, effective and most people avoid them like the plague. Plastic window insulation […]


Blown In Fiberglass vs. Fiberglass Batts

by Erik North on December 29, 2011

Blown In Fiberglass vs. Fiberglass Batts

    I suppose it was only time before insulation manufacturers realized they could forego the expense of all that kraft paper binding the fiberglass batts. At first blush, it seems like blown in fiberglass and fiberglass batts ought to be very similar. I mean they’re both fiberglass, right? However, it’s like saying glass shards […]


What is Dew Point?

by Erik North on December 16, 2011

What is Dew Point?

  I’ve mentioned dew point in passing many, many times. You can tell from the name it has something to do with moisture. And moisture is a problem flash point in homes so it might be worth knowing a bit more about dew point. So what is dew point? How is it a driver of […]


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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What Is A Gambrel Roof (The Classic Edwardian Design)?

  Gambrel roofs are another style common to houses in the Northeast and to some extent throughout the country. Their architectural style recalls older rustic settings and like cape cods remains a lower cost option for homeowners. So what is a Gambrel roof? The style has its origin in Indonesia where early Dutch and English […]


What is Perlite?

by Erik North on November 27, 2011

What is perlite

  I’ll admit up front. Perlite is not commonly used as insulation at least not in Maine. I’ve only encountered one house insulated with perlite on an energy audit. But perlite is closely related to vermiculite and having written about Zonolite brand vermiculite recently, it seemed appropriate. So what is perlite and what is its […]

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Energy Audit Equipment – The Tools of The Trade

by Erik North on November 19, 2011

Energy audit equipment

  I thought I’d put together a list of energy audit equipment. This is all the equipment I use during energy audits. Not all of these are used during every audit or aren’t essential to investigating the house. I’ve separated the lists into essential and useful items and will write a bit on each item. […]