Where Did I Put My Head?

I’m often asked where to put heat for energy-efficient homes, and the question quickly turns to heat pumps, and where to put the indoor components, especially those wall-mounted jobbies, what people are calling “heads.”  That’s a new term. Somebody in the last few years came up with the bright idea of calling them “heads”, but … Continue reading Where Did I Put My Head?

The Mysterious, But Open-and-Shut Case of the Storm Window

(With a riddle at the end:  The first person to answer it correctly gets a copy of my new book.) Storm windows save a lot of energy, especially in old buildings where the main window is single-pane.  But they may not work the way we think they work. In Energy Audits and Improvements for Commercial … Continue reading The Mysterious, But Open-and-Shut Case of the Storm Window

Heating Upstairs Versus Downstairs – Part III

This is the third and last blog post in the series on how and why most of the heating in a two-story building (with open stairs) happens downstairs. The magnitude of the phenomenon has been so fascinating to me, with so much of the heat coming from the first floor, in buildings kept at the … Continue reading Heating Upstairs Versus Downstairs – Part III

Heating Upstairs Versus Downstairs – Part II

This is a continuation of the previous blog post about where heat is used, first floor versus second floor, in two story buildings with an open staircase, like most homes. I finished tests on the high-performance new home that I mentioned in the first post. Specifically, this newer set of tests were with the interior … Continue reading Heating Upstairs Versus Downstairs – Part II

Heating Downstairs Versus Upstairs

I’m seeing strong evidence that over 80% of the heat needed for two-story buildings, like many homes, is used downstairs.  And in some cases, it’s 90%-100%.   I now have data for several buildings, and it all says the same thing:  The majority of heating that happens in two-story buildings happens downstairs. I’m specifically referring to … Continue reading Heating Downstairs Versus Upstairs

Eliminating Energy Use in Existing Buildings: Easier Than We Think?

A few weeks ago, I gave a talk titled “Eliminating Energy Use in Existing Buildings: Easier Than We Think?”  It was to mark the release of Energy Audits and Improvements in Commercial Buildings.  We are already seeing many examples of successful new buildings that do not use energy, and I will keep discussing those here … Continue reading Eliminating Energy Use in Existing Buildings: Easier Than We Think?

Ladders, Lighting, LED’s

An interesting visit last week to Tilley Ladder, an old factory that used to make wooden ladders, which has been converted to apartments, in Watervliet, NY. The building is certified LEED Platinum and has geothermal heat pumps, heat recovery ventilation, heat pump clothes dryers, LED lighting, and more. It is a BEAUTIFUL building - a … Continue reading Ladders, Lighting, LED’s

99% corridor lighting energy savings

Corridor lighting is a big energy user. How would you like to save 99% of the energy required for this important lighting? I recently saw a beautiful new university dorm for grad students. It is a certified green building (LEED Gold). I was struck by how the corridors are lit. In fact, I was awestruck. … Continue reading 99% corridor lighting energy savings

Low Energy: beautiful and affordable

In recent months, I’ve been seeing amazing results of ultra-high-performance buildings come across my desk. Last fall, a 15-unit 4-story multifamily building was complete at Ecovillage in Ithaca. A few weeks ago, I received a few months of utility bills, which we examined and found that the building is using about 1/10 the energy of … Continue reading Low Energy: beautiful and affordable