Energy Solutions


What size furnace do you really need for your home?

Sometime in your life you will need to buy a new furnace. Either you are building a new home, the old ­furnace finally gave up, or you are being proactive and would like to invest in something more energy ­efficient. Whatever your reason, it is very important to install a properly sized furnace to match the btu/hr heat loss of ...Read More

Blower Dr on (23)

Finding the truth hidden behind the wall

I have written six articles so far and in all six I have talked openly and ­honestly about the ­performance of different insulations and their ­applications. Also, I have discussed controlling air leakage in and out of your home so that it will be ­comfortable and have ­reasonable monthly energy bills. All of my ­comments and suggestions are based 100 ...Read More

IR photo underperforming insulation

Getting the best quote for insulation

Now that you have had an energy professional come to your home to do an energy evaluation, one of the top three recommen­dations on your prioritized list of energy ­improvements is attic ­insulation. Now what? First of all use your energy professional to help guide you in your decision making process. If you have read any of my past Energy ...Read More

For basement walls and rim joist the best choice is closed cell spray foam applied directly to the foundation walls.

Foam, fiberglass or cellulose insulation?

Are you at the point in the ­building or remodeling process when you need to make a decision as to what insulation system you would like to use in your home? Or, are you going to just leave it up to your builder to use what he thinks is best? I hate to say it, but for most ­builders the ...Read More

Man pouring concrete into wall molds at construction site

The science behind insulation

In the past articles I have ­mentioned that your home’s building shell is made of thermal and pressure ­boundaries. These boundaries are both located between the conditioned space we intentionally heat and cool and the outside unconditioned space. Defining what is a conditioned and unconditioned space can fool many people in the home building and remodeling industry. For example, let’s ...Read More

An infrared photo of a bath exhaust fan leaking attic air into the home while the blower door is depressurizing the home.

Do it yourself energy efficiency projects

Congratulations, you have made it through another Illinois winter, but your household budget took a pretty good hit keeping the ­homestead warm. Now that the weather is nice, you want to get started on some do-it-yourself home improvements that will save money on your energy bill and make your home more comfortable. Where do you start? Personally, I want your ...Read More


Building a new home?

If you have started the process of ­building a new home, you may have heard about the new Illinois energy code. All homes ­permitted after Jan. 1, 2013 must meet the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for energy efficiency. Just what does that mean to you, the person paying to have your new home built? The first question you ...Read More


Don’t just treat the symptoms

My name is Brian Kumer and I am the owner of Thermal Imaging Services of Central Illinois, Inc. Thermal Imaging Services is a small one person energy ­con­sulting business based out of Peoria, Ill. I am ­originally from the ­village of Bryant, a small central Illinois town in Fulton County, ­population 350. After receiving my associate’s degree in HVACR from ...Read More


Doug Rye says goodbye to readers

God has blessed me with two 23-year careers in my adult life. In both careers, I have had the opportunity to help many families by ­showing them how to make energy ­efficiency improvements that helped them save money on their utility bills. In my first career, as the state architect for a federal agency called the Farmers Home Administration (FmHA,) ...Read More


A no regrets home improvement plan for 2015

Each new year as I prepare to write the January column, I think of just how privileged I am to have the opportunity to work with the electric co-ops to help folks have a more comfortable house and lower utility bills. And since I have been writing this column every month for several years, I always wonder just how many ...Read More