Energy Solutions

Ensuring high quality energy efficiency work

By Patrick Keegan Dear Pat: I want to make my home more energy efficient, but some of the work needed is more than I can do by myself. When I’m hiring contractors to do these projects, how can I be sure that the work is of good quality? – Jerry C. Dear Jerry: The good […]

How to clean refrigerator coils

Your refrigerator is one of the largest, most-used appliances in your home. It requires only minimal maintenance – just simple cleaning of the condenser coils, which disperse heat. If the coils are covered with dust, gunk or pet hair, they cannot diffuse the heat properly and will not run efficiently. A bigger problem can result […]

How to choose efficient appliances

By TJ Kirk It’s never a good day when you realize you need to replace a large appliance in your home. However, when the unfortunate time comes, be sure to take a moment and consider what you will purchase – especially for appliances that haven’t been replaced in a number of years, as the technology […]

America mobilizes for energy efficiency

April 22 will mark the 45th celebration of Earth Day. The rallies and marches in the spring of 1970 called for more attention to protecting the environment. If you measure the success of that cause by greater energy efficiency, the results have been remarkable and the future holds great promise. Here are a few examples […]


Ventilation: how much is enough?

To answer the question how much ventilation is enough, we first need to understand why we need ventilation. Just to be clear, the “ventilation” I am referring to is mechanical ­ventilation. Although, opening a window is ­ventilation as well. Mechanical ventilation would include your bathroom exhaust fan and kitchen range hood. We call this local […]

Can my home be too tight?

No, a home cannot be too tight. However, a tightly constructed home without a planned and measured ­ventilation strategy is a recipe for ­disaster! I have seen this many times. The tighter the home, the more important the mechanical ventilation. It’s common sense. People get into trouble when they ignore the “V” in HVAC. Having […]

How to detect the silent killer in your home

What if I told you that baking ­cookies could be bad for your health, would you believe me? Along with the wonderful aroma of fresh baked ­cookies wafting throughout the home could also be carbon monoxide (CO). I can tell you first hand, you will never know when you are overcome with CO. In my […]

Keeping your windows from getting all wet

There is a condition in the winter that drives some homeowners crazy – sweating windows! The colder the temperature outside, the worse it is. Droplets of water run down the glass onto the wood or vinyl sash, onto the window trim and down the wall. I have seen homeowners have a “towel changing schedule” to […]

To humidify or not to humidify?

By now your furnace has been ­running three or four hours a day and your home is starting to feel a ­little dry, just like last year and the year before that. So, you make your annual pilgrimage to the basement to bring up and fill your freestanding humidifier, or turn on your furnace mounted […]