Energy Solutions

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A different kind of envelope

Oftentimes I refer to the term “building envelope” or “thermal envelope.” Both are interchangeable and synonymous. So, just what is a building envelope? Well, in simple terms, it is the building components that separate the building interior from the exterior environment. And since this column is about energy ­efficiency, let’s call it the ­“thermal envelope.” On the simplest of ­buildings, ...Read More


How much air can you blow into a soft drink bottle?

Well, the answer is none unless the air has a way to get out of the bottle. You have probably never been asked that question before, and you may be wondering what that has to do with energy ­efficiency. The answer is simple - ­understanding the basics of airflow can help you understand an important aspect of home comfort. An ...Read More


Life is full of choices

Does everybody care about his or her utility bill? The answer is “yes.” We all relate to our own comfort and utility bill. Well, that is understandable and the purpose of this column has always been to help you have a comfortable house and a ­reasonable electric bill. However, we sometimes confuse our electric bill with merely heating and cooling ...Read More


Energy efficiency is a lot of hot air

Some things never change, like the laws of nature on Earth. Heat always moves to cold on our planet. So, ­during winter months, the nice warm heat within your house is always moving to the colder outdoor climate. Before long, spring and summer will return and the heat provided from the sun will move into your air-­conditioned home. Heat is ...Read More


Energy efficiency advice for the New Year

Yes, you know the rest; the more they remain the same. It is ­unbelievable, isn’t it? Another year has passed. Well HAPPY NEW YEAR again. As I was thinking about this column and the ways that we could best help you in this New Year, I also reflected on the past. I thought about many of the ways the world ...Read More

Let’s just do it…others have!

Wow, time really does pass quickly. Since my last column, major winter storms have pounded the United States. The storms left many without electricity. Hundreds of crews were sent by electric ­utilities, including Arkansas’ electric ­cooperatives, to help restore this ­wonderful product called electricity. I heard several families say on TV that they did not realize how many ways they ...Read More

All-electric homes are safer

National Fire Awareness week took place recently, and I am fairly certain that it was so designated because it was the beginning of the heating season. They gave several safety tips, which included having the gas furnace checked by a ­qualified person, ­checking or ­installing a smoke detector and ­installing a carbon monoxide detector. And let me make it clear ...Read More

Inspect Attic

From hot attics to frost

Yippee. It is fall, school is in full swing, football is being played, the leaves are changing to beautiful colors and attics are no longer super-hot. And, yes, the utility bills will be lower because little, if any, heating or cooling is needed in October. If you want to know about what it costs to cool your house on one ...Read More


Answers to hot and cold attics

Just about all of us have felt the pain of receiving high summer utility bills. Yes, that includes the Doug Rye household. I am still receiving lots of calls about hot attics. So, I am devoting a third column to that subject. I will use examples of the callers’ questions and my responses to those questions in the hope that ...Read More


The attic is still hot

Publication schedules require that I submit this article almost 30 days before it reaches your mailbox. I decide what I am going to write about and how I can best help you by the number of calls I get that relate to a particular subject, and by what I think the situation will be in 30 days. I wrote the July, “Cooling ...Read More