Energy Solutions

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


All insulation is not equal

Most discussions about residential energy efficiency include the topic of insulation. Attic, wall and floor insulation normally become major points of discussion. Builders, homeowners, architects and salesmen use R-value language for ­comparing various types and thicknesses of insulation. It has been that way for as long as I can remember. However, energy efficiency experts are […]

By Okram (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Invest in a new blanket

It is that time of the year again. Many of the trees are still beautiful, and we have much for which to be thankful. I am thankful for health, shelter, food, family and friends, and a job that pays me to help many people just like you. Part of my job is to receive your […]

geothermal heat pump iStock_000011516097Large

What’s hot and what’s not

Last month we discussed the hot topic of attic encapsulation. Well, there is another hot topic I would like to cover and that is geothermal ­heating and cooling. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t get questions about geothermal. It used to be the only geothermal question I received was, “What […]