The most recent blogs at Green Building Advisor

An Introduction to Frugal Happy

Posted on March 20, 2018 by Chris Stratton and Wen Lee in Green Building Blog

Editor's Note: This post is the first in a series by Chris Stratton and Wen Lee, a husband-and-wife team living in the Los Angeles area who are turning their suburban house into an all-electric, zero-net energy home. They chronicle their attempts at a low-carbon, low-cost, and joyful lifestyle on their blog Frugal Happy. This post was written by Chris.

Can a MiniSplit Live Happily in the Attic?

Posted on March 19, 2018 by Scott Gibson in Q&A Spotlight

A reader named Inverter0815 lives in a two-story colonial in New Jersey that's hard to keep comfortable in summer. In order to get the three upstairs bedrooms down to a relatively comfortable 75° in July and August, Inverter must set the thermostat on his single-zone 2 1/2-ton air conditioner to 67°.

Preventing Frost Buildup in HRVs and ERVs

Posted on March 16, 2018 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Manufacturers of heat-recovery ventilators (HRVs) and energy-recovery ventilators (ERVs) know that HRV or ERVEnergy-recovery ventilator. The part of a balanced ventilation system that captures water vapor and heat from one airstream to condition another. In cold climates, water vapor captured from the outgoing airstream by ERVs can humidify incoming air. In hot-humid climates, ERVs can help maintain (but not reduce) the interior relative humidity as outside air is conditioned by the ERV. cores can get clogged with ice in cold temperatures. During the winter, this type of appliance brings cold outdoor air in close proximity to a stream of humid indoor air. If the outgoing air is humid enough, and the incoming air is cold enough, the moisture in the exhaust air stream can turn to ice.

Garbage In, Garbage Out

Posted on March 15, 2018 by Ana Baptista in Guest Blogs

U.S. cities have been burning municipal solid waste since the 1880s. For the first century, it was a way to get rid of trash. Today, advocates have rebranded it as an environmentally friendly energy source.

Most incinerators operating today use the heat from burning trash to produce steam that can generate electricity. These systems are sometimes referred to as “waste-to-energy” plants.

Is a Ventless Fireplace More Efficient Than a Condensing Furnace?

Posted on March 14, 2018 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD in Building Science

One of the primary benefits of a ventless gas fireplace is that you don't lose any heat up the flue. That's because there isn't a flue, of course. (The potential problems with indoor air quality, however, outweigh any benefits, so don't run out and buy one just yet. Or ever.) That ought to make it a winner for heating efficiency in comparison to any vented heating appliance, such as furnace or boiler. Even the highest efficiency condensing furnaces still lose some heat in the exhaust gases that go up the flue.

What Is a Green Home Worth?

Posted on March 13, 2018 by Parlin Meyer in Guest Blogs

Editor's note: This article originally appeared in Green & Healthy Homes Maine and is reprinted here with permission.

Flatrock Passive: Air Sealing the Penetrations

Posted on March 12, 2018 by David Goodyear in Guest Blogs

Editor's Note: This is one of a series of blogs by David Goodyear describing the construction of his new home in Flatrock, Newfoundland, the first in the province built to the Passive HouseA residential building construction standard requiring very low levels of air leakage, very high levels of insulation, and windows with a very low U-factor. Developed in the early 1990s by Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist, the standard is now promoted by the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt, Germany. To meet the standard, a home must have an infiltration rate no greater than 0.60 AC/H @ 50 pascals, a maximum annual heating energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (4,755 Btu per square foot), a maximum annual cooling energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (1.39 kWh per square foot), and maximum source energy use for all purposes of 120 kWh per square meter (11.1 kWh per square foot). The standard recommends, but does not require, a maximum design heating load of 10 W per square meter and windows with a maximum U-factor of 0.14. The Passivhaus standard was developed for buildings in central and northern Europe; efforts are underway to clarify the best techniques to achieve the standard for buildings in hot climates. standard. The first installment of the blog series was titled An Introduction to the Flatrock Passive House. For a list of Goodyear's earlier blogs on this site, see the "Related Articles" sidebar below; you'll find his complete blog here.

Carbon Emissions By the Construction Industry

Posted on March 9, 2018 by Martin Holladay in Musings of an Energy Nerd

Burning fossil fuels or using electricity results in carbon dioxide emissions (unless the electricity is produced by photovoltaics, wind, or another renewable energy source). Since CO2 emissions cause global climate change, environmentally conscious builders aim to build energy-efficient buildings.

A Chinese Firm Is Convicted of Stealing Trade Secrets

Posted on March 8, 2018 by Stuart Kaplow in Guest Blogs

While many people focused on the tariffs of 30% imposed by the United States on imported photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. cells and modules last month, most missed the larger renewable energy news story: After an 11-day trial, a federal jury in Wisconsin convicted the Chinese firm Sinovel of stealing wind technology, including trade secrets.

A Better Way to Encourage Efficient New Homes

Posted on March 7, 2018 by David Goldstein in Guest Blogs

Building a more energy-efficient home can employ many different approaches. The builder can use more insulation and better windows, install ductless heating and cooling systems, orient the house to collect sunshine through the windows in winter and shade them in summer, seal leaks in the walls and ceilings, and assure healthy indoor air 24/7 by providing reliable mechanical ventilation with energy recovery. They can use cool roofs. The list goes on...

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