Recent Additions to the Heatboard Library
By improving your home's energy efficiency, you can profit in several ways. You can save money, improve your life, help the earth, and make your home safer and more comfortable.
Application of these 10 energy efficiency measures in a typical home yields nearly $600 in annual bill savings, and an impressive 16% overall return on investment.
Information about the benefits of energy efficiency improvements beyond the direct energy bill savings on over two dozen improvements.
More From the Heatboard Library
There are two basic types of active solar heating systems based on the type of fluid—either liquid or air—that is heated in the solar energy collectors. (The collector is the device in which a fluid is heated by the sun.) Liquid-based systems heat water or an antifreeze solution in a "hydronic" collector, whereas air-based systems heat air in an "air collector."
Before refrigeration technology first appeared, people kept cool using natural methods: breezes flowing through windows, water evaporating from springs and fountains as well as large amounts of stone and earth absorbing daytime heat. These ideas were developed over thousands of years as integral parts of building design. Today they are called "passive cooling." Ironically, passive cooling is considered an "alternative" to mechanical cooling that requires complicated refrigeration systems. By employing passive cooling techniques into modern buildings, you can eliminate mechanical cooling or at least reduce the size and cost of the equipment.
You can easily conduct a home energy audit yourself. With a simple but diligent walk-through, you can spot many problems in any type of house. When auditing your home, keep a checklist of areas you have inspected and problems you found. This list will help you prioritize your energy efficiency upgrades.
Despite your electric utility's best efforts, electricity supplied to your home may occasionally have power quality problems, such as voltage surges, swells and sags, and interruptions. These transient events can be caused by weather, accidents, animals, utility equipment malfunctions, a neighbor's equipment, or even appliances and tools at your own home.
Heat from the Earth, or geothermal — Geo (Earth) + thermal (heat) — energy can be and already is accessed by drilling water or steam wells in a process similar to drilling for oil. Geothermal energy is an enormous, underused heat and power resource that is clean (emits little or no greenhouse gases), reliable (average system availability of 95%), and homegrown (making us less dependent on foreign oil).
When choosing a wood stove, there’s a lot to consider. Start by locating the sticker pictured on this page. It will tell you that the stove is EPA- certified (a permanent notice is also on the back of the stove). It will also tell you the Btu rating. This is a measure of heat output which will help you find a stove