Earth Friendly Products – Ice Melt

Ice Melt from Earth Friendly Products

We live in the part of North America which receives much snow and ice during the winter. Part of our home's driveway is mostly in shade during the day and therefore tends to accumulate ice, making walking on it difficult. We also have a pet dog, Sandy, who has been with us for a long time now, over 50 years (dog years :) ), who we talk out for walks in the front of the house. The last thing we want is to use road salt or similar product to melt the ice build-up on the shady part of our … [Read more...]

Garden Makeover – Part 29 – Consider All The Seasons

Front Garden Before Makeover

In Part 29 we completed our planting of different tulip bulbs in our front garden. Today we wanted to remind you to consider all of the seasons when planning a home garden, not just the present. When we planned and planted our remodeled front garden it was the spring and summer. If you recall, we had a garden plan created for us by a professional (which cost nothing as we received a credit equal to the cost of the garden plan at the garden center where the professional garden planner … [Read more...]

Solar Air Heating – Part 24 – Sun’s Position Impacting Shade

Shade on Solar Air Collector After Spruce Tree Removed

Yesterday in Part 23 we saw how the 25 foot high evergreen tree was removed from our backyard as it was causing unplanned and excessive shade in the morning on our Solar Max 240 solar air heating unit. The question is: did the removal of the tree in our backyard have the desired effect? In other words, was the solar air heater receiving sufficient sun earlier in the morning to save us money on our home heating utility bills in the winter and reduce the natural gas our furnace consumed? Yes … [Read more...]

Solar Air Heating – Part 23 – The Tree Comes Down

Tree Being Trimmed Before Chipper

Yesterday, in Part 22 of our series on our solar air heater, we talked about the issue we had with the Norwegian Spruce tree causing more shade than planned on our solar air heater. Here is the picture of the shade caused by this 25 foot high tree on our solar collector in mid-morning. It may seem strange for someone who is focused on energy conservation to cut down a tree. However, that tree is getting in the way of us receiving free heat as much as we could be receiving from our … [Read more...]

Solar Air Heating – Part 22 – Norwegian Spruce Not My Friend

Just before Christmas, we wrote our last article in our solar air heating series when we discussed the amount of temperature increase (known as temperature rise) generated from the Solar Max 240 unit we installed on the south wall of our home. Today we now return to this series to write about an issue which occurred with our new energy conservation device. There are several considerations you must take into account when deciding on the location of your solar air collector unit. This article … [Read more...]

ecoENERGY Report – Part 20 – The Second Audit-5

Covered Support Beam in Kitchen

In Part 20 - The Second Audit-4 we discussed our extreme disappointment with what happened to us in participating in this program, specifically the lack of a required air leakage examination of the home during the first, or 'D', energy efficiency assessment by the assessor with the home owner. It is as if the program is providing insufficient support for the participant. Even large air leaks within a home's 'envelope' can only be detected during the blower test as we have come to … [Read more...]

ecoENERGY Report – Part 19 – The Second Audit-4

Basement Workroom

In Part 18 - The Second Audit-3, we list some examples of our dissatisfaction with the energy audit we received. Here was the largest air leakage which was only told to us during the follow-up energy audit.  Pictured above is the wall of my basement workroom. On the other side is the garage. Now, remember, the energy efficiency assessor is looking for air leaks during the blower test of the follow-up energy audit; the same blower test which was conducted during the first, or … [Read more...]

ecoENERGY Report – Part 18 – The Second Audit-3

Blower Test Results

In Part 17 - The Second Audit-2, we wrote about how we were, and remain, strongly disappointed that the energy auditor did not take as thorough an air leakage investigation during the initial, or 'D', energy efficiency assessment (i.e. energy audit) as he did with the follow-up, or 'E', energy efficiency assessment. Let me explain why. In Part 16 - The Second Audit-1, I mentioned that I was very confident I had found and sealed all of the major air leaks identified by Bruce, the ecoENERGY … [Read more...]

ecoENERGY Report – Part 17 – The Second Audit-2

Blower Test Frame and Cover

In Part 16 we wrote about our pending follow-up energy audit as part of our participation in the ecoENERGY Residential Retrofit program (they call it an Energy Efficiency Assessment). So, right on time, Bruce from the accredited ecoENERGY assessment company arrived early. We chit-chatted about what changes we had done (ENERGY STAR windows and reduced the air leakage to some degree) and off he went to do his task. First, he went outside and took pictures of all the ENERGY STAR windows we … [Read more...]

ecoENERGY Report – Part 16 – The Second Audit-1

It has been a while since we wrote an article about our ecoENERGY Residential Retrofit experiences. In fact, we started this series of articles way back on 01-JAN-08 in our ecoENERGY Report - Part 1 article. As you may recall, the ecoENERGY Residential Retrofit program allows Canadian home owners of eligible single family homes 18 months between the first ('D') and second ('E') energy efficiency assessment (i.e. energy audit) to undertake prescribe energy efficiency projects or appliance … [Read more...]

Home Energy Conservation – Low and More Costly Cooking Energy Savings Tips

Microwave and Island

Editor's Note: To view the 240+ different energy conservation tips for the home we have collected, simply access our Un-Official Guide To Home Energy Conservation. Yesterday we reviewed ideas and suggestions which cost nothing to do yet can help to reduce the amount of direct and indirect consumption of natural resources when cooking meals in the home. Today we review the remaining ideas on how to reduce your utility bills when cooking your meals at home. Here is the Un-Official Guide … [Read more...]

Home Energy Conservation – No Cost Cooking Energy Savings Tips

Editor's Note: To view the 240+ different energy conservation tips for the home we have collected, simply access our Un-Official Guide To Home Energy Conservation. Previously we wrote about the ideas we have collected to reduce non-renewable energy resources related to heating water in your home. Today we review ideas and suggestions which cost nothing to do yet can help to reduce the amount of direct and indirect consumption of natural resources when cooking meals in the … [Read more...]

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