What to do when your bath fan fails

Amy Musser
Bath fans are an incredibly important part of a high-performance home.  Unfortunately they are also a frequently failed item when we perform final testing for programs like Energy Star and GreenBuilt NC.  This week’s blog focuses on how builders can be successful with bath fans. Why are bath fans are...

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The Z dimension

Uncategorized
The good news first. Judging by the inquiries for new work the local economy, particularly for residential construction, is gaining steam. The not so good news. I have a commission for a new house on a very steep site; a site the old timers would call a "mule's nose" (again...

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Airtightness and Spray Foam Insulation

Amy Musser
Spray foam makes houses tighter, right?  Maybe.  Usually.  Having blower-door tested hundreds of homes with every insulation combination you can imagine, I’ve developed some opinions. Spray foam insulations have a reputation for making homes more airtight than fiberglass or cellulose.  If you look at a sample of the various insulation...

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Location Efficiency

Boone Guyton
Where we build is often as significant as how we build or what we build. A super efficient small green built home in town often has the lowest energy costs in terms of carbon fuels. As we move out of towns or cities to suburban and exurban locations our transportation...

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Carbonal Indulgences?

Courtney Miller
Confession: For most of the past year, I haven't been commuting by bike. Without context, this may not seem like a horrible sin - it's been a wet winter, so I get a pass there. And plenty of people don't bike to work, especially in elevationally challenged towns like Asheville....

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DIY Discoveries

Courtney Miller
In supporting your efforts for a fantastically clean 2013, I've decided to summarize the results of my DIY product experimentation last year. No new info, just streamlined. Here you go: Glass Cleaner Hands down, my favorite discovery and the unequivocal best glass cleaner ever is hydrogen peroxide. It provides a...

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A Fantastically Clean 2013

Courtney Miller
It's New Year's resolution time, and one of the most common refrains is to "keep a cleaner house" or "de-clutter my home." Often, people are good at one but not the other. But both tasks - cleaning and organizing - work in tangent to make your space feel clear, stress-free,...

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Why Even Hipsters Should Vote

Courtney Miller
Alongside PBR and moustache fetishes, a dangerous hipster credo is snaking its way through society. They’re too cool for bootleg jeans. Too cool for pre-rolled cigarettes. And, yes, too cool for voting. I shouldn’t lay it all on hipsters. I’ve heard yoga moms and academics express a similar philosophy, though...

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Label Lessons 101: Surfactants (Repost)

Courtney Miller
If you know to look at labels on household and body care products, you know of at least one ingredient to stay away from - a surfactant called sodium laurel sulfate (SLS). Surfactants are marvels of modern chemistry, because they solve the age-old salad dressing problem - the impossibility of...

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