Time to call your state legislators

Amy Musser
There is a lot going on this year in the NC legislature that will impact the energy efficiency, renewable energy, and green building industries, and much of it is not good. If you hate politics as much as I do, you may not be fully on top of all this,...

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Refrigerators have become confusing

Amy Musser
Recently, I've gotten a lot of emails and calls from my builder clients about refrigerators.  It seems their energy consumption has gotten confusing, particularly if you're trying to buy an energy star model.  There are two reasons for this:  (1) the standard test for how much energy they use has...

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The $100 challenge

Amy Musser
If you knew that you could save a meaningful amount of energy for less than $100, would you do it?  So often we think that energy efficiency has to be all or nothing – until we can save up to build that net-zero or off-grid house we’re stuck in our...

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Amy’s Energy Efficiency Gift Buying Guide

Amy Musser
Between Thanksgivukkah and the unusually short three-week (shudder) shopping season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, you may just now be realizing that you have some serious work to do.  The energy efficiency industry has some great products that will fit your budget and delight the data geek in your life. Gift-giving...

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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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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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Hybrid walls anyone?

Amy Musser
Sometimes I blog about things I see that bother me and sometimes I pick topics that people ask me about all the time.  Today, it’s both.  The use of hybrid foam-fiberglass insulation in walls is something that people ask me a lot.  Other people don’t ask and just do things...

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Seeing the light: myths about light bulbs

Amy Musser
One of the most surprising and frustrating aspects of working in the “energy efficiency industry” is the sheer number and prevalence of myths about light bulbs.  Buying a light bulb and putting it in a residential light fixture just is not that complicated.  (This sounds like the great lead-in for...

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Celebrating the solstice with passive solar

Amy Musser
I often say that I wish everyone could live in my house for a week.  The winter solstice seems like the perfect time to talk about why.  I’ll give you a hint:  it’s 74 degrees in my living room right now. Living in a passive solar house is remarkably more...

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