November 24, 2014

Sizing Up Storm Doors: A Variety of Options Can Fit Any Efficiency Need or Budget

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Q: I feel air leaks around my doors, so I’m thinking about adding storm doors. I want ones that also have screens, but my budget is limited. Is it worthwhile adding storm doors, and what should I look for? A: Even though it is a relatively small area … [Read more...]

Gadgets Help Save Water, Energy

Low-flow showerheads and other low-cost devices use less water and heat. Q:Both my energy and water bills are increasing, so I plan to install low-flow showerheads. I tried them before, but my family didn’t like them. Are they any better now, and how do … [Read more...]

Landscape for Looks & Efficiency

Wise landscaping can lower utility bills and improve comfort in addition to dressing up your property. Q: We are landscaping our new house and want a wooded yard for shade and to enhance the energy efficiency of our home. Where should we plant trees, … [Read more...]

What Do You Need From Extra AC?

Ask yourself what you want from a supplemental air-conditioning unit before buying one—window units and mini-split heat pumps both have good qualities. Q: We added a room, but our central air conditioner doesn’t cool it well. Our second-floor master … [Read more...]

Lower Humidity, Lower Electric Bill

Q:Our old central air conditioner still works, but our house often seems too humid indoors. We set the thermostat lower, but it does not help a lot. How can we reduce the humidity and improve comfort? A: Damp, cool, indoor air creates a muggy atmosphere … [Read more...]

Cut Through Sales Hype Before Replacing Windows

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Q: We need replacement windows for our home, but every salesman makes his sound like the best and most efficient. How do I choose among the various frame materials, styles and glass types? A: It can be extremely difficult to sort through all the sales … [Read more...]

Keep Indoor Air Healthy

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Q: I want the best air for my family. Which type of central air cleaner is best, and will installing one make my heating and cooling more efficient? A: Indoor air quality is becoming a greater issue as homes become more airtight for energy efficiency. … [Read more...]

Get the Facts Before Installing Solar Water Heater

Harnessing sunshine may reduce your water heating bill, but visit the options first to find the best system. Q: With two teenage daughters who take long showers, our water heating costs are high. Does using solar water heating make sense? What are my … [Read more...]

Upgrade Garage Door for Comfort, Efficiency, Safety

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Q: I do projects in my garage, which has a bedroom above it. The garage door is an old metal one with no insulation, so I think I should replace it. What type is best? A: It sounds like you definitely need to make efficiency improvements to the … [Read more...]

Insulate Cracks, Gaps for Maximum Efficiency

Q: The wall and blown-in attic insulation in my fairly new house are at recommended levels, but my utility bills are still too high. What other areas should I check for inefficiency? A: You are correct that the walls and ceiling are the areas of the … [Read more...]