Energy efficiency by James H. Bushart en-us Upgrading Your Gas Furnace? Don't Forget the Chimney. Naturally drafting residential chimneys develop draft because the warmer air inside the chimney is lighter than the air outside the chimney. The source of the heated air at the bottom of the chimney burns fuel and creates a column of gases that are lighter than the outside air. The taller the chimney and the hotter the contents - the stronger the draft. Today, with the upgrading of furnaces to more efficient heating systems that vent their combustion gases through fan-assisted plastic vents,... Tue, 28 Jun 2011 18:03:38 -0500 What is an energy audit? With so many different types of energy efficiency services available to the consumer, today, the term "energy audit" is being used in a variety of contexts that can be confusing to the average person. Hopefully, this will clear up some of the confusion. 1. What is an "energy audit?" Depending upon who is performing it for you, it can be a variety of things. Here are common examples. a. Diagnostic energy audits - Conducted by a Building Performance Institute trained and certified... Thu, 12 May 2011 09:33:53 -0500 Your well water and the flood of 2011 Considering the wide areas, the speed and the direction of ground water flow -- your well may not be safe to drink or use for bathing for many months. While the flooding can instantly contaminate the well with bacteria and other pollutants, the waste water from other flood damaged septic tanks or from chemicals that are seeping into the ground after being spread by the flood waters can contaminate your well ... even AFTER you have the water tested and find it to be safe to use. It is... Wed, 27 Apr 2011 09:37:13 -0500 Sizing a cooling system Most central cooling systems that are installed in today's homes are oversized. By some estimates, as many as 80% of air conditioners and heat pumps that are in use today are too large in their capacity for the homes in which they have been put into use. To the home owner this presents several undesirable conditions. Not only are the larger units more expensive to purchase but they require (and waste) more costly energy. In addition to that, "short cycling" (when the cooling unit operates... Fri, 22 Apr 2011 12:11:13 -0500