Heating Cooling & Energy

 
Tesla Solar Roof shingles
The name Tesla inspires visions of fast cars, rocket ships, high speed trains and now home solar roofs. So far they are big on fanfare but short on hard facts. Tesla is a powerful brand that when riding on its track record of electric vehicles needs to do little but step into a market...
Off-grid leed home
How to keep power consumption at a minimum in an off-grid house without affecting quality of life. This is the third post in a blog series called Sunshine Saved written by Craig Anderson as he  documents the design and construction of an off-grid LEED...
Thermal batteries for passive solar design
Just as a regular battery stores electrical energy, a thermal battery stores heat. Solar heat can be collected, stored and distributed later as needed. . What is a thermal battery? Thermal mass of any kind could by definition be called a thermal battery as it stores...
Balanced insulation levels in a home
Homes are often over-insulated in some parts and relatively under-insulated others. Balanced insulation means applying your insulation dollars where they are most needed. . Keeping heat in your home during a Canadian winter is a battle of epic proportions, one that needs to be fought...
Icicles are an indication of heat loss, which can cause damage to insulation
Tips for winter preparation: how to make your house more efficient, more durable and more comfortable. . Extremely low temperatures can test your home in many ways, and sometimes return a failing grade. Even brand new homes built to code can see failures of their building envelopes...
Product of the month: Aquion’s Aqueous Hybrid Ion saltwater home battery
Aquion Energy's Aqueous Hybrid Ion (AHI™) saltwater batteries offer a safe, clean, non-hazardous and hassle-free solution to storing your own power . Renewable energy is a hot topic, not just in green building circles, but all across the globe. The need is urgent, the products are...
How solar panels work
Ever wonder how solar panels actually work? Here is a great explanation of how sun is converted into electricity, and some resources for getting set up with solar panels in Canada. Going solar at home is more straightforward and affordable now than ever before, with areas throughout...
Off-grid, passively-heated LEED Gold home
In this second post in a series on off-grid living, Craig Anderson outlines the energy systems of his house and explains why he chose them. This is the second piece in a blog series called Sunshine Saved written by Craig Anderson as he  documents the design and construction...
Ice dam
Ice dams form at the bottom of roofs, letting water penetrate and cause damage to the interior of walls and roofs. Ice dams form at the bottom of roofs, letting water penetrate and cause damage to the interior of walls and roofs.  When snow melts on a roof it runs down until...
Solar panel installation
Ten things to know that will help you get the best value out of a photovoltaic solar panel system. Diligent research is absolutely essential for any homeowner looking to install a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel system on their home. But at some point, you need to hand the reins over to...
High efficiency fireplace
Making sense of fireplace and wood stove specifications and knowing how to choose the right one for you. Reading the specifications of a wood stove can be rather complicated. So let's shake loose the important points from all the technical jargon and make the process a bit more...
Problem areas of air leakage in a home and blower door test being conducted
Odds are that at any given time the air pressure in your house is out of balance and either drawing air in or forcing it out. Learn the causes, the effects and the solutions. We go on incessantly here about the importance of air barriers in home construction, but no matter how hard...