Heating Cooling & Energy

 
Radiant floor tube installation
Installing a hydronic radiant floor system in a slab-on-grade floor. ...
Transparent solar power producing windows
Could transparent laminate solar cells put the fossil fuel industry on notice.   When considering solar cells as thin as laminate and completely transparent, the possibilities seem endless. Imagine every glass or laminant surface in our built...
New Tesla battery for houses
With Tesla on the scene will some of the longstanding hurdles of solar home battery systems be overcome. It's true that one of the biggest drawbacks for storing power from residential solar arrays is the cost and typical lifespan of batteries. For that reason, a give and take...
What is a heat pump
What is a heat pump? An energy efficient home heating system that can save you some money. Read on to find out how they work and if it makes sense for you. . When it comes to residential heating and cooling systems, few types of systems are as energy efficient as heat pumps. But what...
Grey water and heat recovery shower
This Quebec made closed-loop water and heat recovery system makes showering ultra efficient. After recently posting a story sharing the brilliance that is the Swedish Orbsys water and heat recycling shower, it was brought to our attention that there is a homegrown Canadian variety as...
Basement wall insulation
The importance of properly insulating basements cannot be stressed enough. Uninsulated basements and poorly insulated basements can be responsible for as much as 1/3 of the total heat loss of a home. . Technical edit and thermal images by Denis Boyer Before we began insulating...
OrbSys grey water recycling high efficiency shower
Not only will this cutting edge technology reduce energy usage by 80%, it will reduce your water consumption to almost nothing. . The OrbSys is a closed loop shower system that reclaims the water draining at your feet, purifies it to drinking quality and then recycles that water back...
Thermal image showing where home heat loss is occurring.
Understanding how insulation works is best achieved by first understanding the way heat loss occurs in homes. . Insulation slows the rate of heat transfer, helping keep homes warmer in winter and cooler in summer. How well-insulated your home is will determine how comfortable it is...
Naugler House: the most energy efficient home in New Brunswick
With a $77 annual heating bill, the Naugler House has earned its bragging rights. With a heating bill of $77 for an entire winter, the Naugler House is without a doubt the most energy-efficient home in New Brunswick. Not only will it save money long-term, it is saving money right now...
Rendering of River District Sustainable housing development In Vancouver
Some forward thinking developers are designing homes that are ready to handle the more severe weather caused by a warming climate. While governments have a role in shaping and improving the built environment through zoning, development bylaws and other means, developers also play a...
The Methane Midden compost water heater that surpassed its goal on kickstarter
This is a great little video that illustrates how we are surrounded by potential energy, we just have to put a little thought into how to harness it. . We found this video at Whole Systems Design, a New England based company who identify, design, and develop human habitats. In their...
The passive solar home in Lac Kenogami, Quebec
With the help of the Ecohome design team, home builder Alain Hamel builds "The Most Resilient House in North America". The first house designed under our Passive Solar Index (PSI) program won "Most Resilient House" in the 2013 Green Builder® Home of the Year Awards. The Kenogami...
Harold Orr, one of the early innovators of high performance home design.
Harold Orr introduced us to some of the most essential components of durable and energy efficient homes. Here is a look back at the house he designed that revolutionized the housing industry. While developing pages on passive heating and cooling for Ecohome, we were in contact with...
The Conservation House in Saskatchewan was built in 1977, and was a revolutionary building design that introduced passive heating and cooling to modern home building. . If you've ever sat in a car with black leather seats, you likely understand passive solar heat gain. It is a very...
The concepts of passive solar heating and cooling
Outside of any certification programs, the commonly accepted definition of a passive house is one that minimizes its operational energy demand through building design and orientation. . There is a bit of chatter in the construction world lately about passive house contruction, and...
Caulking around windows is a cheap way to save a lot of money and energy
There are a number of ways you can up the efficiency of your home without spending much money. Here are our top 8 home improvement tips with the greatest return. Not everyone who wants to be 'green' has a wad of bills they can throw at the latest and greatest technologies. So where...
Solar panels power the Kenogami House in Saguenay, Quebec
The Net Zero Heat passive solar house in Lac Kenogami, Quebec, built by owner Alain Hamel pushes the bounds of energy efficiency. Here is a breakdown of those electrical systems. The Kenogami house is a virtual energy laboratory, and in constant evolution. Every system of this home is...
Windmill
Solar power good, power plants bad. If only it were that simple. There are many variables to consider when investigating ways to produce your own power. . How the electrical grid is fed near you will be a huge factor in determining the carbon footprint of your home, with or without...
Reducing the need for air conditioning
Some techniques that will help you reduce your A/C needs, and certainly help you stay cool in the absence of having one. . While it's true that no matter where you live, be it urban, suburban or rural, the hottest days and nights of summer may have you dreaming of coolers climates...
Outdoor solar shower
What could be better than an outdoor shower? If your answer is a solar powered hot water shower that you built all by yourself (or with friends), read on. . It might seem like pie in the sky, but with these easy to read DIY instructions from the good folks at the Endeavour Centre your...
Electricity is clean at its destination but can be very dirty at its source. Not all of us have the means to install solar panels or wind turbines, but with the help of Bullfrog Power you can live a greener lifestyle hassle-free. . Bullfrog’s green electricity comes exclusively from...
Hydronic heating system
Hydronic heating systems involve heated liquid being pumped through radiators, baseboard heaters, floors or even walls. . Similar to electric baseboards, hydronic heating systems facilitate zone heating as you can keep different rooms at different temperatures. Though different...
Hydro towers
Electric resistance heating converts almost 100% of its energy into heat. Ultimately though, the true efficiency and environmental impact of heating with electricity is determined by the source of its production. . From an ecological standpoint, determining whether or not electricity...
Natural gas fireplace
During the combustion process, natural gas is the most efficient and least harmful of fossil fuels. How affordable or ecologically responsible it will be in the future depends largely on supply and sourcing. . The clean burning process and price has made heating and cooking with...
Heating with biomass fuel
Improvements in stove technology have made biomass fuel a more popular and efficient heat source. Here are some options for efficiently heating with firewood and other organic materials. For more than a decade, there has been an increase in the use of biomass fuel for heating homes...
Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.
Geothermal heating and cooling systems take advantage of the consistent temperature of the earth to remove heat from buildings in the summer months and supply heat during the winter. . Starting at depths of  between 6 and 10 metres, the temperature of the earth is no longer...
Edelweiss House wrapped with Delta Vent S weather barrier
Ecohome recently completed a demonstration home in Wakefield, Quebec, relying heavily on Cosella-Dörken products to attain the very high building standard we had imposed on...
DIY air exchanger installation video
The Lunos Heat Recovery Ventilation system (HRV) is a completely new approach to home ventilation, great for both new home construction and renovations. The Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) system of the Edelweiss House is very different than what people are probably used to seeing...
Learn how to make your own high efficiency wood heating device for your own home. A Rocket Mass Heater (RMH) is a super-efficient wood-fired heating system composed of two parts: Part One is a rocket stove, consisting of...
Trinity portable wind turbine for charging devices
Yet another innovative Kickstarter campaign aiming to put small scale renewable energy generators in the hands of the masses. . We've seen portable charging devices for personal gadgets, we've seen vertical axis wind turbines and now we have seen a marriage of the two. That's right...