How do solar panels work / Guides

Saving Energy in Swimming Pools and Hot Tubs - Our Top Tips to Save Money
Natural swimming pools and ponds

Top tips for energy efficient swimming pools - reduce pool cleaning & running costs

...solar panels for heating your pool , be sure to fit a thermostat and motorized valve arrangement to only circulate the water when it’s hotter in the solar accumulator than the pool, or it will work in reverse and cool your pool instead by radiating the heat out through the panels. Again, this is speaking from experie...

Condensation on windows in our homes - why is it there? - how to stop it?
Walls and Roofs

Condensation on windows is a pain but is it a problem & how to stop it?

...dows , and the best way to keep on top of condensation around windows is to be on the lookout for any damage to the sealant around the window frame as this can allow water in – to learn how to fit and seal windows properly, see here . Also, if there is some condensation, try to wipe down windows and window sills prom...

Grants and incentives

Green building financial incentives

...solar panels or make ENERGY STAR® certified purchases, TD offers a cash rebate of up to 1% on the cost of a mortgage, or on the fixed portion of your Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). They also make a $100 donation to TD Friends of the Environment Foundation . Visit the TD Canada Trust website for more details RBC ...

Comparing ground source and air source heat pumps
Heating and cooling

Heat Pumps: Ground source geothermal GSHP or air source ASHP, which one is best for heating a home?

...down. If you are unfamiliar with how a heat pump works, imagine a refrigerator; it doesn't 'create' cold, it simply condenses heat on one side of an enclosure and moves it to the other side. The heat is released through coils on the back of the fridge and warms your house a little bit in the process, which is the same ...

Off-grid leed home
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Off-grid living blog post 5: appliances, mechanical and other systems

...work created by the cellular modem. Data is more expensive this way than through a wired connection, but as long as we don't use the network for high bandwidth activities such as video streaming, it works very well. To read off-grid living blog part 6 - Energy Modeling v Real World Performance - see here

Lithium-ion solar home battery
Solar photovoltaic

Lithium-ion solar home batteries

...solar arrays, because the inverters in a solar array system require power to begin making power, regardless of whether they are tied to the grid or not. Smart battery systems will recognize if you do laundry, shower or cook with electric stoves in something of a regular pattern. This helps them determine at a given t...

Thermal batteries for passive solar design
Efficient home design

Thermal batteries: how to passively store heat

...solar thermal panels. Even this type of system is not new, the first house in the United States with an active solar heating system was built In 1939 on the MIT campus (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and sat on top of a huge water reservoir that was heated by thermal solar panels. MIT Solar House thermal...

Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

A Toronto Off-grid home 20 years later; how did it fare?

...doors to keep the home cooler. It did work to some degree but not perfectly, so eventually they switched to a conventional highly-efficient fridge. Paloheimo spoke of it in an interview with the Toronto Star : “the fridge worked fine most of the time, but the freezer never worked in the summer. We couldn’t have ice c...

Which wood is best for framing timber frame construction in homes?
Wall assemblies - new construction

Lumber choices for wood frame construction - choosing timber for framing & building homes

...doesn't require harmful adhesives. MDF mouldings (Medium Density Fibreboard) are more reasonably priced and made largely of waste wood products, but they are fairly heavily ladden with toxic adhesives. Solid wood products with Zero VOC finishes will go a long way to helping you keep clean indoor air quality , though ot...