How to install windows / Guides

Geothermal Heating Systems
Heat pumps, geothermal and AC

Geothermal heating for Homes in North America - Does it work & will it save money?

...to buildings, saving approximately 50 to 60% on heating and cooling costs, depending on the fuel being compared to. In summer months, geothermal cooling functions in a similar way to standard air conditioning, only heat is not simply ejected into the outside air, but rather deposited deep in the ground for future use...

Solariums in cold climates won't heat homes unless carefully designed and built
Greenhouses and Sunrooms / Solariums

Solariums in cold climates won't heat your home

...tone, masonry, brick, etc.) to act as a thermal battery for storing solar heat , varying amounts of heat will be absorbed and stored when the sun is up, and released later when the sun goes down and the room begins to cool. But once that supply of heat is depleted, and in the absence of a supplementary heat source, the...

Blower Door Tests - What's the Cost & Who Does Them?
Air and vapour barriers

What is a blower door test? What's the cost? How do you find a company to do one?

...how to apply and eligibility requirements Now that you know all about the blower door test , visit the Ecohome Green Building guide pages to learn how to install an air barrier , airtight window installation , how to choose a weather resistant barrier (WRB) , or subscribe to our YouTube channel to see our DIY Green H...

Finished basements can lead to mold and mildew
Healthy indoor air quality

Why are basements moldy? How to fix or Prevent a Moldy Basement

...too much or too little moisture in our homes. There are bacteria, viruses, moulds and mites that will show up on either end of the spectrum if your air is either too humid or too dry. As the EPA say, somewhere in the range of 35 to 50% relative humidity is generally assumed to be the best for avoiding most health ris...

Passively-heated off-grid LEED house in Low, Quebec
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Off-grid living blog: a firsthand account of building and living in a remote area

...towards the water, nor did we square the house with the shoreline. We have a screened view of the water, which actually makes those glimpses out onto the bay more special. Building Envelope: When first considering how much insulation to put into the house, I looked to the Passive House certification system. To achi...

What is Interstitial Condensation? (And how to stop it!)
Walls and Roofs

What is Interstitial Condensation in Walls or Roofs? (And how to stop it!)

...how to prevent it , read more below about other home humidity problems and solutions: How to fix and prevent mold in homes Top tips for getting a home ready for winter Frost in attics: what causes attic ice and how to fix it? What causes ice dams & how to fix them And see more Green Buildi...

Crawlspace radon barrier installation for radon mitigation
Radon in Homes - Mitigation

Removing radon gas from basements and crawlspaces

...top of the stone and seal around the stack. If getting a 4 inch-layer of clear stone into your crawlspace is not a viable option, there still needs to be a consistent separation between the ground and the radon barrier to allow radon to move freely below. This can be done by installing a dimpled membrane over top of ...

Carpenter ants are a common pest and nuisance to get rid of in homes
Pest control

Removing insects and rodents from your home, safely & humanely (by preference)

...to go buy and no poisons to introduce to your home. You can see how well your trap is doing, and if you’re a Buddhist, you can catch and release. No harm, no foul. The trap needs to be changed somewhat regularly so it doesn’t get moldy, and left too long it will turn into an incubator for new larvae. A common way f...

Choosing a building envelope
Wall assemblies - new construction

Choosing a building envelope - starting with the perfect wall

...To improve the performance you can increase the size of studs (going from 2x6 to 2x8) or add several inches of insulation to the exterior. Mineral wool batts have higher R value than fiberglass, and they are much easier to cut and install properly. To discover the appropriate use of insulation, see our guide to insul...

High efficiency wood stoves
Wood stove and biomass heat

Heating with wood and biomass fuel

...to mention saving yourself a lot of backbreaking work. It is also important to choose a stove that is size appropriate for the space you want to heat. A stove too large for a given area means you will either overheat and have to open windows, or have to burn it at lower temperatures, creating creosote and more emissi...

Radon in Homes - Mitigation

Removing radon gas from well water

...to get delivery and pricing information A pipe with an aeration section is inserted from top to bottom in the well. A steady source of air is introduced into this aeration tube effectively lifting water from the bottom of the well to create an aerated flow of water onto the top of the water level of the well itse...