How to / Guides

Reducing the need for air conditioning
Heating and cooling

How to keep homes cool without air conditioning

...to avoid using your stove on the hot days. Preparing cold meals like salads, sandwiches or fruit plates can be a huge help in keeping your home temperature down. Take short showers or shower cold: a hot shower can add a lot of heat and humidity to a home, not to mention the residual heat that will radiate from the ho...

How to Build a Passive Solar Home with EcoHome, the Green Building Resource
Passive solar home design

Passive solar home construction

...to take full advantage of the free heat available from the sun while keeping it cool with natural shading in the summer. See more about Solar Batteries, how to store passive solar heat , Passive House Design & Certification in Canada or America , or for specifics about Passive House Certification in the Green Buildin...

The importance of Cleaning HRV intakes
HRV and ERV

How to keep your HRV clean and operating efficiently

...to go check the intake. How to clean HRV cores and filters: First check the air intake to make sure it is clear of debris Open the main hatch on the HRV unit, the core and filters should be fairly easy to remove. Pay attention to how they come out to ensure they go back in in exactly the same position. If the...

Tips for finding a reliable green home builder
How to Find Qualified Green Building Professionals

How to choose a home-building contractor

...How to find a certified Green Builder? It’s not common to find a reliable ‘green home listing’ or ‘green pages’ in specific regions, so choosing a quality general contractor with experience building efficient homes can be tricky. Here are some tips of where to look, what to look for, and what to avoid. First, start...

Efficient green home design choices
Concept and design

Efficient home design, or how to design a home to use less energy

...to excavate, less materials to manufacture and ship, less space to heat, less space to cool, less taxes to pay, less to clean. And they are always cheaper to buy or build. We do not suggest you live in a matchbox, but we can easily reduce the national square foot average per person (presently 700) and still live quit...

How to Vent Roofs - the Methods, Vent Types, Fans
Walls and Roofs

Why Roofs need to be ventilated and how to ventilate a roof properly

...to seeing – an uninsulated attic space outside the thermal envelope of a home. Can roofs have too much ventilation? No, as a general rule you cannot have too much attic ventilation, but it does need to be balanced . There can never be too much intake ventilation through soffits but too much exhaust ventilation with...

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?

...to find out how to improve it if so, or see here for more information on insulating crawlspaces . To learn how to prevent mold in basements, see here – or how to prevent humidity and radon gas in crawlspaces see here . To learn how to build a home on a slab-on-grade foundation which is our preferred option, see here. ...

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...

Green homes climate change
Lifestyle and environment

Green buildings are better situated to handle climate extremes

...torm surge and average precipitation. Climate change has the potential to undermine some of these assumptions and potentially increase risks to people and property. Fortunately, there are practical steps we can take to understand and prepare for the consequences of changing environmental conditions and reduce potential...

Slab-on-grade for Ecohome's upcoming video building guide
Slab on Grade

how to build a slab-on-grade on standard soil

...to drive stakes into the ground then attach boards to them to act as concrete forms, but we decided to pre-build forms then raise and square them the way you would with walls. This was intended to make disassembly easier and allow us to reuse the wood. Hard to say if it ended up being easier or not in the end, but it w...

How radiant floors work
Delivery: radiant, forced-air and decentralized

How to design for thermal comfort in a home

...towards high-performance (experience with Passive House practices is a bonus), and selecting a general contractor who won't clash with your designer and try to talk you into their own favourite practices. Let the designers design and the builders build. So that's how to design a home for human comfort, to learn how t...