woman using a mini split air conditioner system

New Tax Credits Available to Make Your Home More Comfortable

Is your home drafty with rooms that are never the same temperature? Unfortunately, most U.S. homeowners experience this, along with noise pollution and stale, poor-quality indoor air. It wasn’t until the oil crisis of the 1970s that residential building codes became mandatory. So, many of the 130 million homes in our country suffer from poor … Read more

thermal scan showing home thermal envelope design performance

Thermal Envelope Design in Home Building (Explained)

Weathertight, thermal insulation, and airtight are the three continuous functional layers in thermal envelope design in home building to provide adequate protection from the elements. These layers’ performance must be tested on paper and in the field. Once these layers are installed, gaining access to correct any remaining flaws is prohibitively expensive. If weaknesses persist, … Read more

durock edgeguard cement backer board

How to Install Cement Board on a Floor for Tile

Learning how to install cement board on a floor properly is the best thing you can do for a solid, mold-resistant, crack-free tile floor that will last. Budget at least a full day for this job. Especially if it is your first time installing cement board, more extensive floors may need multiple days. Tools & … Read more

installing cork underlayment

How to Install Cork Underlayment

When installing cork underlayment, the base materials and the type of flooring will guide how it is installed. You should also consult the manufacturer to see what they recommend.  Before we begin, it should be noted that cork underlayment can be used to level out different sub-floor heights. For example, say one room has hardwood flooring … Read more

managing indoor air quality using a monitor

How to Manage Indoor Air Quality: 3 Key Steps

Air that is of high quality is necessary for a healthy home. Contaminants that damage or irritate us, have an unpleasant scent, or interfere with our ability to see appropriately (smoke) can impair the air quality within buildings. These toxins may be released inside the home (from furniture, household products, stoves, pets, and people) or … Read more

constructing a net zero building

What is Net Zero Building? (Principle, Design & Energy Explained)

In simple terms, a net zero building annually produces more energy than it consumes using exclusively renewable energy. But, there is more to it. There has been substantial debate regarding the meaning of “net zero” and the criteria a net zero project should meet. The discussion has grown fairly in-depth, typical for a new concept. … Read more

zip sheathing for a home air barrier

Home Air Barrier: Durability, Energy & Comfort (Explained)

Since the 1970s, building scientists have discovered a great deal about home air barriers. They now understand that air barriers are crucial to a home’s durability, the energy needed to heat and cool it, and the comfort of its residents.  No other building element is as critical in high-performance homes, and building and energy requirements … Read more

diagram explaining a heat pump in a home

Types of Heat Pumps: (Air & Ground-Source Explained)

Heat pumps do not create heat in the same manner as a traditional furnace. A heat pump needs electrical power to work, but it can supply more heat than the electricity used. Although, just like any device, a heat pump reaches an equilibrium where it cannot make any more heat.  When the ambient temperature drops … Read more

graphic of sustainable home improvements

Top 12 Sustainable Home Improvements

Whether you want to save money or the planet, these sustainable home improvements will help. Adding insulation, air-sealing, and new windows will also make your home more comfortable. Here is a list of the top twelve home improvements to make your home more sustainable: 1.) Schedule HVAC System Maintenance Homeowners often do not keep up … Read more

ductless mini split unit on wall

Hidden Ductless Mini Split (How to Hide / Camouflage Your Unit)

Homeowners looking for alternatives to conventional HVAC equipment might consider installing mini splits. Ductless mini splits can maximize a building’s energy performance while providing many heating and cooling benefits. These air-source heat pumps rely on an interior air-handling unit to work alongside an exterior compressor. The indoor unit typically hangs at the top of an … Read more