low e windows


I agreed to publish this here because it is such a different perspective then the one I have or CES has. We tend to blame builders for not just serving up top notch energy efficient residences. Then there is the issue of retrofitting. As always this is no endorsement of Ryan or his Real Estate firm. Believe me I have no intention of buying a home in Alaska.

 

Ryan Tollefsen REALTOR®
Unity Home Group at Keller Williams Realty Alaska Group
101 W. Benson Blvd. Suite 101
Anchorage, AK 99503

Check out my all new Great Alaskan Getaway Guide

http://www.constructiondive.com/news/more-buyers-want-green-homes-real-estate-agents-say/439944/

 /
Now, a “green home” really isn’t all that green when observed on its own, but the fact
remains that most of new construction and existing homes are going to be detached
single-family residences. This means that we need to do the best we can with the hand we
have been dealt, and that would suggest that incremental improvements across the board
may be the best option in terms of reducing waste. Recent trends in US real estate have
affected what buyers are looking for in some positive ways, but there are still far too few
green homes available for buyers who want this option.!That makes it a frustrating search
for potential green home buyers, and discourages them from truly setting their sites on a
home that works for them. Additionally, because they aren’t making their voices heard,
many builders are not working to make homes that meet green specications (beyond the
bare minimum). They don’t realize the level of demand that would be there, if buyers felt
they would have the option.
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More Buyers Should Push for Green Homes
 /
There’s really one way to remedy the issue: buyers who want green homes should push
for them across as many channels as they can. If more buyers continue to ask for green
homes, more builders will produce these homes out of necessity. But buyers need to be
the catalysts in both demand and advocacy aimed toward other potential green buyers.
More of them want green homes, but they back down when they see these homes aren’t
available. Builders and sellers both need to know the value of creating these kinds of
homes or making changes to existing homes, so buyers will be more likely to purchase
those homes instead of other options. This might mean more negotiations with sellers and builders, and it will likely come at an increased cost — costs that will likely be recouped over time, but another upfront cost nonetheless.
 /
What are Buyers Looking For?
 /
When the average buyer!wants a green home, they don’t necessarily require one that’s
completely off grid. Some buyers will seek these out, but most will be looking for energy
efifciency, sustainable materials, and a smaller carbon footprint than what would be seen
with a standard house. In many cases, that’s enough to entice buyers to make a purchase,
and to keep them happy with the home they have selected. It also depends on the area of the country and the local market, because some buyers want and need different options due to weather or other factors.
 /
More Demand Will Require an Increase in Supply
 /
The more buyers start asking for green homes, the more likely it is that builders will create them. Sellers will also start making changes to the homes they are putting on the market, in order to entice buyers to come see their home instead of a different one. That’s an important consideration, too, since sellers may need to retrofit their homes in some ways and add options that they would not have chosen to put in if they were remaining in the house. Some green living changes can be expensive, but these changes don’t always have to be costly. There are lower priced options, as well.
 /
Trends are Moving in the Right Direction, at Least
 /
Even though there are still far too few green homes, and even though buyers aren’t making their voices heard as loudly as they could, the trend of green living is still going in the right direction. More buyers see the value of it, and more builders and sellers are starting to make changes in that direction. There is still a long way to go before energy efficiency and reducing waste becomes the standard for new homes and improved existing homes, but a larger pool of buyers demanding these features can help move the needle bit by bit.

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Go to the web links and read. More next week.

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There are some that say yes. There are some they say no. But if you read to the end the Europeans window are better.

http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/qa-spotlight/do-europeans-make-better-windows-we-do

Do Europeans Make Better Windows Than We Do?

Differences in testing protocols yield different U-factors, but do European manufacturers have a ‘secret sauce’?

Posted on Oct 15 2012 by Scott Gibson
It should come as no surprise that Europe, home of the Passivhaus standard, produces some outstanding windows. Some builders of high-efficiency houses in North America turn to European window manufacturers for their glazing, even though some U.S. and Canadian producers also offer high-performance products of their own.Is there a way to compare the performance data on windows from these two sources? That’s what Steve Young, now planning a Passive House in Climate Zone 5, would like to know.

“I have read many blogs and Q&A pages from this web site and I am still somewhat confused about European windows,” Young writes in Q&A post at GreenBuildingAdvisor

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I am really shocked by this article. The idea that residential energy consumption could change so dramatically  in only 16 years is so amazing. Its like when we shifted to coal or later when we shifted to natural gas and then electricity. Only nobody is really talking about it.

 

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=10271

March 7, 2013

Heating and cooling no longer majority of U.S. home energy use

For decades, space heating and cooling (space conditioning) accounted for more than half of all residential energy consumption. Estimates from the most recent Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), collected in 2010 and 2011 and released in 2011 and 2012, show that 48% of energy consumption in U.S. homes in 2009 was for heating and cooling, down from 58% in 1993. Factors underpinning this trend are increased adoption of more efficient equipment, better insulation, more efficient windows, and population shifts to warmer climates. The shift in how energy is consumed in homes has occurred even as per-household energy consumption has steadily declined.

While energy used for space conditioning has declined, energy consumption for appliances and electronics continues to rise. Although some appliances that are subject to federal efficiency standards, such as refrigerators and clothes washers, have become more efficient, the increased number of devices that consume energy in homes has offset these efficiency gains. Non-weather related energy use for appliances, electronics, water heating, and lighting now accounts for 52% of total consumption, up from 42% in 1993. The majority of devices in the fastest growing category of residential end-uses are powered by electricity, increasing the total amount of primary energy needed to meet residential electricity demand. As described in yesterday’s Today in Energy, increased electricity use has a disproportionate effect on the amount of total primary energy required to support site-level energy use.

Other notable trends in household energy consumption include:

  • The average U.S. household consumed 11,320 kilowatthours (kWh) of electricity in 2009, of which the largest portion (7,526 kWh) was for appliances, electronics, lighting, and miscellaneous uses.
  • On average, residents living in homes constructed in the 1980s consumed 77 million Btu of total energy at home. By comparison, those living in newer homes, built from 2000 to 2009, consumed 92 million Btu per household, which is 19% more.
  • Space heating accounted for 63% of natural gas consumed in U.S. homes in 2009; the remaining 37% was for water heating, cooking, and miscellaneous uses.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I mean really if they are going to drop their insistence on solar panel installations as part of a retrofit then why keep the name? Are they now a software company or are they now a software and then install whatever company? Good questions with no answers. It would be like Tide if it were to stop making soap and started making dishwashers. Would they keep the name and why?

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/a-peak-at-solarcitys-new-energy-efficiency-software?

Has SolarCity Created the Amazon 1-Click for Energy Efficiency?

 

“We believe SolarCity has the best database of residential energy use of anyone in the world.”

 

Stephen Lacey: June 28, 2013

 

After SolarCity shifted its energy efficiency strategy and pulled back from doing residential retrofits in-house, the solar services behemoth is moving straight into intelligent efficiency.

 

GTM’s Eric Wesoff recently reported on SolarCity’s evolving business plan and the resulting changes that company executives say will scale residential efficiency in the same way solar services have scaled residential solar.

 

But solar is very different from efficiency. For the most part, solar is very standardized and installations are uniform from home to home. Efficiency retrofits encompass an extraordinarily broad category of activities and skills. Incentives are also quite different for efficiency, making it more complicated from a financial perspective. That’s why only a handful of U.S. solar contractors have offered efficiency as an in-house service.

 

SolarCity decided that doing the retrofit work itself was not the best way to scale. Instead, it has turned from manpower to the power of big data.

 

The secret sauce is a “simulation engine” that shows homeowners exactly how much they’re spending on energy everywhere in their house. The initial database was created using information from 16,000 home energy audits performed over the last five years. It relies on an algorithm developed at the Department of Energy that crunches 100 million calculations per home for each individual energy efficiency audit (which is still performed by SolarCity when installing solar).

 

“The simulation software looks at every component in a home in relation to one another,” said SolarCity COO Peter Rive. “Every ten minutes, it thinks about what one thing is doing and about its effect on the rest of the systems within the home.”

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Go there and read. More next week.

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This is an old piece but it is still as true today as it was then. Air conditioning and by that I mean cooling air when it is hot is very expensive both financially and with regards to energy consumption.

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/buildings-without-air-conditioners-the-latest-in-energy-efficiency-5413/

Buildings Without Air Conditioners: The Latest in Energy Efficiency

Air conditioners consume an inordinate amount of power in the U.S. and they aren’t very efficiently used. To save energy, some say leave them out.

Michael Kanellos: December 22, 2008

Sometimes the most efficient air conditioning system is not having one at all.

To curb energy consumption, architects with projects in temperate cities – Seattle, Portland, San Francisco – have started to design buildings without mechanical air conditioners. These buildings will have heaters in all likelihood, but not air conditioning (see Can Greentech Make Housing Cheaper and Green Buildings No Subsidies Needed).

“There are only five days a year you need cooling in Seattle,” said Amanda Sturgeon, an architect and senior associate at the firm Perkins + Will, who recently designed a building without a mechanical conditioner.

In some cases, architects are putting in air-side economizers, i.e., computer-controlled windows that open to let in cooling breezes (see The Solar Window). The General Services Administration building in San Francisco uses openable windows on 12 of its 18 floors that let in cool breezes at night that, ideally, keep the offices cool in the daytime.  There is no mechanical cooling in the open office areas.

This shift comes courtesy of two trends. One, building developers and contractors have latched onto green buildings as an economic opportunity. Designing a building to LEED Silver or Gold standards – the environmental building standards promulgated by the U.S. Green Building Council – only adds around 2 percent to the overall cost or less, according to various contractors, architects and researchers. Designing to the LEED Platinum standard can add only 6 percent if carefully planned. The trick, say Sturgeon and others, is to exploit as many passive, design-centric techniques for scoring LEED points before moving on to the potentially more expensive, equipment-centric ones like biomass boilers or new types of lighting systems.

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Go here and read. More tomorrow.

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So my medical situation came home today. So now I can post. I started the year talking about residential energy conservation. So why stop now.

http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/construction/green/smart-window.htm

How Smart Windows Work

by

Green Living Pictures

Green Living Pictures

These SwitchLite Privacy Glass™ windows go from clear to translucent in an instant. See more pictures of green living.

Photo courtesy SwitchLite Privacy Glass™

If you live in the United States, you’ve probably heard recently about the impending energy crunch that is facing Americans. In the next 20 years, U.S. energy consumption will increase 45 percent for electricity, 62 percent for natural gas and 33 percent for oil, according to the Department of Energy (DOE). The DOE also says that energy supplies will be unable to meet demand for the next two decades. For consumers, this means paying higher prices for electricity, natural gas and oil.

While much of the country is concentrating on ways to increase its energy supply, some researchers have been working on new low-power-consuming technologies. Among these new technologies are smart windows, and we aren’t talking about Microsoft’s operating system. This exciting, cutting-edge window technology allows consumers to block either all light or just some by simply turning a knob or pressing a button. This type of light control could potentially save billions of dollars on heating, cooling and lighting costs (research indicates that approximately 2 percent of all the energy used in the United States is “consumed” by residential windows).

In this article, you will learn how smart windows work and how they could save you money.

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I never thought I would be happy to say this but; Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Not much to say about this today. In most of the country it is too cold to do anything about it anyway.

http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/pf/20010223b.asp

The top energy-saving home improvements
By Laura A. Bruce • Bankrate.com

These are the top single-family home energy-efficiency improvements that reduce energy bills. The return on investment (ROI) is annual, based on 7 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Example: A homeowner spends $500 to insulate an attic that has no insulation, and saves $25 per month on energy bills. $500 divided by $25 per month equals 20 months. This means the investment paid for itself in 20 months and, for the next 30 years, gives monthly dividends of $25 per month in lower energy bills. The $25 grows each time there is a rate increase.

Return on investment estimates for household energy efficiency improvements
Months Modification ROI Kwh savings/unit Cost per kwh Annual savings Cost per unit
3 High efficiency showerhead 400% 400 $0.08 $32 $8
13 Fireplace pillow-stops air leakage up chimney 91% 400 $0.08 $32 $35
14 Bathroom faucet aerator 84% 21 $0.08 $1.68 $2
17 Attic insulation
(R-0 to R-38)
69% 5.6 $0.08 $0.45 $0.65
23 Compact fluorescent bulb 53% 60 $0.08 $4.80 $9
23 Kitchen faucet aerator 51% 32 $0.08 $2.56 $5
25 Wrap 15′ hot and cold water heater pipes 48% 60 $0.08 $4.80 $10
38 Replace incandescent porch light fixture with CFL bulb 32% 160 $0.08 $12.80 $40
43 Attic insulation (average) 28% 2 $0.08 $0.16 $0.57
44 Duct insulation and sealing 27% 12 $0.08 $0.96 $3.50
68 Wall insulation
(R-0 to R-25)
18% 2.2 $0.08 $0.18 $1
88 Floor insulation
(R-0 to R-13)
14% 1.7 $0.08 $0.14 $1
Source: Portland General Electric

— Updated: April 17, 2003

 

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Look  just buy good caulk. That is it. Nothing lasts for 25 years so do not believe that. Usually caulk lasts for six or seven years. That’s it. So do not pay 6 $$$ per tube. But, if you pay 3 or 4 $$$ you are in the right range. If you can get that exact same type of caulk on sale all the better.

http://alsnetbiz.com/homeimprovement/info10.html

The average house–even when well-insulated–contains cracks and gaps between building materials that add up to a hole about 14 “square (Fig. 1). In the winter, those gaps may make the house drafty and chilly. All year long, a leaky house not only wastes energy, but can lead to water damage and provide a path for insects. Inside this document you will find information about: 

  • Weatherproofing Basics
  • Types of Caulking
  • Using Caulking
  • Types of Weatherstripping
  • Installing Weatherstripping

WEATHERPROOFING BASICS

  • In all the discussion of insulation and R-values, don’t forget that poor weatherproofing is often a more important source of discomfort, as well as high heating and cooling bills. 

  • Some air leakage can be prevented during construction by using housewrap or getting a tight fit between framing members, for example. Once the house is built, however, the remaining gaps must be sealed. Gaps around doors and window sashes should be weatherstripped, and gaps between permanent building materials sealed with caulking.


FIG. 1 – Where caulking should be applied, from the Sunset book, Insulation and Weatherstripping, © Sunset Publishing Corp.

TYPES OF WEATHERSTRIPPING

  • The greatest source of air leakage in most homes occurs around doors, windows, and access hatches, such as the ceiling opening from the living area into an unheated attic (Fig. 4). Weatherstripping can be a delicate job because those openings need to be fitted loosely enough that the door or window operates freely, yet tightly enough that air leakage is stopped. 

  • The type of weatherstripping you’ll use depends on the location and the type of opening. Three types of weatherstripping are common: 

  • Compression–Compression weatherstripping (Fig. 5) is used to seal swinging doors and window sashes. It consists of a molded strip (it may be wood, aluminum or rigid vinyl) with a flexible vinyl bulb along one side. As a rule, compression weatherstripping is the most durable type available. 

  • V-Type Strips–V-shaped weatherstripping (Figs. 6 & 7) is fitted against the side of the door or window jamb so it presses against the edge of the door or sash and forms a seal. V-stripping may be vinyl or bronze. 

  • Foam–Foam weatherstripping (Fig. 8) is used to seal either swinging or sliding doors or windows. It comes in various sizes with an adhesive backing on one side. It is fastened to the edge of a door or window stop, or to the bottom of a sliding window sash. 

  • Thresholds and Door Bottoms–A threshold fills the gap between the floor and the bottom of a door. It may have a built-in vinyl bulb. If not, it must be used in combination with a door bottom (Fig. 9), mounted on the lower edge of the door.

 

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So if you want to read about all that caulk or look at the pretty pictures about how to install weather stripping. Please go to the sight and look. More tomorrow.

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Do you want to have you home weatherized and not travel to do it.  Have the supplies delivered by mail from Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=495368

Buy new$22.54 $16.15
27 new from $12.98
Get it by Tuesday, Oct 25 if you order in the next 3 hours and choose one-day shipping.
(102)
Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping.
2.
Buy new$7.08 $5.54
25 new from $2.95 1 used from $2.99
Get it by Tuesday, Oct 25 if you order in the next 7 hours and choose one-day shipping.
(5)
Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping.
3.
Buy new$29.28 $21.41
18 new from $18.00
Get it by Tuesday, Oct 25 if you order in the next 7 hours and choose one-day shipping.
(20)
Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping.

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This is only a very small sample of what they offer. Go there and see. More tomorrow.

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If you are letting cold air in then you are wasting money. Calking is the quickest way to stop that.

http://www.acehardware.com/info/index.jsp?categoryId=1282811

The average house-even when well-insulated-contains cracks and gaps between building materials that add up to a hole about 14 inches square (see image below). In the winter, those gaps may make the house drafty and chilly. All year long, a leaky house not only wastes energy but can lead to water damage and provide a path for insects.

Inside this document you will find information about:

  • Weatherproofing Basics
  • Types of Caulking
  • Using Caulking
  • Types of Weatherstripping
  • Installing Weatherstripping

WEATHERPROOFING BASICS

  • In all the discussion of insulation and R-values, don’t forget that poor weatherproofing is often a more important source of discomfort, as well as high heating and cooling bills.
  • Some air leakage can be prevented during construction by using housewrap or getting a tight fit between framing members, for example. Once the house is built, however, the remaining gaps must be sealed. Gaps around doors and window sashes should be weatherstripped, and gaps between permanent building materials sealed with caulking.

TYPES OF CAULKING

  • A number of factors must be considered when choosing caulking. They include durability, flexibility, whether the caulk can be painted and, of course, price.
  • The most expensive caulk is not always the best product for every job, so you should carefully consider which product is appropriate to your situation. Read product labels and manufacturers’ literature, and ask your salesperson for his or her recommendation.
  • Here is a list of common caulks and their characteristics. Different types of caulking are designed for different applications, and quality can vary among different brands of the same type because of different formulations used.
  • Always read and follow the manufacturer’s directions.
  • Oil-Base Painter’s Caulk (1-2 yr. life) – Not very elastic. Dries out easily. Paintable after curing. Lowest cost.
  • Latex (3-10 yr. life) – Use mostly indoors. Goes on easily. Low elasticity. Sticks to porous surfaces only. Easy water cleanup. Low in cost. Paintable.
  • Butyl Rubber (3-10 yr. life) – High elasticity. Sticks to most surfaces. High moisture resistance. Flexible when cured. Most difficult to work with as it is very sticky.
  • Acrylic Latex (10 yr. life) – Good elasticity. Sticks to most surfaces. Reasonable moisture resistance. Paintable. Good for around doors and windows. May not be used below freezing.
  • Silicon-Latex Blend (20+ yr. life) – Good elasticity. Excellent weathering ability. Medium shrinkage. Adheres to most surfaces. Some cannot be painted. May not be used below freezing.

 

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This is a really long piece so go there and read that. More tomorrow.

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