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Insulation Energy Appraisals: The Economics of Insulating for Energy Savings

An Insulation Energy Appraisal provides a data-backed analysis for facility/plant managers and owners to better understand how a properly selected, specified, designed, installed, and maintained mechanical insulation system can save money and enhance system performance. Whether the appraisal includes a system, a mechanical room, or the entire plant or campus, it will clearly illustrate the value of mechanical insulation. For more than a decade, the National Insulation Association’s (NIA’s) insulation appraisal process quantifies the amount of energy and dollars a facility or process is losing with the current in-place insulation system and demonstrates how more efficient systems could: Save energy;…

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How to Optimize Your Hospital’s Existing Energy Use

Healthcare facilities spend over $6.5 billion on energy each year, according to Energy Star. That amount is constantly rising as these facilities work to meet the rising needs of patients. Energy savings does more than simply improve a company’s bottom line; rather, a focus on energy conservation helps healthcare facilities meet the IHI Triple Aim. By being more energy efficient, hospitals around the country can save money, reduce or even prevent greenhouse gas emissions, improve the air quality within their communities, and support their commitment to public health. Hospitals can reinvest savings from improved energy performance into improving patient care…

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Integrating an ERV with an Air Handler

A new type of heating and ventilating appliance is being developed by engineers at Steven Winter Associates. The appliance will integrate an energy-recovery ventilator (ERV) with an air handler that distributes warm air for heating and cool air for air conditioning. Everyone pretty much gets that continuous (or very frequent) ventilation is necessary in high-performance homes. And — at least in theory — most people get why balanced, heat-recovery ventilation is better than ventilation that is unbalanced or lacking heat recovery. But the devil’s in the details. A couple years ago, Steven Winters Associates started an R&D project with funding…

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Canadian Pays for Fire in Two Ways

Last October, an investment property that Woytek Stachowki owned in Edmonton, Alberta, was gutted by fire. That was bad enough, but a month later the other shoe dropped: He received a bill for $12,800 from Edmonton Fire Rescue Services. The reason? Stachowki’s house was insulated with cellulose, and the fire department says it had to hire an outside contractor to remove the insulation and make sure the fire was really out. In a report posted by CTVNews, Stachowski said he thought the bill showed up by a mistake and that his insurance company should have been covering any expenses related…

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Insulating a Flat Roof

Tom Jordan is a painting contractor in northern New Jersey who’s at his wit’s end as he tries to figure out a remodeling job at his own home. It seems simple enough. Jordan is turning a three-season room on his 1930s house into a fully conditioned space. The room measures 12 feet by 16 feet and has an 8-foot ceiling. The flat roof overhead is framed in full-depth 2x6s, finished with what Jordan believes is roll roofing (a type of asphalt roofing). “My issue is how to correctly insulate the ceiling,” he writes in a Q&A post. “I’ve spent what…

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Solar Jobs Declined for a Second Straight Year in 2018

Solar jobs in the U.S. dropped for the second straight year in 2018, but employment is expected to pick up this year, a new industry report says. [Image credit: Green MPs / CC BY-NC-ND / Flickr] Solar jobs in the U.S. dropped by 7,900 last year, a 3.2% decline, but prospects for growth this year are good, the Solar Foundation said in its annual snapshot of the industry. It was the second year of declines after the industry reached its high water mark in 2016. The Trump administration’s 30% tariff on imported solar panels and uncertainty over state solar policies…

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