Mike Vogel, Montana State University Extension Service

 

 

Mike is Professor and Housing and Environmental Health Specialist with Montana State University (MSU) Extension Service since 1982. Since 1997, Mike has also served as MSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Program Leader.

Mike’s primary responsibility is directing and developing housing education programs and resources for Montana consumers and tribes.  Since 1977, he has been involved with energy-efficient construction and training with the U. S. Department of Energy.  In 1977 he authored one of the first consumer-targeted books dealing with …

Cary Weiner, Colorado State University Extension

 

Cary Weiner is Clean Energy Specialist for Colorado State University Extension.  He holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of New Mexico.  His previous experience includes being Renewable Energy Planner for the City of Santa Fe, New Mexico and both a budget analyst and environmental educator for the State of New Mexico.  In his current position with CSU Extension, Cary develops and delivers statewide energy programming to consumers, volunteers, teachers, and agricultural producers.  He has published and peer

How do trees and other vegetation affect urban mesoclimates and microclimates?

Vegetation affects urban mesoclimate and microclimate by intercepting solar radiation, directing air movement, and affecting air temperature.  Microclimate, mesoclimate and macroclimate can be used to describe the climate of a given location. Macroclimate covers hundreds of square miles and parameters such as precipitation levels, temperatures and winds. Mesoclimate covers areas of tens of square miles and describes how conditions vary from the prevailing macroclimate due to the effects of water bodies, topographic features (terrain), and other landscape influences. A microclimate …

Tree Planting for Lower Power Bills

Whether it is winter or summer, trees can help you save energy at home.   

Shade for Savings  

Did you know that only 17% shade over your house during the day translates to a savings of 10 dollars a month on your power bill? Additionally, increasing that same shade to 50% will decrease your power bill by an additional $20 per month.  For those without trees, it takes time to plant a tree and generate this shade.  However one study estimates …

Sarah Kirby

Sarah Kirby bio picture

Dr. Sarah Kirby is an Associate Professor, Housing Specialist, and Department Extension Leader in the Department of 4-H Youth Development and Family and Consumer Sciences at North Carolina State University. Dr. Kirby directs the E-Conservation Residential Consumer Energy Education and provides leadership for the national eXtension Home Energy Community of Practice. She is a member of the Home Energy eXtension Community of Practice and the Family Caregiving Community of Practice. Dr. Kirby serves as the North Carolina Cooperative Extension …

Considerations for Selecting Energy Efficient Windows for Homes in Different Climates

Reviewed and Revised on 11/13/2013

It is very important that you consider your climate when selecting energy efficient windows to reduce home energy use. One size or type does not fit all homes and climate zones.

Window energy efficiency criteria for different climates

  • In temperate climates with both heating and cooling seasons, select windows with both a low solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) and a low U-factor to maximize energy benefits and savings.

  • For cold or very cold climates where

What is the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) per pound of coal compared to pound of wood that is released into the air when each is burned?

The amount of carbon dioxide released from coal and wood depends on the type of coal or wood consumed and the moisture contents of both. A very rough estimate is that for each unit of coal or wood consumed, 1.5 units of CO2 are released. Higher-grade coal has higher carbon content so the amount of CO2 released per unit mass would also be higher.

The major difference between the carbon released from burning coal and wood is that …

Time for Trees to Provide Energy Conservation Benefits?

It is possible to plant a tree that within a few years will provide energy conservation benefits. The length of time between planting and energy conservation savings is a function of the following factors:

  • Tree species (fast- or slow-growing)
  • Site (soil qualities such as fertility, moisture, compaction)
  • Desired energy conservation function (windbreak or shade)
  • Size and position of the structure for which energy conservation is desired

Some fast-growing tree species, under ideal growing conditions, may begin providing energy benefits …

Is old insulation in heating and cooling ductwork hazardous to my respiratory health?

Depending on what the insulation type is and it’s age, this flexible ductwork could create health problems. The ductwork insulation material may be glass fiber or another product such as asbestos containing material. The only way to tell for sure is to have a certified public or industrial health lab test a sample to determine if it is glass fiber, asbestos, or another product. Before taking a sample of the material yourself, to avoid generating a hazard, contact the a …

Climate Mitigation by Urban Forests

 

Planting trees in urban areas can help mitigate carbon dioxide levels because trees can sequester carbon and offset some energy use for cooling, as some studies have illustrated in California.

urban trees The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB32) requires a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. This amounts to a reduction of 173 million metric tons from the level projected for 2020.

Aerial photography revealed 242 million potential sites for planting individual trees …