How to Keep Warm and Safe at Home

Reviewed and Revised on 10/15/2013

Home Heating Safety Tips

Fires and accidents caused by home heating equipment are largely preventable if you clean, maintain, and use equipment properly. By reviewing general safety tips, including those related to heating emergencies and those specific to electric and kerosene space heaters, wood stoves, and fireplaces, you can avoid heating accidents.

Heating devices can be extremely dangerous if you use them incorrectly. Improper use of home heating equipment can cause death from fire, …

Tips For Mechanical Air Filters to Improve Home Energy Efficiency

Reviewed and Revised on 10/30/2013

Images of air filters (Left-clean; Right- dirty). 
  • Studies have shown that dirty filters on the return air grille of your heating and cooling systems greatly reduce the efficiency of your system, wasting energy as well your money. Dirty filters can also reduce living comfort by restricting air circulation and not capturing dust particles, allergens and pollutants in the indoor air. Your equipment may have to work harder and its life can get shortened. It is

Why is Home Ventilation a Concern

Reviewed and Revised on 10/15/2013


Reasons for Home Ventilation

In days past, energy was cheap and energy efficiency was not a concern. As energy prices increased, homeowners sought to reduce costs by insulating attics, walls, and basements, which reduced large-scale heat transfer and energy loss. Recently, due to high energy costs, better materials, and better information, homeowners and builders are reducing the air leaks to reduce energy loss and and costs. In some homes, the home natural air exchange

Thermostat Settings for Conservation and $$ Savings in Home Energy


Reviewed and Revised on 11/12/2013

Nest thermostat


Closely managing your thermostat is an easy way to increase your energy and $$ savings.

  • In the summer, set the thermostat as high as you can while still maintaining comfort.
  • In the winter, set the thermostat as low as you can while still maintaining comfort.
  • If you have central air conditioning and heating, keep the fan switch on “auto.” The exception is for multistory homes where temperature stratification is a problem between the upper and

Understanding Air Flow in Homes for Energy Efficiency

Reviewed and Revised on 11/12/2013

Air tries to equalize between higher and lower air pressure areas. If there is a pathway (a gap) and a pressure difference, it will move through that pathway whether we want it or not. 

To be an effective air barrier or air flow retarder, a material must not only block airflow through it, it must also be installed in a way that eliminates even small gaps, be continuous all around the conditional space and …

Exhaust Vents for Energy Efficient New Homes

Reviewed and Revised on 11/06/2013

Photo of a vent hood over a kitchen range 



Photo of bathroom exhaust vent

The purpose of an exhaust vent is

  • remove  moisture, odors, smoke, fumes, heat or steam, and airborne grease from the indoor environments of a home
  • protect the building interiors of the home
  • improve the indoor air quality for the home occupants

Remember, when air is exhausted out of a building, replacement air needs to come in. If this can’t happen, because

Installation of Air-to-Air Heat Exchanger

Reviewed and Revised on 10/31/2013

Installation costs of an air-to-air heat exchanger can cost $500 and up, depending upon the home size and the system requirements. Installation could involve splicing the exchanger into an existing original system to adding new ducting to the home structure.

A home already using ducts for heating and/or cooling most likely already has the ducting to ensure all the air runs through the exchanger. Simply attaching the system to a supply end may be all

Cost Effectiveness of Installing Heat Exchangers

Reviewed and Revised on 10/30/2013

The benefits of installing a heat exchanger in a home include improved moisture removal, decrease in the potential of structural damage, elimination of harmful pollutants, and reduced energy costs. The resulting improved indoor air quality can affect the home occupants and their health in a positive manner. Installation also increases the resale value of the home. 

A simple payback calculation, where the energy savings pay for the purchase and installation of a heat exchanger …

Choosing an Air-to-Air Exchanger System

Air Exchanger

One way to minimize air quality and moisture problems in a home, without opening a window, is by the installation of a mechanical ventilation system such as an air-to-air heat exchanger. An air-to-air heat exchanger brings two air streams of different temperatures into thermal contact, transferring heat from the exhausting inside air to incoming outside air during the heating season.

In summer, the heat exchanger can cool and in some cases, dehumidify the hot outside air passing through it and …

Air-to-Air Heat Exchangers for Healthier Energy Efficient Homes

Reviewed and Revised on 10/30/2013

Air exchanger

Why is Home Ventilation a Concern

Measuring In Home Humidity

Pollutants in Homes

Air-to-Air Exchanger Operation and Construction

Installation of Air-to-Air Heat Exchanger

Cost Effectiveness of Heat Exchangers

Air-to-Air Heat Exchanger Maintenance

To reduce heating and cooling costs, builders have used better construction techniques and materials to greatly reduce air leaks into and out of a home. While a “tight” home will reduce the costs of heating and cooling, it will also trap water vapor …