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Recent Retrofitting Articles


These radon pipes provide a safe ventilation route for the gas. Photo: Chris Peters/Flickr

Are You Up On Your Radon Safety?

Posted by Katie Marks | Feb 17, 2014

Radon is a common threat to home safety that many people are not aware of, even though Radon Safety Month just passed. We might have dropped the ball in January (sorry about that),...


Flooding in Des Plains, IL, April 2013. Photo by CAD1976/Flickr.

Tips for Rebuilding a Flooded Home

Posted by Chaya Kurtz | May 20, 2013

Hello, Midwesterners, and anyone else who is looking at the prospect of rebuilding a flooded home. I will outline the process of rebuilding a flooded home in this article, and I will...


Photo of a modern boiler room by frankoppermann/istockphoto.com.

Converting From Oil Heat to Gas Heat

Posted by Chaya Kurtz | Dec 19, 2012

We’re not sure if it is worth it to convert from oil heat to gas heat. Although plumbers and utility companies in the Northeast report record numbers of conversions from oil heat...


The Nest learns when you're home and when you're away. Photo: Nest.com

Cut A/C Costs with a Programmable Thermostat

Posted by Carl Seville | Jun 25, 2012

The 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), commonly referred to as "the energy code", requires at least one clock setback thermostat be installed in a new home. Setback...


Do you get this? If you don't comment and the author will explain it.

Air Sealing Tips for Hot Humid Climates

Posted by Carl Seville | May 23, 2012

Since we’re heading into the summer, and it may well be a hot one this year, it’s a good time to look at home improvements that can help save energy and make your house...


You would need to seal the knee walls in a house like this, which has a bonus room over the garage. (Photo: Kenn W. Kiser/morguefile.com)

Four Worthwhile Home Energy Retrofits

Posted by Carl Seville | Mar 19, 2012

Almost every homeowner at some point asks the question, “What are the best energy improvements I can make to my house?” The answer to that very important question is “it depends.”...


A contra dance at the Guiding Star Grange. Photo via Guidingstargrange.org.

A Green Grange Grows in Greenfield, MA

Posted by Cris Carl | Mar 07, 2012

The Guiding Star Grange in Greenfield, Massachusetts has been going through renovations in recent years to “not just make the building energy efficient, but a successful place for...


This is what crib construction looks like. As insulation, boards are stacked on top of each other like pancakes. -Cris Carl

Modern Meets Country in Rare Crib Construction House

Posted by Cris Carl | Feb 16, 2012

Decades ago, there was a concept of home building known as "crib construction," where boards were stacked like pancakes inside walls. The idea was to create insulation, but the concept...