Need a New Cooling System? Consider a Heat Pump (Seriously)

Refrigerant Cycle

What is a Heat Pump? You may have seen the term on various devices including the indoors part of your central air conditioning system, near the furnace. It’s been used a bit too freely, and it’s confusing. Let’s clarify: for the purposes of this article, a “heat pump” is a device that uses a reversible […]

How to Choose the Right Furnace

Only installed 1 flue to exhaust and not a 2nd intake

When a furnace or air conditioner is installed in a building, it becomes a part of a system. The device’s actual performance – regardless of whatever ratings it boasts – will depend almost entirely on how it interacts with that system. With that in mind, here are the three most important factors to consider when purchasing an HVAC […]

LED Lighting – Cool, Easy, Efficient


If your home is getting too warm this year, you may be thinking about cooling upgrades. Here’s a tip: don’t immediately jump to conclusions about your AC unit, as this can lead to many burnt bridges if done incorrectly (see near the bottom of this article). Instead, start with some small, non-invasive upgrades and go from there. Consider an […]

Air Sealing and Indoor Air Quality

  We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Air Sealing a home’s points of leakage is the first step in making a home efficient. But, you might ask, what about making the home comfortable and healthy? It turns out that air sealing is essential for air quality as well. Here’s why. Indoor Air Quality When […]

Should I Replace My Furnace?

My electricity bill is too high. My heater is too noisy, and wakes me up at night. Some rooms are too hot and others are cold. The air feels stuffy or musty. My heater has stopped working entirely. Please read the following before replacing your furnace. The long-term effects of making the right (or wrong) […]

Hydronic Forced Air Heating Advantages


Hydronics refers to the use of a liquid as a medium of heat transfer in heating or cooling systems. Specifically, a Combined Hydronic Air Handler, often described as a “hot water furnace,” uses hot water to heat a home.   How does a Combined Hydronic Air Handler system work? It uses two appliances in conjunction: […]

Energy Upgrade Financing in the CA Bay Area

In the California bay area, energy and water efficiency are more important, and more available, than ever before. The CaliforniaFirst PACE financing program now covers nearly all cities in the bay area (Concord was recently added to the list). Eco Performance Builders is an approved contractor for this program. We’ve used this program already with […]

Air Conditioner: Repair or Replace?


If there’s nothing wrong with your air conditioner, but your electricity bill seems too high during those hot months, you may want to schedule an energy audit. During this process, we will thoroughly evaluate the energy efficiency of your house, and recommend the most cost-effective combination of upgrades. If you’re deciding whether to repair or […]

ZNE Home With Guaranteed $0 Energy Bills — Built and Sold by EPB


  We have completed and sold our ZNE (Zero Net Energy) build in the Montclair Hills.  We are very excited about this build because it is the culmination of everything we have learned from decades of building and retrofitting homes.  We have put our heart and soul into it and made it the best performing, […]

When are Mini-Split Systems the Right Choice?

Fujitsu minisplit outdoor unit

How It Works Mini-Split systems use heat pump technology. Basically, heat pumps combine an evaporator and a condenser, using puron refrigerant and phase change to provide heating and cooling. They are essentially a high efficiency air conditioner that can also run in reverse to heat the home. The condenser is usually located outdoors. It distributes […]

Deep Energy Retrofits – 12 Steps

energy retrofit

Let’s face it, some homes need a lot of work. In the 20th century, the majority of homes were built with little consideration for efficiency, air quality, or longevity. Now that we’re facing more serious economic, environmental, and energy issues, we need to start doing things differently. But new, efficient homes are not being built fast enough […]

The Heat Pump Alternative


Heat pumps are an all-electric heating/cooling alternative to gas powered heating and standard air conditioning. When done right, they can be very efficient. With increasing demand for eco-friendly, efficient homes, heat pumps are now, without a doubt, the future of HVAC technology. How they work Basically, heat pumps use electricity to transfer heat. They can […]

Duct Leakage – An HVAC Epidemic!

resized blower door

What is Duct Leakage? Duct leakage can be defined as a percentage, or a surface area value. The percentage rating is determined by the ratio of a home’s calculated leakage rate vs its air handler flow rate. The surface area value is useful for visualizing the total area that is leaking, and estimating the amount […]

When should I replace my air conditioner?

Over sized Air Conditioner with old R-22 Refrigerant

When should I replace my air conditioner? It really depends on how much you use it. If you only turn it on a few days out of a year, then it’s not going to be worth it. If you live in a hot area and use it at least a couple days a week in […]

Efficient Air Conditioning

Outdoor air conditioner unit

Efficient Air Conditioning – What you need to know Electricity can be pricey these days. If you want to install or upgrade your air conditioning system, you should be aware that there is a wide range of quality out there. This is one of those things that pays for itself if you have it done […]