Air Quality in California Homes

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Facts about air quality that may surprise you In general, indoor air quality is worse than outdoor air quality Ambient air pollution is related to 130,000 deaths per year in the United States The 7 most polluted cities in the country (based on year-round particle pollution) are all in California! (source) So, we know there’s a problem. But […]

Top 5 Winter Energy Upgrades

1. Attic Insulation & Air Sealing If you have old or non-existent attic insulation, this will be your most cost-effective upgrade for winter. Why? Hot air rises. Your furnace is working hard to heat the home, and without insulation you’re losing most of that energy via conduction through the attic and ceiling. The hotter that air […]

LED Lighting – Cool, Easy, Efficient

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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 […]

Should I Get an Energy Audit?

Short answer: If you own a home, then yes, you should get an energy audit. Longer answer: Let me ask you a few questions. Is your home too cold in the winter? Too hot in the summer? Are temperatures uneven from room to room? Is your energy bill high? (Specifically, your heating/cooling costs) Do you have concerns […]

2015 Highest Energy Saver Award

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We at Eco Performance Builders are proud to announce that we have won the 2015 Highest Energy Saver Award! This award, granted by PG&E’s Home Upgrade program, signifies that during 2015 we achieved the highest average energy savings for home performance retrofit projects performed by contractors in the PG&E area. The statistics for the award are based on […]

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) […]

Air Conditioner: Repair or Replace?

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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 […]

Building and Duct Leakage Tests

Testing for air leakage: The first step in any energy retrofit job Air sealing (reducing the leakage of the home) is the #1 way to conserve energy in a home. Air sealing work should be prioritized and air sealing progress should be monitored. However, you can’t completely seal up a home without also supplying controlled […]

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

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  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, […]

Deep Energy Retrofits – 12 Steps

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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 […]

Energy Efficient Lighting

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You might be surprised how much energy you can save on lighting! Lights can use quite a bit of power, especially inefficient, high wattage bulbs like halogen and incandescent. Also, even though these bulbs are cheaper, they burn out much faster and emit more heat. So let’s look at the better alternatives. LED (Light-Emitting Diode) […]

HRV or ERV? Choose the Right Ventilation System

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Tight homes need mechanical ventilation First off, what is a “tight” home? This refers to any building that is either intentionally and thoroughly air sealed, or just very well constructed to the point that it leaks minimall. In other words, there are very few gaps between framing and drywall, between framing and framing, leaky penetrations, […]

Duct Leakage – An HVAC Epidemic!

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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 […]

Home Energy Retrofit: The Whole-House Approach

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Home energy efficiency is best achieved by a “whole-house” approach, rather than a piecemeal one. Everything in your home is interconnected. When you change something, it affects other things as well. Air follows the path of least resistance, and hot air rises. Thus, for example, if you seal up your doors and windows, but you […]