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 […]

ZNE – Guaranteed Zero Energy Bill Home Completed and For Sale

ZNE Home - Oakland

Zero Energy Bill?  That’s right!  We are so confident in our new home build in the Oakland Hills that we are guaranteeing zero energy bills.  In fact, if there are any energy bills, we will pay them for the first three years!  So how can we do that?   High performance all electric design, perfect […]

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 […]

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

LED600ICA

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 […]

Meeting the Demands of the Grid

southfacingsolar

One of the toughest challenges in the energy business today is that of peak-hours electricity demand. We’ve all experienced or at least heard about the rolling blackouts, and the increased price of electricity used during peak hours (or “time-of-use” rates). On the surface, it’s a simple matter of not having enough power output to meet […]

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 […]

Zero Net Energy Ready Home Build in Martinez

zne home

  After years of retrofitting and building homes in the Bay Area, Scott O’Hara, EPB’s co-founder, is putting it all together with a great build.  Using advanced design and installation of Home Performance this home is ready to buy and make Zero Net Energy (which makes it zero net energy ready).   The new  ZNER (Zero Net […]

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

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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: […]

SB-350: Building the Future of Energy Efficiency in California

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  In September 2015, California legislature passed SB-350: the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act, also referred to as the 50/50/50 plan. There are two main goals for this plan (originally there were three, until the oil companies got involved). Objective 1: (quoting directly from the bill) To increase from 33 percent to 50 percent, the procurement […]

Zero Net Energy Ready New Home in Martinez

zne home

  After years of retrofitting and building homes in the Bay Area, Scott O’Hara, EPB’s co-founder, is putting it all together with a great build.  Using advanced design and installation of Home Performance this home is ready to buy and make Zero Net Energy (which makes it zero net energy ready).   The new  ZNER […]