Category Archives: Energy Efficiency

Do you recommend solar shingles? Is the technology advanced enough for durability and problem-free installation?We are designing a new house and would like to incorporate solar without the ugly rooftop panels.

Photovoltaic (PV) technology can be integrated into building materials such as roof tiles; the practice is known as Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV). BIPV has traditionally been done as an after-market add-on, so there are a lot of products out there, … Continue reading

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Does PEX tubing constitute an offgassing problem when applied under existing hardwood flooring?

Additionally, are there any water contamination issues with using PEX tubing for human-consumption water supply? PEX is cross-linked polyethylene, so there is no measurable offgassing from the material. Through one of several processes, links between polyethylene molecules are formed to … Continue reading

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Does PEX tubing constitute an offgassing problem when applied under existing hardwood flooring?

PEX is cross-linked polyethylene, so there is no measurable offgassing from the material. Through one of several processes, links between polyethylene molecules are formed to create bridges (thus the term “cross-linked”). The resulting material is more durable under temperature extremes, … Continue reading

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An exterior wall is 8″ uninsulated CMU. We plan to install board insulation on the interior. What are type is best to avoid moisture issues?

Your moisture issues are going to be a problem whatever type of insulation you put behind the walls and on top of the strapping.  If this is going to be living space on the inside of this wall and you … Continue reading

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Reroofing – what materials should you be looking at for a typical sloped roof?

That depends on where you live and what your priorities are.  If you live in a high snow area, then a very durable roof with a lifetime warranty might be the best.   If you live in a high snow area … Continue reading

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Should you worry about offgassing from windows?

Widows are generally not considered a threat to indoor air quality from offgassing.  The fact that the majority of replacement windows are made of or are clad in vinyl does have serious environmental consequences, as the manufacture and eventual destruction … Continue reading

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Can you use Solar Thermal panels to heat your house during the winter months?

Yes you certainly can do this, but it is more complicated than one would think  purely for the reason that most solar hot water heating systems just don’t get that much heat out of the sun in the winter.  This … Continue reading

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