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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Property sealing your home's envelope

By Angie Hicks




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Homeowners who want to get the most out of their energy dollars have only to focus on two areas of the home. Unfortunately for homeowners with issues in either, they're big areas.

"The main problem with most homes is the envelope," says Corbett Lunsford, of Green Dream Group, LLC; a home performance analysis firm in Chicago, which offers energy auditing services to pinpoint issues throughout the house.

The "envelope" is just what it sounds like -- the shell of the house that if properly sealed, can keep your hot and cold air where you want it. The heating, ventilation and cooling system (HVAC) is the producer of the temperature control.

Lunsford uses scientific testing to tell homeowners exactly where their homes are losing energy and then offers advice on the best steps to make them more efficient. A common issue, he says, is homeowners who try to make improvements on their own without first having an energy audit done by a professional who is certified as such by the Building Performance Institute (BPI) or is a certified Home Energy Rater (HERS) by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET).

"A contractor that really checks their work would first do a blower door test before they start anything," Lunsford said. "That's the main test for home performance. It tests the air tightness in the house."

Lunsford said he often gets calls from homeowners who have already spent thousands of dollars insulating their homes or upgrading their windows, only to still be dissatisfied with their comfort level and/or energy bills. Homeowners should first air seal the attic, then air seal the basement or lowest level of the house before addressing windows, doors or the middle floors of the home, he said.

"Windows do not make a big difference in homes where there are envelope and HVAC problems," Lunsford said. "Once you've (addressed) the envelope and HVAC systems, then windows can make a big difference. The most common mistake people make is prescribing their own solutions for things. Most people think they need to insulate their attic, but that's not (entirely) the case. If you insulate the attic without air sealing it, you're actually wasting thousands of dollars. Air sealing is the No. 1 secret almost no one understands. It's the main opportunity for improvement in every house, period. I see people wasting thousands of dollars every single year. It gets me really annoyed because it's so easily solvable."

Additional insulation is only as good as the person doing the insulation, added Buddy Edwards, of AC Lynn Homes in Charlotte, N.C., which focuses on green building and remodeling practices.

"We highly encourage all of our customers to put their money (towards insulating the home) first," Edwards said. "That's where they're going to get the most bang for their buck when it comes to home performance and energy efficiency. It can be as simple as just installing a traditional batt insulation product properly. A lot of companies install batt insulation and it will pass inspection with a building inspector, but it's not installed properly. If it's not over compacted and not face stapled on the studs (instead of the sides), then you're really not getting the efficiency out of the insulation as it was designed to be implemented."

Homeowners who are interested in making energy efficient improvements should meet with a designer and contractor who have the expertise and training to meet the homeowner's needs and desires.

"What we like to do is team up with bringing the designer to the table and sit down and talk about everything (regarding) the homeowner's lifestyle, interests and needs over the next five years and how that changes over time," Edwards said. "We'll look at budgets to make sure all those sorts of things are being considered when the projects are being designed. When it comes to implementing green building techniques, that's especially important. You have to have the designer and builder both on board with those concepts and understand how to implement them and what they cost."

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Since 1995, Angie Hicks has been dedicated to helping consumers get the real scoop on local service companies and health providers. Inspired by the frustrations her co-founder had trying to find reliable contractors in suburban Columbus, Ohio, she started Angie’s List to help homeowners find who they should hire and who they should avoid.


Previously:


New thermostats can 'learn' home's routine


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