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Posts by Tim Biebel

The Monster Is In The House

Just after Christmas, the cold snap arrived, just as predicted by The Old Farmer’s Almanac. At first, the man wasn’t too concerned. The oil tank was full, he had managed to split and stack quite a lot of poplar. The first night wasn’t so bad; the big thermometer on the tree outside registering just a little…

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What Type of Kitchen Cabinets Are Installed?

Last November we installed Crown Point frameless cabinets and glass doors in one of the houses we were working on. They feature some innovative toes kicks and continuous horizontal trim pieces.  The kitchen cabinets in the ProHOME are manufactured by Crown Point Cabinetry out of Claremont, N.H. It was nice to work with a company…

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Zero Energy Homes: A Home Energy Audit Helps You Save

Not so long ago, when fuel oil and gasoline prices were hitting an all- time high, people struggled to pay for their heating bill and gas for their vehicles. Not everyone can install a high-efficiency furnace or buy a new car that gets 40 miles per gallon, but the latest crisis has caused individuals to…

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Heat Recovery Ventilation Facts For High Performance Homes In Vermont

When it comes to energy efficiency in Vermont, it’s important to design net zero homes to have heat recovery ventilation systems built into them. But what exactly is a heat recovery ventilation system, and what does it do? In short, a heat recovery ventilator, or HRV, warms incoming fresh air with heat from outgoing stale air in…

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What You Should Know About Solar Payback for a High Performance Home

Installing a solar system has both short-term and long-term benefits. Right away, you can feel warm (literally) and fuzzy (figuratively) about reducing your “carbon footprint.”. Plus, over time the system will gradually pay for itself out of your energy savings, AND as a bonus, once paid for, it can start making money for you.  …

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The 5 Crucial Design Elements for Net Zero Homes in Vermont

Net-Zero Home

To some, net-zero may sound like something from the realm of science fiction. It’s not.  A net zero home is one that has the potential to create as much energy as it consumes. And in fact, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal, such homes may become mainstream in time. Why mainstream? Solar panels,…

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Downsizing for Seniors: The Importance of Energy Star Ratings

So you’ve decided to downsize your home, and now you’re considering your options. Living under someone else’s thumb (retirement community / assisted living) does not appeal to you. But living in a little farmhouse in Vermont sounds wonderful. After all, it’s beautiful there in any season, you’ll own a small piece of history, and the last…

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Affordable Zero Energy Homes:Intersection of Exterior Wall & Rafter

As we continue with our discussion about (affordable zero energy homes) and High Performance Construction Methods, our subject for today’s blog will focus on a very important connection point where double-stud exterior walls intersect with the roof system. Here is where a lot of energy treatments must be installed correctly. Unfortunately, the temptation for many builders…

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Affordable Zero Energy Homes: Foundations – Part 2

In the not-too-distant past, not enough attention was paid to the slab. The foundation hole was dug and leveled, and then four to six inches of concrete we poured into the forms. Some builders still take a similar approach to the slab (especially what is under it). But concrete slabs aren’t like carpet. Once the…

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