Solar hot water systems use basic thermal principles to capture incomingsolar radiation and heat water for domestic and other uses. Over the years,a variety of system designs have been developed and tested to meet speciMc consumer needs and conditions. Due to the cold climate in the Northeastwe use primarily closed loop systems with a 50/50…

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Prudent Living is a hybrid company whose purpose is “To promote products and philosophies that encourage a prudent way of life.” Thisway of thinking is still foreign to many, but it is clear that a paradigm shift is occurring in our society and it will continue because it’s a “way of thinking” whose time has…

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Let’s take a deeper look at what it takes to construct a net zero home. While a fully integrated design-and-build approach is key to success, it also requires a construction crew that cares about the “what” and the “why” of high performance building. Here, critical elements include: 1. Air-Sealing the Building Envelope When a building…

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Creating a Home Design: Net zero energy home designs begin with a dialogue between the client, designer, and builder. At first introduction, prospective clients often bring sketches, pictures, and a wish list with them. An experienced builder is able to clarify a client’s ideas and offer plans or suggestions based on past experience. For example,…

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Prudent Living was incorporated in 2009, but it feels like it could have happened this morning. It amazes me how much we have changed and how fast it’s happened; almost as if I got into a DeLorean on my way to work this morning and punched in the year 2013. Does time really go by that fast or did…

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While things like super insulation and heat recovery ventilation systems are important for a net zero home in Vermont (or New Hampshire), a solar photo voltaic (PV) system is most often the ‘key’ element to creating net zero energy. Here’s a checklist of five things to look for when considering solar power for your net zero home. 1) Solar Panel…

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Let me start off by defining, “better.” From the standpoint of construction quality or practices, an IECC home and a net-zero home will be the same. From the standpoint of saving energy, net-zero wins hands down. Let’s see why. The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) The IECC is a residential coding standard that stipulates minimum…

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For the obvious reason, solar power plays a big part in home energy efficiency. It’s the component that allows most homes within Vermont to become energy independent and achieve annual net-zero energy consumption. Just how important is solar in achieving net-zero construction in Vermont? And what are the big differences you’ll find between solar-powered, high-performance homes in Vermont, and the…

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One of the main questions people ask about building a net zero home in Vermont is, “How much will it cost?” Building a net zero home costs about 10 percent more than building the same house without the high tech, high performance, money-saving elements.  But spending 10 percent more during construction may save between $3,000…

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