conservation

Passive Porch Reno – Part 3

Passive Porch Reno - Part 3

This third post focuses on the interior aspects of the project – specifically insulation and air sealing. Now that we’re in the coldest part of winter I can offer some preliminary feedback on how well my passive porch is performing. Although keeping the heat in is top priority, I’ve incorporated some architectural elements to bring […]

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Passive Solar Porch Reno – Part 2

Passive Solar Porch Reno – Part 2

This 2nd post in my Passive Solar Porch Reno series focuses on the exterior aspects of this project. The late summer weather was perfect for working outdoors and aside from having to evict a nest of carpenter ants (and replacing the framing they damaged below a window) it went as well as expected. Exterior improvements […]

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Passive Solar Porch Reno – Part 1

Passive Solar Porch Reno - Part 1

I’ve been thinking about this for a decade… turning my south-facing front porch into a passive solar heater on those sunny winter days. This was the year I really had to do something with the peeling paint and loose window glazing, as well as the crumbling concrete steps that had become downright dangerous to use. […]

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Portable Passive Solar Air Heater

Portable Passive Solar Air Heater

Most solar air heaters you’ll find are large wall-mounted units and the utility of a ‘portable’ unit is marginal at best. But I had a specific purpose in mind for this design. While I actually completed this project a long time ago I’m just getting around to posting this quick review of my design and […]

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Stonehaven’s Bow-Roof Greenhouse

Stonehaven’s Bow-Roof Greenhouse

My previous post – The Recycling Cycle – paid tribute to our former greenhouse as an inspirational example of a DIY project made with mostly recycled materials. Today I’ll share the history of how it came to live at Stonehaven. We called it "The Greenhouse" – but it really served us more as a storage […]

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Comparing Solar Air Heater Designs & Performance

Comparing Solar Air Heater Designs & Performance

In my last post – Solar Heat: Free for the Taking, I covered some of the background information on how to take advantage of the sun’s energy to help heat your home. Building a solar air heater is an easy and rewarding project for both beginner or experienced DIYers and there are all kinds of […]

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Solar Heat: Free for the Taking

Solar Heat: Free for the Taking

Now that we’re into the coldest months of winter, I’ve noticed a jump in visits to a post I wrote a while back – 7 DIY Pop Can Solar Heaters. And I’m not surprised. We’re all looking for ways to shave a few bucks off the monthly heating bill and you can’t find a more […]

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Earthships: Sustainable & Self-Sufficient Living

Earthships: Sustainable & Self-Sufficient Living

These odd-looking houses are not for everyone, but they offer a remarkably sustainable solution to counter climate change, recycle materials, reduce energy needs, manage scarce water resources and feed our families. Earthship creator and Architect, Mike Reynolds, has been refining and adapting his sustainable building techniques for over 40 years. He calls it "Biotecture" – […]

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Home Solar: New Financing Options Making it Affordable

Home Solar: New Financing Options Making it Affordable

Unless you’ve been off the planet for a few years or you’re still in climate change denial, you probably realize we need to get serious about taking full advantage of passive and active solar energy sources – right now! Climate scientists are now able to draw direct probability links between man-made climate change and specific […]

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Energy-Saving Home Cooling Tips

Energy-Saving Home Cooling Tips

The largest portion of our home energy bills are for controlling the temperature in our houses – keeping them warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  We’ve experienced 8 of the warmest years on record in the last decade. This summer, the extended period of record setting temperatures across much of the US […]

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