Tag Archives: Weatherization

Winter is coming …

On September 21, 2008, “AK,” an Alaska Public Radio Network statewide news and entertainment program, ran several features on heating and weatherizing the Alaskan home. Besides containing useful facts, the pieces highlights the challenges (and joys) of living in a cold climate. Listen to “Weatherization,” “Firewood Frenzy,” and “Firewood Health.”

Click here to listen to the program.

Understanding Your Crawl Space

BY: Ilya Benesch, Cold Climate Housing Research Center
Energy Focus: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner September 18th, 2008, Section A3

Crawl spaces are one of those areas in the house that tend to get neglected. The old adage “Out of sight out of mind” might apply here. Unfortunately, this also means that crawl space problems can go unnoticed until they progress into more expensive structural or health-related issues. The crawl space can also present a significant energy drain on a home if not insulated properly.
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An HRV System Overview

BY: Ilya Benesch, Cold Climate Housing Research Center
Energy Focus: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner September 11th, 2008, Section A3

Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) systems are a relative newcomer to the cold climate construction scene, yet have become almost indispensible in today’s super-insulated, air tight homes. They are also becoming an increasingly common element in the current weatherization and insulation retrofitting trend. As older homes are undergoing energy facelifts, and becoming tighter and better insulated, they are also facing the same indoor air quality challenges one would see in new construction. In this article I am hoping to provide a basic understanding of how HRV’s work, their applications, and their advantages.
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Presidential candidates' views on energy and the environment

The links in this entry are to the official websites of the two leading presidential candidates. For further information about their positions on climate change, the economy and other issues related to sustainable living, click on the “Issues” button on the respective website home pages.*

Click here to read “Cheap, Clean, Secure Energy for America,” Republican John McCain’s views on energy use, alternative energy sources and the environment.

Click here to read “New Energy for America,” Democrat Barack Obama’s views on energy use, alternative energy sources and the environment.

*Publishing these views does not constitute endorsement of any candidates’ views.

Weatherization and Indoor Air Quality Issues

BY: Ilya Benesch, Cold Climate Housing Research Center
Energy Focus: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner September 4th, 2008, Section A3

With the dramatic increase in heating fuel prices, we have been seeing a flurry of activity from both homeowners and contractors to improve insulation values and reduce the air loss in homes around Fairbanks. This is a good thing and something that has been long overdue, especially in some of the older houses. With this surge in home improvement activity, there are a few issues centered around indoor air quality to be aware of. It is important to keep in mind that as you attend to your home’s weak spots, you are likely making the house envelope tighter. This means it may be necessary to introduce fresh air in places where previously it may not have been required. Fortunately, there are a variety of solutions available. They can be as simple as installing an air duct to an appliance and improving exhaust fans, on up to complete Heat Recovery Ventilation Systems (HRV) that can supply fresh air to the whole house while minimizing heat losses.

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Energy Savings Pays

BY: John Davies, Cold Climate Housing Research Center
Energy Focus: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner August 21st, 2008, Section A3

Is your head swimming with all the talk about energy costs, weatherization, and energy rebates? Are you looking for a good, comprehensive source of information that explains the basics of energy use in your home and what steps you can take to save energy? If so, I recommend the Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings published by New Society Publishers for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Continue reading

Cold climate researchers bring modern building to Anaktuvuk Pass

From the Fairbanks Daily News Miner August 8th, 2008

FAIRBANKS — The last remaining Nunamiut Inupiat Eskimo community settled Anaktuvuk Pass just 60 years ago, trading in nomadic life for village life in a valley tucked 2,200 feet up in the central Brooks Range. In the one-airstrip town with no roads in or out, some 300 residents live crowded into 1970s era wood-frame houses perched on the windswept, arctic mountain pass.

But innovative designers now want to help the villagers build homes following a modern design that is actually inspired by the sod igloos that the Nunamiut first carved from the land.

Click here to read Full Article

Efficient windows offer more than a view

BY: Mike Musick, Cold Climate Housing Research Center
Energy Focus: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner August 7th, 2008, Section A3

A few days ago I received a phone call from a remodeling contractor who was very concerned that quite a number of Fairbanks residents were buying cheap slider type windows from one of the newer building supply stores.  He suggested that we issue a consumer warning on this issue.


I shared his concern regarding sliding windows having lived in an old home with single pane double-hung windows with exterior storm windows.  The windows were covered with ice until we learned to apply a shrink wrap clear plastic window kit.  This solved the icing problem but still allowed a lot of heat to pass around the perimeter of the windows.  This summer we replaced those windows with triple pane units with 2 low E coatings and argon gas in the two chambers.  We did a fair amount of research prior to making this investment.




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Alaska state stalemate continues over energy relief bill

From the Fairbanks Daily News Miner  August 7th, 2008

JUNEAU — With one day left in this special session, lawmakers are still without an agreement on an energy assistance bill.

The Senate likes its two-year, $1.3 billion package that includes a $500 payout for most Alaska residents and assistance with heating and utility bills. It passed the upper chamber on Monday night.

Click here to read Full Article