Articles filed under Dulley, James

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  • You can convert a garage into a bedroomJun 1, 2014 12:00 AM
    Q. Our family is growing and we need more living space. I plan to convert our garage into a bedroom and build a carport. What is the most efficient way to insulate the masonry garage walls?

  • Screen tips for the front doorApr 6, 2014 12:00 AM
    I like to have some natural ventilation in the spring and fall and more light from the front door, but I don’t like how a screen door looks. What other methods are there to add screening to the door?

  • A geothermal heat pump make senseMar 2, 2014 12:00 AM
    Q. I should replace my old heating/cooling system with a more efficient one. With gas prices going up, shortages of propane, etc., is installing a geothermal heat pump wise and what types are best?

  • Building a sunroom is not an inexpensive project Feb 2, 2014 12:00 AM
    Q. I want to add a solar sunroom for inexpensive extra living space and so it will help heat our house. I would like to build a kit myself or to make one from scratch. What things should I consider?

  • Is electric resistance heating worth the cost? Jan 5, 2014 12:00 AM
    Q. My utility bills are high and often I’m chilly. I know electric resistance heating is expensive to operate, but I like the idea of infloor heating. Does it only work in tile or can it be used under carpet?

  • Glass blocks can be as energy efficient as windows Dec 1, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. My house needs more efficient windows. I live alone, so I am considering some glass block windows for security. Are they very efficient and how can I have some summertime ventilation with them?

  • Fix leaky entry doors if you can’t purchase new ones Nov 10, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. My front door is wood with a window and the back door is metal. They are the original ones and neither is very efficient nor airtight. I cannot afford new ones. How can I improve their efficiency myself?

  • Fireplace tips to reduce smoke entering your home Oct 6, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. We had many trees taken down due to ash borers, so I plan to use my fireplace more this fall and winter. I have never had much luck building fires without smoking up the room.

  • Tips on balancing room temperatures Aug 4, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. We have central air-conditioning, but have a problem keeping all the rooms evenly cool. Someone is always too hot or too cool. What are some simple methods to balance the temperatures throughout the house?

  • Window film improves climate efficiency Jul 7, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. My single-pane windows are still good, but much heat comes in during summer and it’s chilly near them during winter. Would installing one of the newer year-round or heat-control window films help much?

  • Air conditioner tips to reduce electric bills Jun 9, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. I am trying to run my central air conditioner less to save electricity. Would using a portable air conditioner use less electricity? Does one have to be vented outdoors through a window?

  • Is a net zero energy home worth the cost? Apr 7, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. We are planning our energy efficient dream home. We have heard about "net zero energy" designs. Are they as livable as regular efficient houses, do they look strange and how much do they cost?

  • Water-saving toilets will eventually pay for themselves Mar 3, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. Our old master bathroom toilet does not flush well and we are thinking about adding a first-floor half bath. What are the best types of toilets to get for each room and which ones save the most water?

  • How to insulate your attic access opening Feb 3, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. I just moved into a new house and I went up into the attic to store some holiday decorations. There was no insulation on the cover or seals around it. Shouldn't the cover be insulated and sealed?

  • How to make a build-it-yourself solar heater Jan 6, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. I would like to use some free solar heating in a south-facing kitchen. I cannot afford to have a system installed professionally. What type of simple solar heater can I build myself for one room?

  • Zone control systems adjust ducts, room temperatures Dec 2, 2012 12:00 AM
    Q. Some rooms in our house are too hot or too cold and someone is always complaining. What can we do to even out the room temperatures to keep everyone happy. Will doing this lower our utility bills?

  • What to do about a noisy bathroom vent fan Nov 4, 2012 12:00 AM
    Q. Our bathroom vent fan has been getting noisier for years, so I want to install a new quiet one. How can I tell which are most quiet? Is it more energy efficient to run the vent fan or open the window?

  • A do-it-yourself energy audit Oct 7, 2012 12:00 AM
    Q. I don't have a huge budget to work with, but I would like to make my house more energy efficient. Instead of spending some of it on a professional energy audit, how can I do an energy audit myself?

  • It often makes sense to use smaller, countertop cooking appliances Sep 2, 2012 12:00 AM
    Q. I prefer to use the kitchen range/oven for cooking, but heard using small countertop appliances is more efficient. Is this true and is there a simple way to determine which appliances are the best to use?

  • Mini-split systems will cool second-floor rooms Aug 5, 2012 12:00 AM
    Q. We added a room, but our central air conditioner doesn't cool it well. Our second floor master bedroom also does not stay cool. Does it make sense to install a window air conditioner or a mini-split system?

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