Articles filed under Dulley, James

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  • Dealing with electrical surges Mar 8, 2015 12:00 AM
    Q. I have had a couple of electronic items burn out from lightning during thunder storms. Other items don’t seem to last as long as they should. Will a whole-house surge suppressor protect them?

     
  • Homemade storm windows provide extra winter insulation Feb 1, 2015 12:01 AM
    Q. I have double-pane windows, but I think it would still help to add some storm windows. I am planning to make them myself. Are interior or exterior storm windows best and how can I design and build them?

     
  • Keeping the power on during winter storms Jan 4, 2015 8:51 AM
    Q. Our electric power goes off several times a year during storms. It is inconvenient and the furnace stops. I cannot afford a big backup generator. What are some reasonably-priced options for backup power?

     
  • Shades and window film are two reasonably priced options to reduce energy loss Dec 7, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. When it is cold, especially at night, it feels very chilly near windows. My budget will not allow for efficient replacement windows. Are insulating window shades a good option? Can I make some myself?

     
  • Clean and inspect your fireplace periodically Oct 5, 2014 8:29 AM
    Q. I plan to use my fireplace more to lower my utility bills. I see some deteriorated spots on the outside of the chimney and it has not been cleaned recently. What type of maintenance items can I do myself?

     
  • Roofing shingles questions Sep 7, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. My houses have always had typical dark asphalt shingles, but they don’t seem to last more than 15 or 20 years. Now that my roof is leaking again, what are some of my options other than standard shingles?

     
  • Sun shining through your window can cook rice Aug 3, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I like to do things the natural way when cooking. Since my kitchen gets really hot when I cook, I would like to try a solar oven. Is it really possible to cook with solar and how can I make an oven?

     
  • Living comfortably with less air conditioning Jul 13, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I want to lower my electric bills by running my central air conditioner less, but I don’t want to be uncomfortable. What are some low-cost tips to cool the house with less air-conditioning?

     
  • You can convert a garage into a bedroom Jun 1, 2014 12:01 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 door Apr 6, 2014 12:01 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 sense Mar 2, 2014 12:01 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 12:28 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 12:17 AM
    Q. My utility bills are high and often Iím 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 12:32 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 canít purchase new ones Nov 10, 2013 12:59 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 12:39 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 12:42 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 12:09 AM
    Q. My single-pane windows are still good, but much heat comes in during summer and itís 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 5:38 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 4:19 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?

     
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