Dear Jim: 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?
Dear Jim: 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?
Dear Jim: 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?
Dear Jim: 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?
Dear Jim: 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?
Dear Jim: 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?
Dear Jim: 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?
Dear Jim: I opened the attic access panel in my closet to get a box and the heat was staggering. We have plenty of attic insulation, so is this increasing our cooling costs? If so, what can we do to reduce the heat?
Dear Jim: The sun bakes us through a large window. We also have a fireplace for heating in that room. Would installing a rolling shutter save energy and improve comfort? I am also concerned about security and storms.
Dear Jim: I want to reduce my electric bills especially with the upcoming summer’s air-conditioning costs. I thought about installing a skylight or tubular skylight so I need fewer lights. Which would be best?
Dear Jim: My wood front door needs to be refinished again. When I put my hand on it, it feels cold, and I think I can feel a chilly breeze around it. Would a stainable fiberglass door be a good replacement for it?
Dear Jim: The indoor air gets stale and too dry or too humid during winter and summer when we heat or air-condition. Is there any efficient way to get fresh air indoors without opening windows and wasting energy?
Dear Jim: We are retired and our interest income from bank CD’s is not what it used to be. I thought about replacing our gas furnace to lower our utility bills. What is the most efficient design available?
Dear Jim: I always buy firewood to use in my open fireplace. I burn it just for ambiance, not really for heat. I thought about using fireplace logs instead. Are they as efficient and as good for the environment?
Dear Jim: Our refrigerator is pretty old, and I would like to get a new, more efficient one. We are empty-nesters now, so I am wondering if it makes sense to get a smaller one, but perhaps one with more features?
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