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A Tale of Two Houses

Here are photos of two homes, across the street from each other. The two story home has snow on the roof, but no ice!  The second…well the problem is pretty obvious.   Quiz question:  How come one house has ice dams and the other does not? The first correct answer we receive will win a item of Steveworks […]

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Snowmageddon ’15

I’d like to raise a few points to the discussion of ice dams and snow removal; 1) Poor insulation in walls and in attics is a major cause of ice dams.  While ice dams will occur just from solar melting, heat from your attic and exterior walls is a major cause of the ice melting […]

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steveworks to Host March Meeting of Bottom Lines

At steveworks, our focus is on the “triple bottom line” of people, planet and profit. In order to help us improve in all 3 areas, we joined a new peer networking initiative called Building Energy Bottom Lines. Sponsored by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA), BEBL consists of 32 organizations in the building industry divided […]

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So did your basement flood?

The safest bet I can make is that I’ll get numerous calls about flooded basements after a long day of heavy rain. Tonight was no exception. There are many reasons basements fill with rain water, from cracks in foundations to water pouring down bulkhead stairs. Tonight all my calls were from the same cause: poorly […]

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BE Bottom Lines: Whole Business Networking

Fostering the mastery of business skills to complement and support our technical skills. Tova and I just came back from a 3 day intensive weekend which was the kickoff for BE Bottoms Lines sponsored by the North East Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA). We were chosen to be one of the founding members and we’re incredibly excited about it. There […]

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What I learned at WPI today

I attended a great workshop at Worchester Polytechnic Institute (WPI, a very cool place) on Deep Energy Retrofits (DER).  DER  renovations involve super insulation techniques, high efficiency mechanical ( heat,A/C, ventilation, domestic hot water) and if executed well can bring the energy load of a home down by 70%.  They also promote much healthier living spaces. […]

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Budding Building Scientist

The students of the 6th grade class at Oak Hill Middle School in Newton were studying the properties of insulation. They built small cardboard homes and insulated them  using  foam, spun wool, felt, tin foil, bubble wrap. They used plastic for windows, some even attempted “double glazing”. They placed a cup of hot water on […]

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Getting into Hot Water

  Recently I received this letter from a client about replacing their heating system.  I’ve found that the questions they asked come up quite often, so I decided to share… Dear Steve, We are about to replace our heating system.  As you may recall, we have a 60-plus-year-old boiler providing forced hot water for our […]

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Don’t Go Too Low

Don’t Go Too Low, Turning your heat too low can damage your furnace If you’ve installed (or are about to install) a high efficiency-condensing furnace in your home, you know you are (or will be) saving money on heating.  You might be tempted to turn the thermostats down to save even more.  That’s a good […]

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Baby it’s Cold Outside, But Not in Here!

You’ve asked before how the insulation in the new room is working. I thought you’d be interested in the following: last night, outside temps dipped below zero, and the room’s only heat source at night is indirect (through the open door from the dining room, the radiator in which is on the opposite wall from […]

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