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Weighing the 'green' option for hot water

Marc Lefkowitz  |  05/23/12 @ 2:00pm  |  Posted in Home efficiency

Being a first-time homeowner is often scary, messy, costly and ultimately one of the best providers...of valuable life lessons. When it comes to repairs-especially the emergency kind, like a hot water tank gushing 40 gallons of rusty water on to the basement floor -there's no better time to evaluate your sense of preparedness, budget and income. Let's just say, when I...more

Sustainability starts at home

 |  05/11/12 @ 9:00am  |  Posted in Home efficiency, Reuse

Last night (May 9th) I attended the second installment of the Home Repair Resource Center's Practical Sustainability series – a monthly lecture series offered by the Cleveland Heights-based nonprofit that features experienced practitioners. The goal, according to Fred Cortright who is organizing the series, is to help homeowners become good thinkers about home repair decisions that will make their homes...more

Of all the reasons to green a home, the rebate may be the worst

Marc Lefkowitz  |  04/23/12 @ 12:00pm  |  Posted in Home efficiency

What lessons did our family take from the energy audit and insulation of our drafty 1920s house? I recorded the saga in this blog series, so it felt right to include this postscript. We went into 'greening our home' with the best intentions. Our goals included doing something positive for the environment (on a limited budget) and being more comfortable in...more

The final test of our home energy project

Marc Lefkowitz  |  04/13/12 @ 4:00pm  |  Posted in Home efficiency

Having our house insulated and sealed from heat loss-with an eye fixed on the rebate from GoodCents-has been a long, but not particularly hard process. A few months after the initial energy audit, we had the final inspection today. We were relieved when Sean, the friendly GoodCents inspector who came to our house, confirmed that we should expect the work...more

Air sealing and insulating our house: The big day has arrived

Marc Lefkowitz  |  02/10/12 @ 11:30am  |  Posted in Home efficiency

The last time I wrote we were still debating the merits of blow-in insulation (foam versus cellulose). I was searching for the 'sweet spot'-a product that balanced health, green/lifecycle, performance and cost. However, I couldn't get stars to align with what I thought was an interesting balance of all my criteria-air pumped foam (which, turns out, costs double, does only...more

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