Articles

Nothing but Net Zero Energy Building

Have you heard the term ‘net zero energy building’ and wondered what it means? If so, you are not alone. Its definition can vary significantly depending on which country you are in and with whom you are speaking. At one end of the spectrum, a net zero site energy building is one that collects the same amount of energy on site as it uses from energy utilities over a year. One step up from this is a net zero source energy building, which collects the same amount of energy on site that is consumed at the source to generate the... Read More

Shedding Light on the Incandescent Situation

On September 1, 2009, Europe banned the manufacturing and importing of incandescent light bulbs. The European Union’s ban started with the 100 watt lamp and will move on to the 60 watt lamp in 2011, 40 and 25 watt lamps in 2012, and all remaining incandescent lamps by the end of 2012. This ban has left many asking if this light source faces a similar fate here in the United States. Presently, almost 50% of lighting in American homes is produced by incandescent bulbs, and yet, this light source is the least efficient of all commonly used bulbs, converting only... Read More

Is Your Heater in Hot Water?

Considering a tankless (instantaneous) gas water heater? These heaters have recently grown in popularity due to their capacity to heat water to a specified temperature ‘instantaneously’, without having to store a volume of water like the traditional residential tank-type heaters. But before kicking your tank heater to the curb, there are numerous factors to think about, including initial cost, payback, location, maintenance, water quality, and demand. “When weighing the costs, instantaneous heaters can be significantly more expensive to purchase than their tank counterparts, by as much as two to three times.” When weighing the costs, instantaneous heaters can be significantly... Read More

Thermal/Infrared Imaging: More Than Meets the Eye

Imagine for a moment that you have heat vision and can virtually ‘see the unseen’ by sensing temperature, just like a scene out of a sci-fi movie. This is essentially what thermal/infrared (T/IR) imaging is – the ability to view the normally invisible infrared (or heat) waves radiating from an object. An actual T/IR camera translates varying radiant temperatures into colors to produce a visible image that can offer numerous benefits in the area of preventive maintenance. In fact, a preventive maintenance program involving regular T/IR imaging inspections of various building elements and systems, such as the electrical distribution, envelope,... Read More