Insulate & Weatherize from Taunton’s Build Like a Pro® series (The Taunton Press; October 30, 2012). Clear, accessible writing, with 240 informative photos and 35 drawings.
When Insulate & Weatherize was first released in 2002, energy efficiency was an important issue for homeowners. Ten years later, it’s critical. The average family’s energy expenses have increased from approximately $1,500 to $2,200 per year.
The decade brought news of price spikes, climate disruption and energy resource instability that now coexist with technology advances, "deep retrofits" and new products. Yet, "the basics of home energy use haven’t changed," as Bruce Harley points out in the new Insulate & Weatherize.
"Huge amounts of energy are still wasted via hidden air leaks big enough to stick your arm through," Bruce says. He notes that a majority of homes still have “poorly insulated attics and walls, leaky ducts, inefficient HVAC systems, and cheap water heaters using 1950s technology."
And the solutions are much the same as they were ten years ago: Seal the leaks, insulate the shell, and buy better equipment. “Most of what you need for success depends on attention to detail and commitment to get the job done right," says Bruce, “and the benefits still include lower monthly bills, better comfort, improved air quality, and improved moisture control."
The completely revised and expanded Insulate & Weatherize highlights advances in science, technology and techniques along with the basics of the whole-house approach. An entirely new chapter covers renewable energy systems; innovative new products (e.g., high-performance blown fiberglass, ductless heat pumps, heat pump water heaters and LED lighting) are also included.
- Basic Air Leakage Problems and Solutions
- Heating, Cooling and Ventilation (HVAC) Systems
- Expanded Insulation Approaches
- Appliances and Lights
- Renewable Energy Strategies
Why do homes deserve to be improved? First, saving energy at home can fix real problems: Ice dams, freezing pipes, and mold growth can be mitigated or eliminated by paying attention to energy flows and the house system. Saving energy is also one of the best things you can do for the environment, especially if you’re already remodeling or updating.
Buildings (including homes) represent nearly half of the energy used in this country, and nearly half the carbon emissions. Every time someone invests in updating a home and doesn’t improve the energy efficiency to substantially higher levels, the opportunity to make those gains and reduce emissions is lost for decades to come.
Although the book is simple enough so that any homeowner can understand the concepts, many home energy pros benefitted from the first edition of Insulate & Weatherize and will value the new book even more. The book goes hand in hand with CSG’s mission to promote energy efficiency, protect the environment, make homes safer and healthier, with lower operating costs. David Weitz is director of CSG’s Applied Building Science team. David states, “Bruce’s work epitomizes the fundamental CSG approach of starting with solid building science principles and applying them practically: We figure out the hard stuff and then work to make it accessible so that the benefits of safe and affordable energy efficiency can be implemented by a knowledgeable workforce and enjoyed by homeowners."
About the new book, Bruce says, “My hope is that many, many people will use this book to provide real, lasting benefits for themselves and the planet."
See Energy Design Update's review of Insulate and Weatherize
About the Author
BRUCE HARLEY is an award-winning national expert on energy-efficient residential construction and renovation, and serves as technical director for Conservation Services Group, where he has worked since 1990. As an engineer, Bruce has diagnosed and fixed both the most common and complicated home energy problems. He has conducted hundreds of seminars on energy-efficient residential construction, energy codes, building science, and mechanical systems.
As technical director of the Applied Building Science team, Bruce spends a lot of time creating engineering algorithms for new EnergyMeasure® software functions/features, and has spent much of his 22-year tenure at CSG addressing technical issues and challenges at the program level.
Bruce has written for Fine Homebuilding and other magazines and authored Cut Your Energy Bills Now: 150 Smart Ways to Save Money and Make Your Home More Comfortable and Green. He has been interviewed by major media such as The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, HGTV radio, The Boston Globe and MONEY magazine, among others. He lives in southern Vermont.
About the Publisher
More than 45,000 copies of Insulate & Weatherize (1st ed.) have been sold to date by The Taunton Press. Taunton’s Build Like a Pro® books are like having an expert at your side when you’re tackling home-improvement projects. The books in this series provide all the step-by-step information you need to get professional results.