ENERGY

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5 Ways Purchasing a Zoned Comfort Solution Pays You Back
Is your existing heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system due for an upgrade, or even approaching the end of...
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7 Things to Buy If You Want to Spend Less on Bills
Let's face it: Owning a home isn't cheap. You're on the hook for mortgage payments and property taxes, of course, as well as maintenance and repair expenses. Unde...
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7 Signs Your HVAC System Is Wasting Energy—And What to Do About It
As far as your HVAC system (cooling and heating system) goes, what's out of sight is out of mind. But don't always assume your system is running at peak performan...
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4 Ways Your Roof Can Save You Energy
For many of us, our attitude toward the roof is pretty much "out of sight, out of mind. " It's only when something bi...
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Flip Your Fridge to Save Money—and the World!
[bobsays_inset]The electricity bill comes at the end of the month. You open it (perhaps begrudgingly), pay the amount...
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Bob Vila Radio: The Evolution of Energy Efficient Windows
For decades, window manufacturers have been coming up with incredible new ways to make glazing more like a wall—that ...
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Cool Tools: A "Smart" Add-On for Faster, More Affordable Hot Water
It's almost second nature: You turn on the shower and go off to do something else, knowing full well that it will tak...
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6 Reasons You're Going Broke Heating Your Home
Heating tends to cost a small fortune in the winter, but it doesn't have to—not anymore. Yet homeowners still dread the arrival of the utility bill at the end of ...
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14 Secrets of People with Low Energy Bills
Keeping up with the Joneses can be a frustrating and fruitless pursuit…but what if those enviable neighbors are saving money, supporting a cleaner environment, an...
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Built 270 Years Apart, 2 Homes Share 1 Big Thing in Common
Whether you live in a centuries-old charmer or a modern marvel, you share something in common with the owners of home...
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Can You Have Solar Power Outside the Sunbelt?
The desire for renewable energy has never been higher, which has made solar power more popular than ever. Yet, while ...
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7 Advantages of a Zoned Climate-Control System
When it comes to cooling and heating their homes, homeowners often face a difficult choice: They can either keep their home at a comfortable temperature, or cut c...
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All You Need to Know About Heat Pump Water Heaters
Homeowners rarely think about their water heater or its vital contribution to the convenience of modern living. Likew...
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Step Inside a 1930s Beach House Revamped for the 21st Century
When its current owner first encountered this home on the shores of Truesdale Lake in Upstate New York, it was in a w...
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9 Energy-Saving Home Upgrades That Pay for Themselves
You want to save money on utility costs and do your part to conserve energy, but some energy upgrades are so expensive that you may never see a payback in this li...
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9 Super Practical Products You Can Power with Sunshine
Who said solar was boring? These genius products, powered by nature's electricity, are bound to catch your interest. And because they run on sunshine they'll add ...
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12 Clever Hacks to Help You Beat the Summer Heat
When temperatures really rise, summer fun can start to fizzle, especially indoors. It's a good thing that great minds have figured out ways to help you chill (lit...
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Save on Summer Bills with 7 Budget-Smart Buys
As temperatures rise, so does the cost of powering the house. Take a stand against soaring energy costs with some of these clever home additions that will subtrac...
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6 Technologies Coming Soon to a Home Near You
We all want to provide our families with "all the comforts of home," but just what those comforts are has evolved over the decades, determined largely by the tech...
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Green Your HVAC: A Small-Duct System Can Bring Big Savings
For homeowners who have witnessed their energy bills rise ever higher over the years, heating and cooling represents ...
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No Gimmicks: 6 New Home Technologies That Really Matter
Digital advances have dramatically reshaped our daily lives, yet for the most part, today's typical home isn't very different from a home built 50 years ago. Ther...
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Bob Vila Radio: Quick Fixes for Drafty Windows
Here’s a cold-weather tidbit: Did you know that in many old homes, as much as a quarter of the heat generated by the ...
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10 Money-Saving Gadgets That Pay for Themselves
It may seem like a paradox, but sometimes you have to spend a little money to save a lot of green. Investing in just a few little upgrades like energy-efficient l...
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A Smart Add-On to Boost Boiler Efficiency by 15% or More
This time of year, homeowners around the country bemoan the high cost of home heating and naturally seek out ways to ...
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14 Sneaky Ways to Save Money on Your Water Bill
Owning a home is expensive: There are property taxes and mortgages, tiny repairs and big maintenance projects, energy costs and water bills. After all's said and ...
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3 Aggressive Ways to Cut Down Your Energy Bills
Does your blood pressure rise and fall with the ups-and-downs in your monthly energy costs? Particularly during heati...
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12 Ways Your Home Can Save You Money This Year
A new year offers new opportunities to save money. Look around your home and you will see a huge variety of ways to save money, from increasing energy efficiency ...
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8 Wise Ways to Winter-Proof Your Home for Practically Nothing
Winter is coming! Is your house ready to deal with harsh winter winds, blowing snow, and frosty windows? A well winterized home has what it takes to stand up to w...
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Achieve Lower Bills and Cleaner Air with One Simple Replacement
Believe it or not, in one fell swoop you can lower your energy bills and improve the air quality in your home. The se...
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How Do Innovative Skylights Lead to Lower Bills?
There's been a lot of talk about light bulbs over the past few years. In 2012, after the new federal light bulb stand...
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Are You Spending Way Too Much to Operate Your Swimming Pool?
For those who are lucky enough to own a swimming pool, this is the best time of year. But as you soak in the sun, you...
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Slash Your Electric Bill with 11 Savvy Hacks
<p>How much do you pay for electricity each month? Whatever the answer, you probably wouldn't mind having a lower electric bill. The good news is, there are many ...
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The Little-Known Benefits of Pipe Insulation
If you know anything at all about pipe insulation, you know that it goes a long way toward preventing frozen pipes. T...
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How To: Choose an LED Bulb
If you&#39;ve gone out to buy a light bulb recently, chances are you&#39;ve hesitated over the unfamiliar selection. Traditio...
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The 1-Hour Home Energy Audit That Can Save You Money Every Month
Winter's right around the corner, and with those falling temperatures come rising energy costs. But don’t despair—a few quick and easy solutions to common househo...
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10 Energy-Wise Ways to Lower Your Pool Maintenance Costs
Whether you're building a new swimming pool or retrofitting your existing one, be proactive in pursuing the many new methods and technologies that can help you ke...
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Choosing the Right Bulb (and Dimmer)
Up until recently, buying a light bulb was probably as routine for most people as buying a carton of milk. But new li...
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5 Smart Energy-Saving Investments for Your Next Home
If you live in an older home, the prospect of retrofitting it to be more energy efficient might send cold shivers dow...
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Quick Tip: Drain Water Heat Recovery
Here's a great device for keeping your home energy dollars from going down the drain. A drain water heat recovery dev...
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Bob Vila Radio: Smart Power Strips
You’ve probably heard about vampire electricity, the electrical power that can suck the life out of your home power u...
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Storm Windows 101
If your windows let in anything other than a view, you may be thinking it's time for replacement windows. But not so ...
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Bob Vila Radio: Solar Shingles
When you think about solar power, do you picture bulky panels protruding from rooftops? If so, think again. With the ...
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Coming Soon to a Rooftop Near You—Solar Shingles
Solar electric systems are appearing on more and more rooftops across America, but their pace of adoption has not bee...
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Bob Vila Radio: Second Refrigerators
One out of four American homes has a second refrigerator in it, according to the Department of Energy—that’s 30 milli...
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Bob Vila Radio: Solar Decathlon 2013
For anyone interested in the developing field of solar power, today’s a big day. Starting today, the U. S. Department...
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The Basics of Wind Power Systems for Homes
If you're looking for a green energy alternative to supplement your home's supply of electricity, heed the immortal w...
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Window Films 101
Window films are like sunglasses for your house, inexpensively improving the energy efficiency of your home, even as ...
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Should You Convert from Propane to Natural Gas?
As energy prices continue to rise, we've become even more conscious of the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of our f...
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9 Cutting-Edge Energy-Efficient Appliances
Energy-smart appliances are not only better for the environment, they're better for you—and your monthly utility bills.
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9 Ways to Lower Cooling Costs in Rising Heat
Check out these energy-saving tips that will help your air conditioner do its job without breaking a sweat—or the bank.
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Use Awnings to Reduce Energy Costs in Summer
Homeowners looking to reduce air conditioning costs and shield interior furnishings from the sun’s harsh glare may wa...
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Solar Power Systems 101
Solar energy can be used to do all sorts of work around the house, from providing electricity for lights and applianc...
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2011 Trends in Eco-Friendly Kitchen & Bath Products
Most new models of toilets, showers, and kitchen appliances reflect eco-friendly manufacturing and design principles ...
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Smart Grid in Your Home
Imagine a home where your heat pump, water heater, pool pump, dishwasher, refrigerator, oven, washer, and dryer all w...
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Use Windows to Beat the Heat
Windows bring views, comfort, ventilation, and energy efficiency to a home. Windows also bring large solar heat gains...
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Green Homes—Windows
Today’s advanced materials, better science, and new manufacturing processes make for high-performance window units. T...
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Green Homes—Online Planning Tools
“What ifs” can be a great way to get the ball rolling on home energy-efficiency projects: What if you added more insu...
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Green Homes—Lighting
Light from the StartToday’s residential lighting considerations go beyond decorative fixtures. Lighting influences ou...
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The "Green" Kitchen
Obviously there’s some green stuff in your kitchen, like lettuce and broccoli. But beyond buying organic food, it’s e...
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Green Homes—Electronic Controls
Today’s home automation products allow homeowners to take an active role in managing power consumption while controll...
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Solar Thermal Collection and Delivery
Unlike photovoltaic systems, which convert the sun’s energy into electricity, active solar thermal systems transform ...
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Solar Power Incentives
Solar or photovoltaic systems are an increasingly popular way to offset rising utility bills — just place them in the...
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Building a Smarter, More Efficient Window
Homeowners love windows — the light they bring, the views they frame, the feel they give to homes. Energy experts hat...
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Choosing the Right Energy-Saving Bulb and Fixture
The Power of BulbsLamp or bulb power is measured in watts. One thousand watts equals one kilowatt, and a kilowatt-hou...
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Green Machines: Eco-Friendly Electronics
The green movement is in full swing: from organic foods to energy-efficient appliances to greener cleaning products, ...
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Cut the Costs of Home Heating
Making homeowners’ heating systems energy-efficient is the answer to lower utility bills, the experts say. Thankfully...
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5 Keys to Understanding Geothermal Heat Pumps
There's been a lot of chatter about the energy-saving potential of geothermal heat pumps over the long term. Also kno...
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Let the Sun Shine In: DIY Solar Projects for the Average Homeowner
Interested in solar power but not sure where to start? Solar panels are becoming increasingly available to the averag...
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Bob Vila Radio: Vampire Appliances
That faint sucking sound you hear may be vampire appliances draining electricity from your walls. Vampires are electr...
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20 Ways to Support Earth Day This Year
Today of all days, take one step toward protecting the planet, and your monthly utility costs will benefit as well.
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Affordable Indoor Window Inserts Promote Energy Efficiency
Homeowners seeking ways to improve energy efficiency and reduce heating and cooling costs now have an interesting alt...
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Bob Vila Radio: Lumens vs. Watts
During our long experience with incandescent light bulbs, we got used to thinking about light in terms of wattage. Bu...
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Bob Vila's 50 Shades of Green
Standing in her kitchen, she knew the handsome stranger wasn't like the other men in her life, when he pulled her cl...
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12 Ways to Put Your Home on an Energy Diet
Adopt one of these 12 home energy saving ideas and save money on utilities in 2013.
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Did You Know? Bulb Matters
We hear a lot about lighting and energy efficiency, but can the right light bulb really be effective in reducing mont...
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Bob Vila Radio: Deep Energy Retrofits
The next generations will face fuel costs so high, they’ll make the standard twentieth-century under-insulated stick-...
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Bob Vila Radio: Home Energy Audit
Which projects will do the most good to lower your utility bills? A professional home energy audit can help you decid...
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Bob Vila Radio: The Solar Decathlon
Today, September 14th, is the kickoff of the 2012 Solar Decathlon, and this year it’s being held in sunny Spain. List...
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Bob Vila Radio: Energy-Saving Light Switches
Wherever lights are accidentally left on a lot, your home is leaking money. Sometimes just changing the switch can so...
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Bob Vila Radio: Solar Hot Water
If you have a south-facing roof without solar panels on it, you’re probably paying too much for hot water. LISTENList...
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Quick Tip: Make Your Fireplace More Efficient
Burning MoneyA fire in an open hearth is only 10 percent efficient at best, which means that 90 percent of the heat e...
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Quick Tip: Windows Can Beat the Summer Heat
Weather Stripping: Not Just for Winter Before you add to your electric bill trying to keep cool this summer, add some...
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How To: Save Money and Electricity with Fluorescent Light
Give Fluorescent Lighting Another Chance We all know that switching to fluorescent lighting saves energy and money. B...
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Quick Tip: Power Your Home with Solar Energy
Solar Energy: Demand GrowsWhen photovoltaics (PV) or the conversion of solar energy to electric power came on the sce...
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Quick Tip: Solar Hot Water Systems Save Money
Reduce Fuel, Save Money If you have a south-facing roof, you're probably paying too much for hot water. Over a millio...
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Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency
As April 15 bears down, you might be able to save a little "scratch" if your 2011 home improvements fell within the n...
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20 Ways to Go Green Today
Simple, do-it-today ideas for saving the planet—and a little money, too.
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Quick Tip: Alternatives to Air Conditioning Your Home
Try Old-School Cooling Before you crank up the A/C this summer to keep cool, try a little old-fashioned ventilation f...
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Three Home Improvement Innovations
Cooktops that use magnets to generate heat. Lawn trimmers without wheels. Dishwashers for outdoors. Innovation is hap...
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How To: Save Energy at Home
Let’s list some good bets for greening your routine: Switch to Fluorescent Lighting:&#160; Energy-saving fluorescent ...
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Light Bulbs: The Shape of Things to Come
Despite what you may have heard—the incandescent light bulb is not going the way of the dinosaur.   "It will, however...
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Shopping for Energy-Efficient Windows
Is your blood pressure rising on the same schedule as your month-to-month heating and cooling bills? Relax—you can st...
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What Is a Zero-Energy House?
A zero-energy home (ZEH) produces as much energy as it consumes over a year's time. The only way to achieve this is t...
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Plugging Up Leaks with a Home Energy Audit
Homeowners are looking for ways to conserve energy and still make a positive impact on the environment. Here are some...
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Installing Galvalume Metal Roof and Solar Panels
Work is being done on the roof—laying Deck-Armor and installing metal roofing and photovoltaic panels. Bob talks with Jeff Wolf from GroSolar about the photovolta...
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Installing the New Garage Doors
Bob talks with Robert Rainey of PJ Overhead Door as the new and improved garage door panels and tracks are installed on the Norwell home.
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Pouring the Upper-Story Walls and Saving Energy with Concrete Construction
As the upper-story walls are poured, Bob talks with the builder and contractor about the significant savings in time, energy, and cost that come with concrete and...
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Energy Efficient Windows
The Beasleys selected Pella Architect Series windows for their 1895 home. The windows are Energy Star rated for high efficiency and feature replica-style hardware.
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Tour an Affordable Green Apartment Building
Bob visits the South Bronx, NY, where Habitat for Humanity has partnered with private developer Les Bluestone to create a green oasis for low-income families that...
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Tour a Salvaged Home with the Latest Green Technologies
Architect Mary Kennedy and Bob tour her Georgian Colonial family home in Westchester County, NY. After a flood ruined the house, the challenge was to salvage and ...
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Tour an Earth-Bermed House in Upstate New York
Bob visits with architect Alan Shope who has built a unique earth-bermed house at his farm in Upstate New York.
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Reviewing the High-Efficiency HVAC System
Bob reviews the heating and air conditioning equipment that will bring the Shingle Style house into its second century.
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Restoring Old Double-Hung Windows using Spring-Loaded Balances
Bob meets with architect Gregory Rochlin and expert carpenter Danny Ruffini to restore old double-hung windows and replace lead sash weights with new spring-loade...
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Replacing and Installing Windows and Costs of Finishing a Basement
An old basement window is replaced, and experts explain the costs of the Owens Corning finishing system.
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Installing and Explaining a Basement HVAC System
Bob meets with the installer of the new HVAC system to discuss how it filters air and reduces energy costs.
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Installing an On-Demand Hot Water System
Bob talks with the installer of a new on-demand tankless water heater that is more energy efficient than tank water heaters.
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Eliminating Basement Moisture
Bob revisits the techniques and products used to keep the basement dry.
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Repairing the Chimneys, Installing a Gas Fireplace Insert and Completed Cabinets in the Basement Family Room
The house's two chimneys are repaired, allowing the installation of a gas fireplace insert, and basement family-room cabinets are completed.
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Basement Remodeling Update and Installing Subfloor to Prevent Water Damage
Bob discusses the installation of a plastic subfloor to prevent water damage and the selection of a basement dehumidifier.
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Wiring an Electrical Box to Support a Backup Generator
Bob meets with Electrician Harry Cunningham to install a backup generator.
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Ultra Low-Flow Toilet Installed
Lenora Campos shows Bob a Toto energy-efficient toilet.
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Mixing Plaster and Installing the Skylight
Bob and Chris Vila visit the plastering contractor and receive a lesson in plaster mixing. Next, they talk to Dino from Dino's Construction, who's installing the ...
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Toto Low-Flow Toilet
Bob meets with Lenora Campos from Toto USA, a leader in water technology and the largest toilet manufacturer in the world. Campos introduces Bob to the dual-flush...
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Installing a Water-Cooled HVAC System
Bob and Jeff Akers of The Air Authority review the water-cooled HVAC system, granting focus to its ingenious mechanical design and up-to-code energy efficiency.
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Window Placement and Installation
Bob looks at the order and placement of the windows on the facade of the modern Colonial. Upon closer inspection, the classically inspired fenestration, size, typ...
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Air Conditioning Condenser Install
Kevin Callahan from Sears joins Bob to talk about the new Kenmore air conditioning condensers that will be installed.
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Space Savings and Increased Effeciency With a Tankless Hot Water Heater
Robert Kirkpatrick from Rinnai joins Bob to explain the tankless hot-water system being installed in the Manhattan Brownstonel.
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Reviewing Energy Efficient Products in the Home
At the Cobb Hill co-housing community, Bob and general contractor Mark Albee look at some of the energy efficient and eco-friendly products in use.
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Efficient Burnham Boiler for Heat and Hot Water
Bob visits with Mark Lundquist of Burnham Hydronics to check out the boiler for the hot-water heating system being installed in the Mashpee, Massachusetts, afford...
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Feng Shui for the Home
Bob visits Emma and Jacob Josselyn in their Cape Cod-style home to see the new Vermont Castings Addison cast-iron electric stove that will warm the corner of thei...
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Installing French Doors
Bob talks with Ray Adam (from Pella Windows) about the new French doors to be installed in the library. It's an active/inactive door with all hardware. The most i...
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Skylight and Gable Window Installation
Bob goes up to the attic of the Victorian project house, where an ODL tubular skylight is being installed. Also, Bob looks back at the installation of windows on ...
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Master Bathroom Tour, Sauna Installation, and Window Blinds
Bob tours the master bathroom, noticing the finishing touches and pointing out the features. Also, Bob checks out the Finlandia sauna, before reviewing te Crysta...
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Photovoltaic Roofing Shingles Installed
Bob talks with Deane Evans (from the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing) and Ren Anderson (from the National Renewable Engergy Laboratory) about phot...
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Manufacturing Photovoltaic Devices at the Global Solar Factory
Bob visits the Global Solar factory in Tucson, AZ to see how they company manufactures its unique solar-electric (photovoltaic) devices.
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Corian Kitchen Countertop Installation and Energy Star Appliances
Carpenter Bob Ryley meets Steve Wilkinson in the kitchen to install the Corian countertops, and Bob talks with Ren Anderson (from the National Renewable Energy La...
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Blower Door Test
Janet MacIlvaine and George James (from the Department of Energy) show Bob how they conduct a blower door test.
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Roof Framing for Hurricane Safety and Energy Savings
Bob meets with Brian Redding (from the APA) to learn more about roof framing techniques for resisting hurricanes and high winds.
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Technology Systems in the Governor's Mansion
Bob inspects the remote device, controlling the PA system, HVAC, lighting, and entertainment systems. In the basement, Bob Ryley is exploring the wires and cables...
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Installing a Stacked Energy-Efficient Washer-Dryer
Bob assists electrician Barry Driscoll and carpenter Bob Ryley with the installation of a stacked energy-efficient washer-dryer unit.
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Installing a Tankless Hot Water Heater
Bob meets with plumbing contractor Craig Rinaldi and Mary Moffroid (from Controlled Energy), who are installing a tankless hot water heater.
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Energy-Efficient Boiler Installed
A high-efficiency Buderus boiler is installed, and Steve Offutt (from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) explains the national Energy Star program.
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Installation of the Buderus High Efficiency Boiler
Bob talks with factory representative Chris Hoff and heating contractor Peter Lydon during the installation of a Buderus high-efficiency boiler.
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Energy-Efficient Washer and Dryer Set Installed
Bob and carpenter Bob Ryley install a Maytag Neptune washer-dryer set. Jay Klosterman (from Maytag) describes the product's energy saving features.
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Touring the High-Efficiency Kitchen
Bob reviews the kitchen appliances, paying special attention to their energy saving features.
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Attic Insulation
Australian-born architect and homeowner, Gavin Langley, shows Bob how attics are insulated in his home country.
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Landscaping for Energy Efficiency
Landscape designer Ruth Foster explains her selection of plant material and flowering shrubs for the backyard and directs the planting of a Sephora Japonica shade...
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Discussing the Radiant Heat and Boiler
John Marran (from Energy Kinetics) and heating expert Frank Iadarola review the energy efficient boiler system that will supply heat to the hydronic floors and to...
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Restoring Old Windows
Ryan Pirro (from RestorationWindows.com) discusses refurbishing old windows with solid-bronze sash chains, new parting beads, and spring-bronze weather stripping ...
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Spray-On Closed-Cell Insulation
Bob meets with Don Schumacher (from NCFI), who explains polyurethane spray-on insulation. Applied directly to the back of sheathing, it swells to 25 times its liq...