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Five Ways to Reduce Your Dehumidifier Dependence

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Nov 3, 2017 10:42:56 AM

Compact, portable dehumidifiers use a lot of energy, and now some are connected with house fires. But there are greener options.

Before we talk about alternatives to energy-sucking dehumidifiers, here's a video sample of some of the controversy surrounding these machines.

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Stymied by Sky-High Home Costs, Brits Experiment with Co-op Style Self-Built Model

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Aug 3, 2017 9:40:12 AM

Advocates suggest that the self-built homes will cost just 59 percent of their finished value.

As written by Nick Dowson, Redpepper:

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Identifying and De-Fanging Energy Vampires

Posted by Chris Brooks, Guest Columnist

Jul 6, 2017 10:06:00 AM

Reducing the amount of energy wasted by "passive" devices in the can save up to 10 percent on overall power usage.

We're under increasing pressure to stay connected at all times. As a result, the ability to start faster and stay online is becoming a feature in many of today's electronics. Some electronics still consume power even when they're turned off. Others consume energy while providing secondary functionality unrelated to their primary responsibilities. Such appliances and electronics are called energy vampires or power vampires, and they're becoming more and more common.

What Is an Energy Vampire?

Simply stated, an energy vampire is any electronic that still consumes power even when it has been turned off. The power used is called "standby power" or "phantom load". The feature allows modern appliances to accomplish a bunch of neat tricks. It allows a remote to turn on your TV. It helps your cable box update your TV guide. It helps your electronics keep the time.

Some of the most common energy vampires are computer equipment, television sets, stereo and speaker systems, cable or satellite boxes, and pretty much anything with a clock in it.

Calculating the Cost of Standby Features

Estimates from Energy.gov suggest that standby power accounts for anywhere from 10 to 13 percent of the total amount of power used in the US and Europe. In real dollars, the average family in the United States could be paying as much as $100 a year to cover the costs of the phantom load.

A recent study by the NRDC suggested that power vampires cost the United States as much as $19 billion a year. Over the given lifetime of a microwave, for example, it may consume more power when not in use than it does while working.

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Video: The Overweight Carbon Footprint of a BLT Sandwich

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jun 26, 2017 9:39:20 AM

There's no such thing as a carbon-free lunch—not even close—as this NPR video illustrates. We're a high-maintenance species.

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The Basics of Building Science

Posted by Chris Magwood, Guest Columnist

Jun 21, 2017 3:27:46 PM

Oh no,  not science! the term building science may sound intimidating. After all, you are just trying     to build yourself a decent home — is it really necessary to delve into science?

The simple answer is: Yes. If you are familiar with the basic principles of building science, you will make better decisions about your building. You will ask important questions and be able

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On the Path to Sustainable Home Design

Posted by Chris Magwood, Guest Columnist

Jun 16, 2017 11:26:07 AM

I began my 20-year foray into the world of sustainable building as an idealistic and completely inexperienced amateur wanna-be homeowner — just a guy with big dreams, very limited means, and almost no idea of the com­plexity of the task I was attempting. Armed with one book (and no internet!) and great inten­tions and expectations, I plunged my family into a long-term adventure that changed all of our lives.

Though I wouldn’t trade my personal experi­ence for any other, I will gladly attest to the flaws of my naive approach. In fact, so flawed was this way of doing things that for two decades I have centered my life around helping others find their way to their own dream green home without hitting as many of the snags and making as many mistakes as I did.

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Defining Goals When Designing a Sustainable Home

Posted by Chris Magwood, Guest Columnist

Jun 8, 2017 6:50:52 PM

“I want a beautiful, affordable, com­fortable, healthy green home.” On this kind of premise, thousands of people set out to make their dream home a reality.

In many cases, the prospective homeowners have looked around and found the conventional offerings to be lacking, and decided to forge ahead and do it themselves. Though the desire for such a home is a basic and simple one, the execution is most definitely not. If we are going to make this dream come true, we must first begin by understanding exactly what it is we are trying to achieve.

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Selling a House with Solar Panels is Not for the Faint of Heart

Posted by Stuart Kaplow, Guest Contributor

May 24, 2017 7:31:28 AM

Complications typically occur when the seller has a solar leasing deal in place—so the panels are effectively "owned" by someone else. Here's how to avoid problems.

There are more than a Million houses in the U.S. with solar panels installed on the roof, and that number is increasing. It can be difficult if not dangerous to fail to properly address rooftop solar panels at the time of sale of a house.

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Video: Grandfather's Touching Letter About Climate Change

Posted by Green Builder Staff

May 2, 2017 4:00:00 AM

A letter from a grandfather to his granddaughter shares the world he loves and why it is important to protect it from climate change. 

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Stores Urged To Add Plastic-Free Aisles

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Apr 24, 2017 9:47:00 AM

In addition to adding national fees to plastic bags and bottles, there is a push for British supermarkets to provide plastic-free shopping options.

As reported by Sarah Knapton of the Telegraph:

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