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Insulate and Weatherize: For Energy Efficiency at Home (Taunton's Build Like a Pro) Paperback – October 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Taunton's Build Like a Pro
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561585548
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561585540
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 9.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Taunton has created its new "Build Like a Pro" series to help serious do-it-yourselfers perform projects of greater complexity than are usually covered in books for amateurs. An engineer who trains builders in energy-efficient construction, Harley offers a wealth of information that will allow readers to improve their home's efficiency, saving both money and natural resources. After an introductory section that explains the underlying principles of heat transfer, insulation, and air quality, Harley demonstrates basics such as weather-stripping and moves forward through advanced projects including insulation and major upgrades. Short "Pro Tips" as well as sections labeled "Trade Secrets," "What Can Go Wrong," and "In Detail" provide a great deal of helpful information. Increasing energy efficiency is one of the easiest ways for homeownes to save money, so this book is sure to be used. Other titles in this series include Windows and Doors, Painting and Finishing, Trim Carpentry and Built-ins, and Building a Deck. They are all good choices for any public library wanting to increase the depth of its home improvement collection.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Bruce Harley is a noted expert on energy-efficient residential construction and renovation. A long-time engineer, he has helped diagnose and repair such varied problems as building air leakage, indoor air quality, HVAC system failures, plus combustion and moisture issues. Bruce has also led national seminars on energy-efficient residential construction, codes, building science, and mechanical systems.

More About the Author

***NOTE*** the new edition of Insulate and Weatherize is listed as a _new_ product under "Insulate and Weatherize: For Energy Efficiency at Home" at amazon.com/gp/product/1600854680
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In the fifth grade I did a science fair project on solar power, which was fun and exciting: among other things, I put together a solar cell to charge a battery-powered matchbox car. After that, I didn't think very much about energy--until I started working for Conservation Services Group (CSG) in 1990.

After studying electrical engineering in college, and working for a few years designing circuits and writing software, I wanted to use my engineering skills to more directly promote social and/or environmental benefits. That's when I found CSG, and started doing energy audits and learning about the science of energy in buildings. Having a background in engineering and physics was essential for me to get up to speed quickly and really understand what I was doing.

Since then, I have built a solar-powered home, written three books on energy efficiency, and conducted hundreds of trainings on residential energy efficient design and renovation, energy ratings, energy codes, HVAC systems, and green building. I've been actively involved in RESNET as a board member (1999-2009) and on the technical committee (as chair from 2005-2009). And in my job at CSG, I help the people who run energy efficiency programs all over the country make smart decisions about how to help homeowners. This ranges from analyzing savings, answering questions about "how to", developing energy modeling/auditing software, doing research on developing technology, and applying a science-based approach to make sure that we achieve real savings in tens of thousands of homes every year. It's exciting work, and it's real--and the hands-on experience of over two decades is central to the how-to writing in my books.

Customer Reviews

Great illustrations, clear and easy to read.
Mark J. Soda
I'd say it's for beginners--people who want to know enough to do some of the work themselves, or enough to talk with contractors about the work they want done.
Nicole Miller
This book was one of the last ones I read but it's the only one that I went back and purchased.
John

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Taylor on April 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
Insulating your house is fraught with dangers and there are lots of sharks out there only too delighted to take your money and ruin your house. Although I am still learning this stuff, I'm still confident that I know more than most of the insulation contractors that have come through my door. Scary, isn't it?
The dangers of doing it wrong aren't just a waste of money. There is a real risk of mold in the short term and rot in the long term. Read this book, but let it be your first step. See the Taunton forums at their web page, the Building Sciences Corp web page, and do your homework before you let anyone do anything to your house.
I agree with a previous reviewer that a weakness of this book is its lack of step-by-step guides, and as a complete novice on house construction I had to look elsewhere for some of the terminology. But I'm still giving it 5 stars just because it has so much important information, to counteract all the misinformation and misconceptions out there.
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67 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Jason R. Tibbetts on July 21, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was one of the first books that I bought after purchasing an older, leaky home. And not having insulated a house for ten years or so, and knowing many people with rigid-insulated McMansions, it was a relief to see a book that treats insulation as something to be planned, like any other infrastructural component, not just done ad hoc. Like other Taunton publications, this one is nicely laid out and designed. However, as an amateur, I wanted to see a game plan that I could follow, including which tasks I could be expected to do reasonably well myself, and which things should be left to a professional. Sure, this advice is scattered in the content, but having something like a checklist and timetable would make this a great reference, not just a great overview.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
I am very pleased with this book. In addition to covering the basics of insulation and weatherization, the author shares the latest results of actual research in "building science". This book dispelled several myths about what really works.
The book has numerous sidebars with expert tips and "what can go wrong."
You can tell the author teaches seminars on his topic, because the material is very well organized and clearly presented.
The advice of an expert is invaluable, and I am re-thinking my approach as a result of reading this book.
Insulation and weatherization can be time-consuming and costly. If you want to tackle the projects that yeild the greatest bang for the buck, read this book.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By John on October 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
I purchased an old wooden home built about 1890 a few years ago. Other that some poorly installed blown fiberglass there wasn't any insulation in the house. I immediately started getting every book on insulating and energy efficiency that I could out of the library. This book was one of the last ones I read but it's the only one that I went back and purchased. It may not have step by step guides but what it does do is teach you about the basic mechanics of how your house works, which to me is more important than any step by step guide. It is not short on very specific advice either and also includes an excellent resource guide to purchase many of the things you will need to do the job. I have constantly referred back to this book as we slowly turn this leaky old home into a tight, energy efficient and more comfortable home.

This book is for anyone looking to improve the energy efficiency of their home, even if you are just in the design stage. Many more subjects than just insulation are covered.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mark Diaz on October 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
I bought this book when oil prices spiked and I finally got motivated to upgrade the desperately inadequate insulation in my attic. Without the wealth of information gained from it, I would have wasted most of my time and money.

Much better than a simple step-by-step checklist, and not just a reprint of previously published material, it gives you an understanding of the tools, materials, and the procedures required to customize a project plan for your home and budget.

I found it also gives you enough information to let you decide what you can tackle yourself, and what you prefer to leave to a contractor. Some items, like the critically important sealing of air leaks, are high on time effort, but low on material cost - a perfect formula for a do-it-yourselfer.

Led by the information in this book, I was overjoyed to be able to seal about 30 square feet of air gaps in my attic, which were sucking conditioned air right through the house.

If you are considering upgrading your insulation yourself, or you want to know what to look for in a contractor's work or what to specify to a contractor, this book is for you. Like I've come to expect from any Taunton publication, the layout, organization, and information is first rate.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By James Adcock on November 4, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think of all the poor suckers who pay $50,000 for new windows when they could accomplish more energy savings quicker, easier, and for only a couple hundred bucks even if they hire out the work using the suggestions of this book. Everthing you think you know about saving home energy is wrong! Read this book instead! Incredibly detailed and photographed. If you can't do it yourself then hire it out -- but DO IT!
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