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Insulate and Weatherize: For Energy Efficiency at Home (Taunton's Build Like a Pro) Paperback – October 18, 2012


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Insulate and Weatherize: For Energy Efficiency at Home (Taunton's Build Like a Pro) + Renovation 4th Edition: Completely Revised and Updated
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Product Details

  • Series: Taunton's Build Like a Pro
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press; Rev Exp edition (October 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600854680
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600854682
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 9.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Good information, easy to understand.
Richard Winters
The other book I mentioned above, the Krigger/Dorsi book, is less aimed at DIY than it is at those who will be hiring most of the work out to contractors.
Bstone
The writing style is clear, and the author explains the why of things rather than just what to do.
TDN

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Dale Yuzuki on January 28, 2013
Format: Paperback
Several months ago a neighbor strongly recommended that we get an energy audit. In the state I live in, the $300 fee is actually covered by the local utility company, and they will also rebate 50% of the cost for insulation and air-sealing (up to $2,000).

Well we did the audit, and were surprised at how expensive the quote was. Some $2,700 for the insulation and as much for the air sealing, so after the rebate the cost to us was about $3,500. (This is for a relatively large house, 3600sf on two floors, so about 1800sf of attic.)

The report was complete with Infra Red photos of two open chases into the attic, as well as other non-sealed areas including basement rim joists (I had to look up that one), and was complete with our historical electricity and gas bills for the last year (that I provided) in addition to an estimate of the savings and time to recoup the investment.

Trying to get another contractor to do an estimate was difficult (they all wanted to charge me money to come out for the inspection and testing, understandable but I already got one rebate from the utility and it isn't good for two) and they wouldn't bid on just another contractors report. On top of that the utility will only rebate to contractors doing the work, not to the DIY'er.

So after a lot of research online and offline (the local library), I came across this book, and it was exactly what I was looking for - practical guidelines and in-depth information for the where the sealing needs to be done in order of importance, and practical tips on exactly how to get it done without a lot of headache.

Not to say it is easy work - I'm spending an enormous amount of time in the attic and all day yesterday in the basement - but the results have been noticeable.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bstone on March 13, 2013
Format: Paperback
Home energy efficiency is a popular subject these days. My local library had maybe two dozen books on the subject, mostly shallow exploitation books telling you to turn lights out when you leave the room, turn your thermostat down when you go on vacation for 4 weeks, buy some CFLs, stuff fiberglass batts in your attic, and then pat yourself on the back. Oh, they also tell you about EnergyStar appliances and solar panels.

There are two energy efficiency books on the market that are different and much, much better. This is one of them. The other is called "Energy Efficiency" by John Krigger and Chris Dorsi. The book being reviewed here is "Insulate & Weatherize" by Bruce Hartley -- second edition. Hartley gets deep into energy retrofits for existing homes. He starts with a superb chapter on understanding energy basics. This chapter sets the tone for the whole book. It's thorough, accurate, and detailed enough to see actual application in an old house like mine. I finally understood the difference between radiant, convection, and conduction heat transfer. Next are chapters on Air Sealing, Ventilation, Insulation, Windows, Heating Systems, Cooling, Hot Water, Renovations of old houses, and finally the glamour stuff on electronics and solar. If you note the order of the chapters, you can tell he has his priorities straight.

This book is in the Taunton's Build it Like a Pro series and is aimed at do it yourselfers. The content demonstrates this by focusing on things a skilled homeowner can do -- like air seals, blowing loose insulation into an attic, installing a vent fan. If you've done any research online, asked builders, or talked to folks at building centers you know that everybody has an opinion about products and processes. Hartley has his preferences certainly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TDN on December 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It covers a wide range of topics in good detail with examples. The writing style is clear, and the author explains the why of things rather than just what to do.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard Winters on December 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good information, easy to understand. Seems to be very current. I would like to have had more detail on retro fit. But that is just me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Keith Neijstrom on December 11, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book on how to make the most impact on a house's energy usage. Author is very pratical and I would say a true expert when it comes to this stuff.

I think this book is great b/c you can save money by simply buying this book (and others on being Green) and make your own energy improvements - without having to spend money on outside help or rely on uneducated advice from other sources (ppl who are "know-it alls".)
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By 2bgreen on December 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is a must have for any homeowner who cares about saving energy for themselves and for the planet. Publications on energy saving tips are a dime a dozen but none them go into the mechanics behind why they make a difference. This book does, in a clear, well written, well illustrated way. The photography should be noted separately since without it the book would be much less useful.

When I bought my first home nine years ago I purchased the first edition of "Insulate and Weatherize" and it was invaluable. Now I have this second edition and it includes info on the latest technology such as high-efficiency boilers (which recently upgraded to). This book covers everything from the easiest items for the DYIers to what you need to know before you hire the pros for the big items. Friends and neighbors often ask me advice and I must say that I just tell them to get this book.

The only negative is that I preferred the first editions design. It changed only slightly but I liked it. (I'm a graphic designer).
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