Energy expo offers tips for homeowners, builders

February 2, 2014 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

TUPPER LAKE – The Wild Center wants to help build a more energy-efficient Adirondacks.

On Thursday, the natural history museum held the third Build a Greener Adirondacks Expo. The event focused on educating local builders and contractors through a series of speakers and breakout sessions. There was information on how heat circulates through a home, renewable options for heating and cooling, and energy-efficient lighting.

“The interesting thing about the Adirondacks is, in order for our building stock to become greener, we’re talking about retrofits,” Wild Center Director Stephanie Ratcliffe said. “There’s a lot of old housing stock up here, so this was a mix of retrofit information and new construction.”

Article Photos

Conrad Metcalfe, executive director of the Building Performance Contractor Association, explains how warm air flows through a house Thursday at the third Build a Greener Adirondacks Expo at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake.
(Enterprise photo — Shaun Kittle)

Retrofitting a house can mean going as deep into the structure as the building studs and working out from there. Since tackling an entire house at once is an enormous and expensive task, many homeowners opt to upgrade as repairs are made.

Ratcliffe said the best way to do that is to plan ahead instead of waiting for something to go wrong.

“As a homeowner, you almost have to have already done your research on what’s out there, because unless you know your furnace is about to go, and most people don’t, you probably haven’t already researched that,” Ratcliffe said. “We’re just trying to keep our ear to the ground to find out what people want to know so we can set up days like this so everyone’s ready. They can plan better, they can be ready when something happens, and if they’re building or retrofitting, they can learn how to do it.”

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