This is an annotated list of online Extension documents. To view a full list of Extension's energy publications, please visit the publications catalog.

Some of the publications below are in Adobe Acrobat  format and require the Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Also, some of the publications may only be available in printed form from Cooperative Extension Service. Fact sheets without a document number are not currently listed as Extension publications.

Energy Education and Management

EEM-00250 Conversion Factors to SI Metric Units This easy to understand chart supplies formulas to convert a range of measurements into different units. It covers simple measurements like length, area, volume and mass; and also more complex ones including thermal conductivity, thermal resistance, heat flow and permeance. The chart is extremely helpful for complex conversions during house construction.

EEM-00251 Appliance Energy Use and Costs in Alaska (this publication is currently under review and being updated) To be thrifty consumers, we need to know how much electricity, in kilowatt-hours our appliances use. To aid in determining this, the following electric usage chart was developed. The list of appliances is shown in the first column and the average energy use in watts of such an appliance, is in the next column. In the third column, the average number of hours per year that the device is utilized is given, and the total number of kilowatt-hours used by that appliance per year is calculated in the fourth column.

EEM-00450 Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation Strategies for Cold Climates This Autumn 2004 publication replaces our former publication on ventilation strategies and is based on Alaska research results. Various levels and options for ventilation systems and control strategies are described, as well as concerns over induction of pollutants like carbon monoxide and radon if "exhaust-only" systems are used. The publication is intended as a decision guide for ventilating residences. Cost estimates are included.

EEM-01252 Caulks and Sealants Factsheet Up to 40 percent of winter home heat loss can be the result of cold air infiltration, especially through leaky windows and door casings. Caulking and weatherstripping can reduce this easily, effectively and inexpensively. They also increase the comfort level in drafty homes. If you can feel drafts around windows and doors, baseboards, or elsewhere in your home, caulking and weatherstripping are probably needed. And it doesn't require an experienced handyman to do the work; you can do it yourself. This pamphlet covers a wide range of caulks and sealants.

EEM-04955 Keeping Your House Operating During a Cold Alaska Winter: Overcoming utility freezup problems Wintertime in Alaska can be cold with temperatures of forty, fifty, sixty, even seventy below zero. Severe outside temperatures can cause severe inside problems. When utilities stop functioning because of the cold, it is inconvenient and even dangerous. Knowing how to keep utilities functioning or how to restore them to working order during periods of severe cold weather is very important.

Energy-Insulation and Thermal Properties

EEM-00852 Insulation Value of Log Versus Frame Wall This pamphlet provides a brief and technical discussion on the insulation value of log versus frame walls.

EEM-04452 Insulating an Existing House Insulating a house after it has been built is more expensive than insulating as it is being built. It is rather difficult to justify adding insulation to an existing home purely on a basis of reducing heating costs. However, it can usually be justified on the basis of improving the comfort of the home, reducing condensation maintenance costs and conserving national energy supplies. Suggestions for improving the insulation value of your home follow.

Energy-Water Vapor

EEM-00259 Permeability of Common Building Material to Water Vapor This publication discusses what a perm rating is, the effect of material thickness on a perm rating, vapor barriers in the Alaska environment, when to trust perm ratings, and provides perm ratings for various materials and thicknesses of those materials.

Housing Construction and Maintenance

HCM-00752 Allowable Loads for Round Timber This is a single sheet table giving the allowable loads for round timber.

HCM-00754 Permafrost: A Building Problem in Alaska Constructing buildings in Alaska requires specific knowledge about permafrost and specialized building techniques. Disturbing permafrost carelessly may cause melting, resulting in uneven foundation settling and disastrous consequences for the building. It is not always possible to safely build on permafrost.

HCM-00952 Building Challenges in Alaska Special considerations for building in Alaska are recommended that are normally not included in structures designed for milder climates in the Lower 48 states. Plans and publications will be developed as new construction techniques are developed in Arctic construction.

The Alaskan Building Research Series

HCM-01553 Retrofit Insulation in Concrete & Masonry Walls This bulletin describes techniques for retrofitting insulation on outer walls of concrete or masonry, concrete blocks or bricks. It can help contractors and homeowners select a suitable method of retrofitting insulation. Techniques for external insulation focus on frame walls ventilated to the outside. New methods of retrofit insulation are also included, as are K-values of the alternative insulation thicknesses.

HCM-01555 Foundation Retrofit & Rehabilitation This bulletin gives an overview of the various methods that can be utilized to improve older building foundations and to retrofit building foundations. It also gives information about common damage to foundations and basement walls.

HCM-01557 Water Cistern Construction for Small Houses This bulletin describes construction of a cistern for collecting and storing rainwater for household use. The design for a collection system and the construction and maintenance of such a cistern are described.

HCM-01558 Exterior Ventilated Cladding These pages deal with principles for ventilated claddings on exterior walls. This is a general survey and pertains regardless of the type of cladding material or construction technique. Detailed solutions to the actual construction of ventilated cladding are given in the paper, particularly in the photographs. END THE ALASKAN BUILDING RESEARCH SERIES

HCM-04458 Windows Windows are the most unique element of buildings. They ideally provide opportune lighting, security, protection from weather and prevent air leakage. At the same time they are often operable and may be relied upon for ventilation. In Alaskan conditions, they must function as transparent insulation. Their sizing and orientation is a crucial element of thermal design in our climate zone. Windows are very important to obtaining a quality, durable energy-efficient home.

HCM-04950 Suggestions for Installing Domestic Water Storage Tanks In Alaska many homes and commercial establishments are built where sufficient quantities of good quality water may be difficult to obtain from a well. The most common way of dealing with this problem is to install a holding tank and have water commercially delivered. Although few state regulations apply to the installation of holding tanks, experience allows us to present general guidelines for installation which will be helpful to the contractor or to the owner-builder.



RAD-00756 Carbon Monoxide - A Silent Killer Carbon Monoxide (CO) is the number one cause of poisening in the United States, and Alaska has the highest per capita Carbon Monoxide death rate in the nation.

RAD-00760 Understanding, Testing for and Mitigating Radon Radon, a colorless, odorless gas, is found anywhere there is decaying uranium with an escape route to the atmosphere. Radon can enter a home through imperfections in the floors and walls when there is contact with the soil. Breathed into the lungs, radon can cause cell damage that may lead to lung cancer. Fortunately, testing for the presence of radon is easy and inexpensive. This publication describes the different types of test kits and explains what to do if radon is detected in your home.

Other relevant documents

Building Radon Out This is EPA information with graphics on how to construct a new house foundation to be radon-proof. It supercedes the previous EPA publication of February 1991 called Radon-resistant Construction Techniques for New Residential Construction.

New Insights From Radon Research In Interior Alaska This research paper updates our experience with radon in homes in the Fairbanks Area. Major important insights from this work by Jack Schmid, UAF are: (1) summer radon tests are of questionable value; (2) air leakage (too much of it) is an important contributing factor to radon induction; and (3) radon induction is very strongly correlated with indoor/outdoor temperature difference. The colder it is outside, the more likely a higher level of radon is inducted into a home.

Radon - A Physician's Guide - The Health Threat With A Simple Solution This booklet (US EPA Document #402-K-93-008) on radon has been developed for physicians by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in consultation with the American Medical Association (AMA). Its purpose is to enlist physicians in the national effort to inform the American public about the serious health risk posed by indoor radon gas.

Safety and Alaska Living

SAL-00007 Emergency Preparedness for Alaskans Alaska is an area of natural beauty and magnificent landscapes. Natural forces loom large in our history and in our daily lives. Because of this, our lives are subject to a wide range of natural disasters. Floods, earthquakes, wildfires, severe storms, tidal waves (tsunamis), and volcanic eruptions are normal routines. Being prepared for these eventualities is just a matter of a little time and effort to pull together some supplies to help you adjust to emergencies without undue stress. 

SAL-02021 Winterizing Your Car and Camper It is important to winterize vehicles to keep them in proper starting and running condition throughout the winter in the colder areas of Alaska. This work can be done by a commercial repair garage or by car owners if they have the ability to do this type of work.

Septic Systems

Septic System and Waste Water System Technologies. Alaska Sun member and Statewide Energy Librarian, Cary Bolling replied to an online inquiry about alternative septic systems with this article. He passed it on to Cooperative Extension so that we could provide the link here. The sources are a compost research page, the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation's Research and Information Center's research, and the National Small Flows Clearing House, a federally funded resource and archive of septic and wastewater disposal alternatives. We provide this isting of possible products and their websites for your information and exploration.


EEM-01255 A Solar Design Manual for Alaska The fourth edition of the Alaska solar design manualis now available from Cooperative Extension Service. It can be ordered online by going to The manual can be viewed, chapter by chapter, at the Alaska Sun website,, as well.

EEM-01258 Passive Solar Heating Factsheet Solar energy is often discounted as a viable energy alternative in northern latitudes such as Alaska. In reality, the energy of the sun can provide a significant portion of Alaska's heating needs. The most efficient and least expensive way to tap this resource is through design and construction of houses that collect and store solar energy without fans, pumps or other mechanical devices. Passive solar heating makes use of warmth moved by the natural processes of reflections, radiation, conduction and convection.

EEM-01259 The Attached Solar Greenhouse Factsheet Attached solar greenhouses have gained considerable popularity, as an addition to an existing house or as an integral part of a new home. The attraction of the solar greenhouse is its adaptability. Design, construction, and use involve a wide range of options which can be combined to meet many tastes, needs and budgets.

Other Relevant Documents


Healthy and Affordable Housing: Practical Recommendations for Building, Renovating and Maintaining Housing. By Asthma Regional Coordinating Council of New England, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Department of Energy.

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