This is an annotated list of online Extension documents. To view a full list of Extension's energy publications, please visit the publications catalog.
ENERGY EDUCATION AND MANAGEMENT
EEM-00250 Conversion Factors to SI Metric Units 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-01350 Woodstoves: A Safety Checklist Factsheet To protect your family and property, woodstoves must be properly installed and operated. This checklist was developed so that you can review the most important points before you start that first fire in your new woodstove.
EEM-01352 Wind Power Factsheet Wind energy conversion systems (WECS) convert the kinetic energy of a renewable resource to mechanical energy. This energy can be used as electric power or for direct applications such as water pumping. Several important considerations need to be applied to use successful wind energy for home power. These considerations include site evaluation, proper choice of equipment, and energy conservation.
EEM-04955 KEEPING YOUR HOUSE OPERATING DURING A COLD ALASKAN 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-Fuels and Furnaces
EEM-01152 Comparative Unit Fuel Costs for Equivalent Dollar Net Heat Output The continual rise in energy costs has resulted in an interest in the development of simple methods for determining optimum fuel costs. The following tables provide one method of comparing unit fuel costs based on equivalent net heat production in British Thermal Units per dollar ($1.00) of fuel expenditure.
EEM-04253 Heating Values of Fuels The gross heat outputs of various fuels are listed in Table 1. The average efficiencies of selected types of heating systems are listed in Table 2. The net heat outputs of various fuels and heating systems are listed in Table 3.
EEM-04953 Your Oil Furnace: Keep it Running Efficiently (with Record) This pamphlet discusses the information that should be a part of a normal tune-up. Recording the tune-up then becomes a reference and historical record of the burner's performance. A chart to help in keeping track of furnace stack temperature changes is included.
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-00954 Effect of Studs on the Heat Loss and Insulation Value of a Wall A considerable amount of heat is lost through the wall sections of frame buildings where studs are located. Depending on the size of the wall (2' x 4', 2' x 6', etc.) and the spacing of the studs, the heat loss through framing can vary from 33 percent to 49 percent of the total. A comparison of different stud spacings for a 2' x 4' stud wall is given in this publication along with the percentage of total heat loss due to the studs.
EEM-01454 Insulation Factsheet New insulation materials are constantly being developed. This Factsheet can be a guide to help you determine the advantages and disadvantages of new products. Always check independent test results to confirm product claims.
EEM-04255 Thermal Coefficients of Typical Sections This publication gives a comparative evaluation of how stud spacing affects wall and roof insulation values, and heat loss. It is intended as an aid in deciding which wall design achieves the desired insulation level sought.
EEM-04452 Tips on 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.
EEM-04550 Thermal and Vapor Barriers for 1 1/2 Story Houses The 1 1/2-story house has long been a popular Northern building. Its main attraction seems to be economic. Structurally, the only way in which a 1 1/2-story house differs from a 1-story is that it has a slightly larger roof and the first floor ceiling joists are sized slightly larger so that they will serve as floor joists for the newly created living space.
EEM-04756 Thermal Properties of Walls The need for conservation of energy resources necessitates a more careful look at the thermal properties of building materials. Unfortunately, the failure to include the framing members of an insulated stud wall in the heat load calculations has resulted in the overrating of the insulation value of a frame house.
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-00559 ATTICS & ROOFS For Northern Residential Construction Ceilings are usually the best-insulated part of conventional houses. Attic spaces are easy to insulate with low-cost blown or batt insulations. The insulation levels in the attics of energy-efficient houses usually reach R-values of 48 to 60 (12 to 18 inches of blown or batt insulation). We emphasize that the insulation quantity alone does not determine its effectiveness.
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 Special Considerations for Building 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.
HCM-01154 Moisture Shrinkage of Wood This factsheet gives moisture shrinkage numbers for various types of wood.
THE ALASKAN BUILDING RESEARCH SERIES
HCM-01552 NBI-Retrofit Insulation in Wood Roofs This bulletin describes how wooden roofs can be retrofitted with additional insulation to improve the thermal efficiency of the house. Suggestions are provided for suitable ways to retrofit wooden roofs, the various insulation methods available are outlined, and U values (heat transmission coefficient) for various insulation thicknesses are given.
HCM-01553 NBI-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-01554 NBI-Retrofit Insulation in Existing Wooden Walls This bulletin shows how insulation should be added to wood walls to improve their thermal efficiency. Advice is given on the uses of various insulation methods and U values (heat transmission coefficient) with the alternative insulation thicknesses.
HCM-01555 NBI-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 NBI-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 NBI-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-02020 Water Softeners Annual Maintenence Details routine maintenece that should be done to keep water softner working properly.
HCM-04458 BUILDING IN ALASKA 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-04759 BUILDING IN ALASKA Glossary of Home Construction terms Terms that would be builder needs to know.
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.
HCM-04954 A Guide For Assessing Risks and Costs of Water Well Drilling in The Fairbanks Area This publication will help property owners in the Ester Dome, Chena Ridge, Murphy Dome, Farmer's Loop, Goldstream Valley, Gilmore Dome, Steele Creek Road and closely adjacent areas to Fairbanks, Alaska. Most of the benefits from the publication come by referencing information on maps. Instructions on how to use and interpret the maps constitute the bulk of the publication. The information allows the property owner or developer to assess the factors of risk associated with drilling a water well within these areas.
RAD-00755 Radon Mitigation: Alaska Experiences, Costs, Results If you need to mitigate radon first check this publication. It has been newly revised in the spring 2007 with updated information, particularly relevant to the MatSu Valley and the Uplands around Fairbanks.
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-01250 Radon in Homes - The Alaskan Experience Since radon was first found to be a concern in Alaska in 1986, the interest and awareness of radon as a special housing and health problem has continued to grow. There are certain features of a house that characterize it "at risk" for radon. Efforts at mitigation are being made that have been most effective in reducing radon under Alaskan conditions.
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.
Radon Information Pamphlet A compendium of radon information. This pamphlet covers a brief introduction to radon, a glossary of radon-related terms and acronyms, a list of radon testing services for Anchorage and Fairbanks, and a sample of radon research from Alaska.
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.
SEPTIC SYSTEM AND WASTEWATER 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 manual is now available from Cooperative Extension Service. It can be ordered online by going to www.uaf.edu/ces/pubs/. The manual can be viewed, chapter by chapter, at the Alaska Sun website, www.alaskasun.org, 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
READ THIS BEFORE YOU DESIGN, BUILD OR RENOVATE.
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.