How to Choose a Contractor (2 hours)
This course is designed to empower homeowners with the information and resources to determine what type of contractor to hire and how to research a contractor’s qualifications, licenses, insurance and references. The class also discusses the process of obtaining and comparing estimates along with recommendations on contracts.

Plugging into Energy Savings (2 hours)
This specific workshop is structured to provide students with an overview of the benefits of and how to reduce energy consumption through conservation over measures that cost money. The presentation covers the differences between how incandescent, compact fluorescent and light emitting diode bulbs work and the amount of energy required for each one to perform. There is also discussion on how to measure electricity usage, and the concept of “vampire draw” versus active use. Eleven efficiency challenges are explained and demonstrated to students in order to understand specific actions that can reduce energy usage. The handout contains helpful resources, definitions and recommendations covered in the class.

First Steps: Building Science Basics (2 hours)
This class provides information on how the house works as a system. Discussion includes information on the dynamics of how a home works and the management of heat, air and moisture. Issues described include stack effect, relative humidity, pressure differentials, and air movement. The goal is to achieve comfort, energy efficiency and durability in the home.

Finding & Fixing Air Leaks (2 hours)
The focus of this discussion is reasoning behind why a home needs to be air tight. This how-to workshop provides information on normal areas of air leakage, techniques for air sealing and air sealing products. Visual examples of specific air leaks and methods for sealing are provided, as well as samples of the actual products.

Ice Dams (2 hours)
Information on the cause of ice dams on residences is presented with visual examples of different areas of concern. An explanation of air and moisture movements in cold attics and minimum standards for attic ventilation is discussed. Examples of retrofit techniques and products are provided. Methods for mitigation of ice dams are illustrated for participants.

Energy Savings with Lighting and Appliances (2 hours)
The focus of the first half of this workshop is Energy Star appliances; refrigerators, dishwashers, washers and freezers. Discussion includes what the Energy Star seal means regarding energy efficiency. The second half of the workshop deals with energy efficient lighting, including compact fluorescent lights and Light Emitting Diode bulbs. Examples and demonstrations of the light bulbs are provided along with energy saving percentages.

Heating & Hot Water Choices (2 hours)
This class discusses energy efficient heating appliances including boilers, forced air furnaces, room heaters and hot water heating appliances. Emphasis is placed on the use of sealed combustion, direct vent combustion equipment of all kinds. Each type of heating equipment is discussed and evaluated.

Evaluating Doors & Windows (2 hours)
Discussion and demonstrations of energy efficient windows and doors are presented with examples of product type, cross sections of the construction of the windows and presentation of R- Value and U-Factor. Installation techniques and products are also presented and discussed.

Insulating for Savings & Comfort (2 hours)
The areas of a house that need insulation are discussed along with types of insulating products. Standard installation techniques and minimum code requirements compared to optimum insulation levels are discussed. Visual as well as hand-on samples are presented.

Healthy Indoor Air through Ventilation (2 hours)
The focus of discussion in this workshop center on air movement within the house and the impact on occupants. Discussion on whole house ventilation begins in the crawl space and encompasses the entire house. Minimum air change requirements are discussed, and the benefits of mechanical ventilation versus natural ventilation are discussed. The course includes a 25 minute video highlighting the importance of indoor air quality to health and safety.