About Traci Schalow

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So far Traci Schalow has created 18 blog entries.

This Cold House

By |2019-09-19T16:15:02-06:00September 16th, 2019|Blog Feed|

CORE’s zero-energy guru Marty Treadway at the all-electric induction cooktop that was a key to his family’s switch to renewable electricity. Why the big grin? Super-fast coffee in the morning and carbon-free efficiency all day long.

Marty Treadway is betting the future is already here when it comes to carbon-free living.

By day, as CORE’s Program Director, he’s a Certified Energy Manager and an evangelist for net-zero buildings, the kind […]

Asbestos Blessed Us, Sort Of…

By |2019-09-18T09:59:50-06:00September 16th, 2019|Steps|

“We intended to just remodel the kitchen and open up the living space when we were doing our energy upgrades. But when the asbestos test came back, we had to gut the entire ceiling and most of the interior walls. Mitigation blew the budget, but once you’ve pulled the sheetrock, you notice faulty wiring and lighting layouts that don’t make sense. Now we have a healthy house and lights where we want them, all LED with the color […]

Little Magic Box

By |2019-09-18T10:00:26-06:00September 16th, 2019|Steps|

Marty preps the indoor and outdoor units of his electric heat pump, the “little magic box” that provides all the heating and cooling for his home at extremely low energy-cost.  “We were faced with replacing a natural gas wall furnace with another one just like it; there was no other distribution system in the house. [In our goal to be carbon-free], there was an opportunity cost to starting from scratch. Electricity is the future.”

Attic: Where Pragmatic Meets Ecstatic

By |2019-09-18T10:00:59-06:00September 16th, 2019|Steps|


The attic is tucked into bed with insulation that keeps the whole house temperate. If you look closely, you’ll notice the cut in the original roof that Marty was standing in at the beginning of the project. “After spray foam at the heel of the truss, we blew in cellulose insulation. It’s critical that you air seal first. And don’t forget to seal the interior mechanical penetrations as well.” 

Bringing Solar Home

By |2019-09-18T11:02:34-06:00September 16th, 2019|Steps|

“When I got to the heat pump, I had to justify the cost. If I didn’t go for net zero and add solar panels to offset it, the long-term cost wouldn’t have made sense. Now, I’m seeing the energy remodel as a revenue generator. Energy savings pay back project costs. Solar runs the heat pump for nothing (after it’s paid off) and when the panels are generating, they’re actually ‘producing’ money. It’s efficiency plus renewables, with […]

Indoor Air Equality

By |2019-09-18T10:02:24-06:00September 16th, 2019|Steps|

Marty’s ERV — aka the Energy Recovery Ventilation — watches over the family.  “It’s the intelligent bath fan that brings in fresh air and exhausts the stale air. Our two bathroom units serve the whole house with air quality control. Once I get my final blower door test, we’ll know how much fresh air we need and will set them to run at a certain percentage around the clock. That way it delivers all the fresh air we […]

Hot Water On E-demand

By |2019-09-18T10:03:11-06:00September 16th, 2019|Steps|

Hot water and efficiency are just a click away with Marty’s phone tied to the family’s hybrid-electric, heat-pump water heater: “The control of this thing is amazing. You can turn it off remotely when you’re away. And the electricity usage is stunningly low: we saw a 75% reduction in demand (aka kilowatts) right off the bat. Anyone with a gas water heater should save money by putting one in and it’s a simple swap-out for those with an […]

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

By |2019-09-18T10:35:52-06:00September 16th, 2019|Steps|

Marty gets cozy in the crawl space with tight air-sealing of cold spots. “The rim of the floor framing is a constant suck of heat from your house. It’s your connection to the outside and heat always wants to leave there. Spray foam increases the R-value, putting serious heat resistance where it’s needed most, and adds the benefit of air sealing” 

Here For You

By |2019-09-18T10:09:24-06:00September 16th, 2019|Steps|

“I went through the process as a customer and it penciled out for me, thanks to the RENU Loan. I’m the perfect example of someone who wanted to do more than their means could allow. Now I want to share that and help the CORE community plug into these strategies and savings.”