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Energy Efficient Homes for Dummies

Edited by Louise Jones. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2008, 414 pages, $75.

Reviewed by David Sokol

Probably, when Rik DeGunther began penning Energy Efficient Homes for Dummies, he imagined throngs of readers pouncing on his newly completed reference in order to battle rising fuel costs. While those prices may have plunged, economic bad times suggests that the throngs, now penny-pinching for a whole new set of reasons, will still materialize.

Energy Efficient Homes for Dummies
Image courtesy John Wiley & Sons
Energy Efficient Homes for Dummies
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Either way, DeGunther delivers. This latest iteration of the Dummies series boasts endless pragmatic advice for making one’s home leaner and greener. The book roughly progresses from evaluation to execution: recommendations for performing an at-home energy audit are followed by do-it-yourself retrofits, and then more expensive, systemic projects like installing skylights or a photovoltaic array. And throughout there are numeric data, red flags (for less confident DIYers), and dialogue about indoor environmental quality and water conservation that establishes Energy Efficient Homes for Dummies as thoroughly researched, straightforwardly accessible, and trustworthy.  To be sure, the author accompanies said practicalities with a sense of humor that vacillates from folksy humor to the cloying wordplay of a Gilmore girl. But bearing with a gee-whiz tone and puns is a small price to pay to decrease resource consumption. 

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