Contributors: March/April 2014

March 01, 2014
March/April 2014
A version of this article appears in the March/April 2014 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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Vi Rapp

“Ten Common Misconceptions About Combustion Safety”—Online at

While researching her article, Rapp found that people had a lot of combustion safety misconceptions. “To my surprise, I received more material than I could include in one article,” she says. As far as the biggest misconception, she says it’s that “spilling a vented appliance will always create a CO problem and result in death.” Truth is, dying of CO poisoning is extremely unlikely. “This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be concerned with vented appliances spilling. Instead, we should focus on addressing high-risk combustion appliances,” says Rapp.

What you didn’t know about her:
“When I was a kid, I dreamed of becoming a rocket scientist.”




Paul Raymer

“Electronic Tape Measures”— p. 6

If there’s one important takeaway from Paul’s article on electric tape measures, it’s that you’d better know what you’re looking for before you buy an electronic tape measure. “Before you invest in one of these measuring devices, ask yourself, ‘What do I need this tool for?’” says Raymer. “That will help to define what product to choose.”

What you didn’t know about him:
“My first teaching gig was in a one-room school on the bitterly cold coast of Labrador in Canada. I taught all grades and all subjects, including Canadian and Labrador history.”


Dick Rome

“A Deeper Look into My Deep Energy Retrofit”— Online at

While doing a deep energy retrofit on his home, Rome learned the value of air sealing the attic floor. “One evening we arrived home from work and noticed a huge difference in comfort in the house. There was no HVAC system; it had been removed. All that had been done was air sealing the floor of the attic.” But that wasn’t the only surprise he encountered. “One funny surprise was missing 18 inches of three joist bays when we were insulating. We found these voids with an IR camera when we did a post
retrofit blower door test—this shows the importance of doing a test-out.”

What you didn’t know about him:
“I used to be an instructor for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.”


Bruce Tonn

“The Health Benefits of Weatherization” — p. 36

Weatherization is an often-underappreciated realm of home performance, says Tonn. “The biggest health benefit that is underappreciated is the mental-health benefits. A comprehensive weatherization job can save households money, which reduces some mental stress. Improving conditions at home results in more good mental-health days.”

What you didn’t know about him:
“I am an internationally known futurist. I have written papers about how humanity should consider 1,000-year planning, for instance. Several papers have addressed existential risk: Is there an acceptable risk of human extinction, and if so, what is it and has this threshold been crossed?”

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