Four Days of Renewable Energy in Portugal

Four Days of Renewable Energy in Portugal

Large array of solar panels with a hilll behind it

Earlier this year Portugal reached a major energy efficiency milestone. As reported on by The Gaurdian, the country was entirely powered by renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and hydro power for four days in a row or about 107 hours. And in 2015, 48% of Portugal’s energy came from renewable sources.

Looks like we’ve got some efficiency strides to make if we want to keep up with the Iberian Peninsula!


What do Spring Cleaning and heat have in common?

What do Spring Cleaning and heat have in common?

When the heat source is an infrared radiant ceiling panel the answer is: Healthy Living!

Reducing clutter, airing out rooms, and cleaning those hard to reach areas removes dust, dust collectors, and potential mold growth opportunities. Here’s how infrared radiant ceiling panels do the same thing:

  • warmNapSince they are on the ceiling, our panels are no more likely to collect dust then your ceiling generally does.
  • Their uni-body construction removes “nooks and crannies” that collect dust in hard-to-clean places.
  • Without any moving parts to blow air around, infrared radiant ceiling panels promote positive indoor air quality with dust-free, allergen-free, and bacteria-free heating.
  • The sun-like heat warms the surfaces of objects which then radiate heat back out and around – discouraging mold that thrives in cool, damp environments.

Now if only Spring Cleaning would come with a 20yr warranty like the infrared radiant ceiling panels – then we’d have something!

Learn more.

Investing in Alternative Energy

Investing in Alternative Energy

Renewable energy investments directly benefit you and all of us! Check out these opportunities to start making a change:

Seattle City Light Logo
Join City Light’s Green Up! Program
City Light customers can support renewable energy in the Pacific Northwest from geothermal, dairy biogas and wind by adding $3, $6, or $12 to their bill each month. Call (206) 684-3800 or visit

Northwest eco building guild logoEducation Session: Solar Energy for Those without Solar Access Join the NW EcoBuilding Guild at the Phinney Neighborhood Center on Wednesday May 25 from 7-9pm for a discussion of solar energy and how we can make it accessible for renters. More info.


Tiny House Heating Solutions

Tiny House Heating Solutions

Tiny houses are a great way to live with a smaller carbon footprint. In Seattle, they have also become a practical response to our city’s housing crisis. The Low Income Housing Institute has constructed Tiny House Villages all over the city.

Our experience is that people looking to live in a small footprint are inherently also interested in low resource/energy consumption and high space efficiency.

Laura recently discussed “small footprint” heating at the Phinney Home Design & Remodel Fair and at an LIHI event. In comparison to other heat sources typically considered for small spaces (radiant floor, radiant/convection wall heat, ductless heat pumps), radiant ceiling panels were clearly the superior solution on several accounts, including:


  • no special materials or substrate required for installation
  • conserves prime wall space for other needs
  • heats more comfortably, faster
  • low amps needed (between 0.8 – 1.6 for 240v depending on size of unit)
  • no noise or moving parts to break
  • efficient and healthy from production through use
  • 20 year warranty
Read more about the benefits of Radiant Ceiling Panels. Laura is also happy to have further conversations about the pros and cons of infrared radiant heat compared to other heating options!
Zone Controlled Heating

Zone Controlled Heating

Having zone controlled heat is one of the most energy efficient and affective ways to save money on your heating bill without sacrificing comfort in your home.

Many forced air systems claim to have zone control capabilities but in reality the furnace has to work even harder to heat other rooms when the registers or vents are closed in some rooms. When the registers are closed the air still travels down the ducts until it hits the closed register and then bounces back (cooling in the process) as it joins the air in the main duct. This cooler air is then blown into rooms further down the line. This forces the furnace to work extra hard to heat the spaces receiving the cooler air.

With radiant heat panels you can choose to evenly heat your whole house room by room or choose to purposely set some rooms at a cooler/warmer temperatures than others. Unlike a furnace which kicks on when a room drops below the set temperature of your thermostat, heat panels only turn on in the specific room they are needed. You can even set the panels to different temperatures within the same room. For example, if you have a room with a sitting area and an exercise area you can have the panels over the couches set to 68 and the panels over your exercise equipment set to 63 so that if both areas of the room are being occupied then all can be comfortable in it. Likewise, if you have a room with a lot of solar gain  on one side and cooler on the other, you can have the panels on two thermostats so that the entire space is comfortable.


go from this…


to this! With Radiant Heat!