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Lawrence J. Ubell *
Alvin Ubell **
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Matthew Barnett *
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Estelle R. Ubell
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Jennifer S. Bleyer
Adam Leitman Bailey, Esq.
Hon. Jules L. Sprodek, (RET)
Robert H. Wolff, Esq. of Rosenberg,
Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP
Ari Saltz, of GFI Mortgage Bankers, Inc.
Stanley Turkel, MHS, ISHC
Bertrum Herman, Esq.
Howard Kurtzberg, Esq.
Mitchell D. Kessler, Esq.
Sebastian M. D'Alessandro, RA
Terrence E. O'Neal, RA, AIA
* Licensed in: New York - New Jersey
** Licensed in: NJ
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The Gotham City Inspector©
Newsletter: Fall 2007, Vol.4, No.3
- • NYC Department of Buildings New Energy Code
- • Shop and Save…the Planet!
- • Weatherstrips for Winter
- • What is Your E.Q.?
- • Environmental Effects
Public Service Announcement
NYC Department of Buildings New Energy Code!!
To help create a more energy efficient city, the New York City Department of Buildings recently enacted new requirements to comply with the state energy code. Beginning in September, new building applications and alterations for many buildings were to start showing their compliance with the Energy Construction Code of New York State. For more details on the new requirements, go to
Climate Cooler is a new online store that lets you counterbalance the environmental impact of everyday purchases like jewelry, flowers, furniture and DVD's. Go to www.climatecooler.com where you can purchase items from dozens of popular national retailers. The website then calculates how many pounds of greenhouse gases were used to make, ship and sell your product, and the store pays a fee to Climate Cooler to “eliminate” the pollution caused by your purchase. Just in time for holiday shopping!
Weatherstrips for Winter
America Go Forth & Save Energy & Money!
Windows can be cold air culprits when the temperature goes down, so now is a good time to make sure your windows keep that toasty air inside. An easy and cheap way is to seal them with weather-stripping. Measure your windows and buy the appropriate amount of weather-stripping. Remember to install it along the sashes and the sashframe tops and bottoms. Carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions to get the most effective insulation bang for your buck, and recheck your weather-stripping every year as it does wear out over time. Paired it with caulking, and you’ll save a bundle on energy this winter!
What is Your E.Q.?
From Energy Saving Guide For Home Owners
by Alvin Ubell & George Merlis
No, not your I.Q…your E.Q.! That stands for Energy Quotient. Are you energy-wise or energy-foolish? Are you saving money - and the planet - or are you flushing both of them down the drain? Here's a way to grade yourself. Take this test, add up your score and see how energy efficient you are. Most of us won't score anywhere near the maximum 896 points, but along the way, you may get some ideas for what you can do around the house to up your E.Q.
The Energy Quotient (41KB)
Heating In Winter
|Points||Daytime Thermostat (Fahrenheit)|
|Points||Nighttime Thermostat (Fahrenheit)|
Water Heater Temp. Settings
|Points||Water Heater Temp. (Fahrenheit)|
|5||You drain sediment from water heater monthly|
|44||You have a solar water heater|
Air-Conditioner & Ventilation
|Points||Summer Thermostat (Fahrenheit)|
Personal Winter Habits
|Points||Personal Winter Habits|
|6||Use an electric blanket to lower the thermostat|
|9||Wear two sweater indoors to lower the heat|
|30||Installed automatic flue damper on heat system|
|15||Got your heating system serviced in last 6 months|
|3||Change your heat system filters monthly|
|4||Have heating ducts without leaks or taped leaks|
|9||Have working draft adjuster in oil or gas burner|
|9||Have clear, blue flame on gas burner|
|10||Have electronic ignition system on gas burner|
|30||Have new oil burner with retention head|
|9||Use a humidifier during winter|
|27||Have radiators or air ducts free of obstructions|
|25||Close off rooms not in use|
|25||Keep your fireplace dampers shut|
|10||Open and close draps to trap sun|
|15||Have water heater with insulated jacket|
Personal Summer Habits
|Points||Personal Summer Habits|
|20||Have no air-conditioning|
|5||Use natural ventilation and wear light clothes|
|5||Close drapes on hot sunny days|
|5||On hottest days, half open windows - top and bottom|
|10||Have Energy Star rated air-conditioners|
|5||Have shaded air-conditioners on north side of house|
|15||Have an attic ventilation fan|
Home Appliance Habits
|Points||Home Appliance Habits|
|15||Have fluorscent bulbs in kitchen|
|8||Put closet lights on auto-switch or timers|
|15||Habitually turn off lights when leaving room|
|5||Have energy savings dimmer switches|
|10||Have motion dectector light switches|
|Have an instant on TV set|
|15||Turn off TV, stero and computer when not in use|
|-30||Fall asleep with TV on|
|5||Have refridgerator in a cool spot|
|9||Have a refrigerator using under 800 K/hr per year|
|5||Defrost freezer regularly|
|5||Regularly clean coils on the refrigerator|
|9||Ensure refrigerator door fits tightly|
|6||Air-dry dishes rather than use dishwasher drying|
|6||Have a flow restrictor in kitchen faucet|
|29||Have gas range with electronic ignition, not pilot|
|9||Wash laundry with cold water|
|9||Use clothesline instead of dryer|
|9||Turn off iron when not using it|
|-18||Forget to turn off the iron|
|15||Shower rather than take bath|
|6||Have shower with a flow restrictor|
|15||Fix leaky faucets promptly|
Extra Home Energy Improvements
|Points||Home Energy Improvements|
|15||Installed a thermostat programmed for day and night|
|20||Installed a thermostat capable for double-setback|
|45||Installed an energy monitor|
|55||Installed a wood-burning stove|
|150||Installed a windmill, solar, or other renewable energy source|
|Point Range||Your Energy Quotient|
|0 - 99||Very Poor|
|100 - 199||Poor|
|200 - 299||Fair|
|300 - 399||Tin Star|
|400 - 499||Copper Star|
|500 - 599||Bronze Star|
|600 - 699||Silver Star|
|700 - 799||Platinum Star|
|800 - 896||Gold Star|
The E.Q. is an excerpt from “Al Ubell's Energy Saving Guide For Home Owners” and “Save Energy Save Money” books written by Alvin Ubell & George Merlis, when they where both members of the staff of ABC's Good Morning America.
George, was the Executive Producer and Alvin, was the Household Hints & Safety Reporter aka Guru of How-To.
This is the only section of the Gotham City Inspector that has a Specific and Special Copyright© and will need rewrite permission from both Ubell & Merlis to re-publish.
The buzzword of the year is “green.” We hear it everywhere and about everything, from green buildings to green business to green travel, and it's for good reason. Environmental degradation threatens all of us economically and humanistically. We all breathe the same air and live on the same planet. What happens to the environment affects everyone, and it will increasingly affect the health and well being of our children and our children's children.
Central among environmental concerns is climate change, which has been accelerated by the burning of fossil fuels. Sure, we all like to have a cool house in the summer, a warm house in the winter, ice cubes in the refrigerator and dry clothes in the laundry room. But we have to consider the environmental effects of our heavily energy-dependant lifestyles.
To that end, this issue of the Gotham City Inspector is devoted to saving energy. In these pages you'll find our popular E.Q. test so you can measure your energy quotient, and review ways in which you might be more energy efficient in your home.
As the temperature drops and we descend into the frosty days and nights of winter, this is especially important. We're turning up the thermostat, which is a major energy drain. A few simple adjustments like wearing sweaters and using an electric blanket at night may allow us to keep the thermostat a few degrees lower.
So do what you can to save energy this winter, and thank you for your continued support!
“Helpful ideas at your finger tips!”
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Copyright Ubell Enterprises, Inc. 2007 ©
Accurate Building Inspectors provides home inspection services throughout New York, NYC, Bronx, Brooklyn, Harlem, Long Island, Queens, Staten Island & New Jersey (NJ)