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Accurate Building Inspectors ® is a Division of Ubell Enterprises, Inc.

Licensed: New York (NY) & New Jersey (NJ)

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1860 Bath Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11214-4616

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Accurate Building Inspectors ©
Division of Ubell Enterprises, Inc.

1860 Bath Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11214-4616
voice – 718.265.8191
toll free voice – 800.640.8285
fax – 718.449.7190

Lawrence J. Ubell *
- President
Alvin Ubell **
- Founder, Vice President
Matthew Barnett *
- Senior Inspector
Estelle R. Ubell
- Sec. Treasurer
Jennifer S. Bleyer
- Editor-in-Chief

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

PDF Download Gotham City Inspector Newsletter

Summer Headlines:

  1. NYC Department of Buildings New Energy Code
  2. Shop and Save…the Planet!
  3. Weatherstrips for Winter
  4. What is Your E.Q.?
  5. Environmental Effects

Living In New York

Public Service Announcement
NYC Department of Buildings New Energy Code!!

image: Manhattan skyline

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

Shop and Save…the Planet!

graphic: logo

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 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!


DIY - Home Improvement

Weatherstrips for Winter

America Go Forth & Save Energy & Money!

graphic: Weather-Stripping Door

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

image: Home Energy and Conservation

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.

Free! Download:
The Energy Quotient graphics: Adobe PDF icon (41KB)

graphic: Checkmark Heating In Winter

Points Daytime Thermostat (Fahrenheit)
0 74°
3 73°
6 72°
9 71°
12 70°
15 69°
18 68°
21 67°
24 66°
27 65°
30 64°
Points Nighttime Thermostat (Fahrenheit)
30 60°
27 61°
24 62°
21 63°
18 64°
15 65°

graphic: Checkmark Water Heater Temp. Settings

Points Water Heater Temp. (Fahrenheit)
12 110°
9 120°
6 130°
3 140°
0 150°
-3 160°
-6 170°
-9 180°
5 You drain sediment from water heater monthly
44 You have a solar water heater

graphic: Checkmark Air-Conditioner & Ventilation

Points Summer Thermostat (Fahrenheit)
0 74°
3 75°
6 76°
9 77°
15 78°
15 79°
18 80°

graphic: Checkmark 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

graphic: Checkmark 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

graphic: Checkmark 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
per set
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

graphic: Checkmark 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

graphic: Checkmark Score Board

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.


To Our Readers

Environmental Effects

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)