Upcoming Events


May 2018 – All Day Seminar

When: Saturday, May 12th,  8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Where: U of M Continuing Education Building, 1890 Buford Avenue, St. Paul
Topics: HVAC, Insulation, Building Science, and 21 specific topics
Speaker: Allison A. Bailes III, PhD.

$25.00 for current ASHI Heartland chapter members and/or current MSHI members, $100 for non-members

ASHI or MSHI members: https://www.mshi.org/spring-2018-ce-seminar-members-registration

Non-Members: https://www.mshi.org/allison-bailes-seminar-may12th


Allison Bailes is the founder of Energy Vanguard and author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. His company is accredited by RESNET as a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) QA and training provider, and is also a BPI Test Center. He spent 9 years teaching before moving into the home performance field. His blog might be the most well-known energy blog in the world.

“Dr. Bailes is a well-known troublemaker and a general pain in the ***.”
~ Joseph Lstiburek, PhD, PE


7:30 am – 8:00 am: Sign in, breakfast provided

8:00 am – 10:00 am


  1. 61 things we should ban to improve homes
  2. Why did painters refuse to paint insulated houses in the 1930s?
  3. Tuning your home inspector goggles with building science

The Building Enclosure

  1. The building enclosure is the bathtub
  2. Air leakage – the oft-ignored problem
  3. An air barrier is not a product
  4. Don’t caulk the windows, and other winterizing myths
  5. A quick look at insulation types

10:00 am – 10:15 am:  break

10:15 am – 12:00 pm: 

  1. The importance of installation quality of insulation
  2. A grading system for insulation installation quality
  3. A fiberglass insulation manufacturer gets serious about installation
  4. Is compressed insulation really so bad?
  5. Understanding R-value – and the many ways it can be calculated
  6. Flat or lumpy – does it matter with insulation?
  7. The diminishing returns of adding more insulation
  8. Four pitfalls of spray foam insulation
  9. Does spray foam need a thermal or ignition barrier? And what’s the difference between them?

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm: Catered lunch provided

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Heating and Cooling

  1. The heating & cooling systems are the faucet
  2. An overview of heating & cooling – equipment plus distribution
  3. The fundamentals of good HVAC design
  4. When is a high-efficiency furnace not?
  5. What does a heat pump frost over?
  6. Does a gas furnace dry out the air?
  7. How do air conditioners and heat pumps work?
  8. Heat pumps in Minnesota? Sure!
  9. How NOT to use your heat pump thermostat
  10. Don’t set your air conditioner’s thermostat like this
  11. Do programmable thermostats save energy?

3:00 pm – 3:15 pm: break

3:15 pm – 5:00 pm:

  1. Does the Nest learning thermostat save energy?
  2. Will shading an air conditioner save money?
  3. The duct that wasn’t, and other common problems in forced air duct systems
  4. Door undercuts, jumper ducts, and other ways of returning air to the system
  5. Does closing vents in unused rooms save money?


  1. A house doesn’t need to breathe – People do!
  2. The 3 whole-house ventilation strategies
  3. Do you really need to run the bath fan in winter?
  4. Common problems with ventilating a house in cold weather
  5. Don’t let that attic suck – the problem with powered attic ventilators

5:00 pm: End

June 2018: members-only meeting

When: Monday, June 11th,  6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Where: The Family Handyman, 2915 Commers Drive, Suite 700, Eagan
Topic: Plumbing vents, island vents, and a tour of the Family Handyman Studios
Speaker: Gary Wentz of The Family Handyman and Reuben Saltzman
The fine folks at The Family Handyman have generously offered to give us a tour of their studio. They design sets for their magazine, they cut stuff in half, and they take photos to show how it all works. It’s like Mythbusters for home improvement. We’ll have a discussion on report writing, tools, and defect recognition after the tour. We may also have a live SawStop demonstration. This chapter meeting will be for chapter members only, and we will not be live-streaming this event.
There will be no charge for this meeting.

July 2018

When: Monday, July 9th, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Where: Frankie’s Pizza, 3556 Winnetka Ave N, New Hope, MN (map)
Topic: New Construction Inspections
Speaker:  Reuben Saltzman, ACI of Structure Tech


Reuben Saltzman is a second-generation home inspector whose company specializes in moisture testing of stucco-clad homes. Reuben is a Director of ASHI (2017 – 2019), president of the ASHI Heartland Chapter (2014 – present), and has served on the ASHI technical committee, PR committee, strategic planning committee, and education committee.

Reuben has been blogging about home inspection related topics since 2008.  He is a contributing author to the ASHI Reporter, the Zillow.com blog, and a weekly blogger at the Minneapolis / Saint Paul news site StarTribune.com. He also taught at InspectionWorld in 2016 and 2017.

Class details

This class will cover the most common issues found during home inspections on new construction homes. Major components covered will include attics, roofs, siding, decks, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC.

This class will show hundreds of photos of new construction defects that are repeated on a daily basis. Participants will have a far greater understanding of the most common new construction defects, and why many occur.

Please register for the meeting below. Registration includes unlimited pizza, salad, breadsticks, and soda.
$15 for ASHI Heartland Members who register online by 4:00 pm on 7/9/18.
$20 for non-ASHI Heartland Members who register online by 4:00 pm on 7/9/18.
Walk-in meeting fees are $20/$25 for chapter members/non-members, respectively.

Seminar Fee
Your name

August 2018

When: Monday, August , 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Where: Frankie’s Pizza, 3556 Winnetka Ave N, New Hope, MN (map)
Topic: TBD
Speaker:  TBD

We’re looking for a chapter volunteer to teach at this meeting. Attendance is typically lower during the summer, so we don’t invite guest speakers to come in. If you have a topic you could present on, please get in contact with Reuben at reuben@structuretech1.com.

September 2018

When: Monday, September 10th , 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Where: Frankie’s Pizza, 3556 Winnetka Ave N, New Hope, MN (map)
Topic: TBD
Speaker:  TBD

October 2018

When: Monday, October 8th , 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Where: Frankie’s Pizza, 3556 Winnetka Ave N, New Hope, MN (map)
Topic: TBD
Speaker:  TBD


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