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Brower Power Hour Radio Show Archive

brower power hour radio show

About the Show

Brower Home Power Hour: Formerly the CHERP Energy Wise Forum, Brower Mechanical has now recrafted the program to further promote the process of home energy optimization thru home energy audits, insulation, windows, solar and more. Continuing the relationship with the non-profit Community Home Energy Retrofit Project (CHERP)monthly seminars are designed to provide access to virtually free home energy assessments ($300+ value!)that can then lead to maximizing government and utility rebates and incentives to both reduce expense and increase home values. An incredibly informative show to help anyone considering solar or home energy upgrades make the best investment decision utilizing the small solar process by reducing before producing.

Presented in Part by: Ygrene Home Improvement Financing

Ygrene Home Improvement Financing
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Technician performing maintenance on outdoor air compressor unit
As a homeowner, you may wonder if HVAC maintenance is truly essential. After all, your heating and cooling system seems to be functioning fine, so why invest in maintenance? At Brower Mechanical, we... Read more
man spraying down outdoor ac air compressor unit
Spring and summer weather here in the Sacramento and Stockton area can be unpredictable. With outside temperatures already reaching as high as the mid80s, many homeowners have already had to use... Read more

Radio Show Archive

March 29, 2020: Power Protection…going forward. Home energy steps you must consider.

Keeping things on a positive note and looking forward to what’s on the horizon, hear about the most significant steps your service technicians are taking, following CDC recommendations in the best interest of the customer and the employee. And there’s more with Ultraviolet germicidal technology available to add an additional layer of support in the home. And if you are looking forward to the summer, remember your generators, especially Generac, need to be serviced by a licensed technician in the first 25 hours of operation. Brower is certified and ready to help.

Time to Electrify

Electrification is everything now. Prices are less than natural gas and using the resources like induction heating, heat pump water heaters and electric furnaces. So much more and the good news…rebates are bountiful. SMUD and PG&E are both supporting these transitions. More importantly, learn why you need to do an energy assessment BEFORE you can make these improvements work to your best advantage. Duane walks you thru the details you need to know.

Home Comfort Changes 

Today’s caller is a revelation in comfort. 17 years later, an original Brower installation is due for some attention. This is a great call from a homeowner with a home built in 1981. That’s well before anybody cared anything about efficiency. The system, the attic, the ductwork was all in need of review if not repair or replacement. Listen to the steps the guys discuss and some of the pitfalls many homeowners encounter in the process of evaluation. It’s possible a complete upgrade could be done for the same amount as your utility bill today.

Solar is Changing Fast

Touching a bit on technology in this segment there’s an in-depth conversation about the changes in solar and battery technology as home energy in an emergency has changed dramatically. And in just a few years. Batteries, standby generators, whole home power generation have all become significantly more sophisticated, complex and efficient. Did you know your older solar system will not provide power in the event of a power outage? New technology is available to change that.

What’s best for you? Find out by contacting us or calling Brower Mechanical at (916) 624-0808.

March 22, 2020: Can air purification and UV germicidal technology help you breathe better at home?

Your hosts Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small do address germs in the house and steps you can take to minimize them with better ventilation and air purification. With so much more time being spent in the home, be certain everything is functioning as it should be is critical. Service is still taking place and the Brower team is as concerned about your health and safety as they are about the health and safety of their team. Best practices for safety have all been implemented to ensure the safety of all parties concerned.

Hanging Out with Your HVAC

With more time spent in the home, the demand on the HVAC systems will grow and highlight the inefficiencies of your system. Now is a great time to assess the operation since you’re home all day to identify its’ functions. Knowing the available options could lead to rebates and reduce the costs necessary to upgrade. You’ll also hear in detail, the rationale for rebates and why the utilities are willing to pay you to do so. This is a compelling discussion that Duane explains in simple terms.

Homeowner Breathing Easier

Today’s caller is a live interview with an incredible story from a very satisfied customer that took some suggested steps to improve the air quality in her home. Impacted with COPD and asthma, Loretta explains the difference an air “scrubber” system with UV germicidal technology has made in her ability to breathe and the story is truly remarkable.

Consider UV Germicidal Tech

The story from Loretta gets clarified by Duane to be certain the UV germicidal is well understood. The explanation does exactly that and it’s important to understand if this might be a consideration for you. It’s not a cure-all and still requires homeowner responsibility for good germ protection given the current situation. Today, however, it is a consideration worth investigating.

For more information on what may work best for you, contact us or call Brower Mechanical at (916) 624-0808

March 15, 2020: Electricity may eventually be your only option. Shocking?

Hear from your hosts Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small as they address changes taking place in various communities throughout the state as natural gas bans are taking place. Lots of dialogue and many concerns about what it means to so many businesses. So far there are more problems than solutions.

Changing Energy Sources, Changing Behaviors

The utility companies are out to help you change your behavior. They’re offering incentives to change from gas to electricity. Not only is this technology an improvement to reducing expenses, it also improves the comfort level in the home. There’s a great case study in the conversation.

Special Circumstances for Backup Power

Today’s caller has concerns about his wife’s medical issues and PG&E power shutoffs. Here’s a great call relative to the interest people have in getting backup power. There are opportunities available for when there is a medical issue in the household but you’ll need to know the proper steps to get the most support. Hear some of the suggestions Duane would address to minimize the anxiety.

Power Tech is Booming

Battery technology is advancing at an incredible clip and everybody is jumping into the space. You’ll hear Duane and Bill talk about some of the considerations during power outages. Hybrid systems are going to be the norm with solar, generator and battery setups. For more information on what may work best for you, contact us or call Brower Mechanical at (916) 624-0808.

March 9, 2020: Special Edition: Coronavirus In The Home With Dr Tom Hopkins

This episode is a special excerpt from the March 8th weekend broadcast show that focuses specifically on the interview with Dr. Thomas Hopkins. Dr. Tom walks your hosts, Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small through some of the steps to take to keep your home healthy and possibly prevent Coronavirus or the flu from spreading in your home. Some wise and simple steps to continue to keep your home a safe, healthy and comfortable living environment!

For more information on additional steps, you can take to improve the overall efficiency of your home's operation, contact us or call Brower Mechanical at (916) 624-0808. If you would like to reach out to Dr. Tom, he can be contacted thru his website,

March 8, 2020: Coronavirus safety in the home. Dr. Tom Hopkins has some suggestions.

Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small start the show with a conversation getting into the values of a healthy home. There are many things to consider for the house and Duane describes some of the elements to consider. Some may be obvious but others not so much.

Know your options!

Utilities are very significant elements for you to maximize efficiency in your home’s operating expenses. Knowing your options vs the utility pricing could vary the decision considerably. Duane explains the process to help in the evaluation with some great case study descriptions. If you’re considering upgrades for your home, be sure to listen in. It’s well worth your time.

Guest Interview with Dr. Tom Hopkins

This is a special segment with a guest interview with Dr. Tom Hopkins addressing the preventative steps you can take in the home to address both Coronavirus and the common flu, a much more devastating disease in our society currently. Very good reminders that can fall by the wayside as the concerns mount.

Dr. Tom spoke about some of the critical elements necessary for safety in the home with regard to many viruses. Yes, that includes the Coronavirus and flu. Duane explains how current technology can support the prevention in your home and some of the steps you can take to do your best for your family.

For more information on some of the common steps you can take, contact us or call Brower Mechanical at (916) 624-0808

March 1, 2020: Some folk have toys in the attic but what about rats? The solution will surprise.

Generator power is here!

Your hosts Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small start with some of the concerns with generator power as well as some of the options when you must consider a solution to getting power to your home. You do have options and while Generac is the leading provider, Briggs & Stratton is also a choice. Hear more from the conversation as well as the next steps on home usage and energy upgrades.

Electricity is Changing

The landscape of electricity usage has changed dramatically. How utility companies bill for services has changed dramatically as well. Rates are always in play and are most likely to increase rather than decrease. There are options and best practices to understand. Heating and cooling the home are the two greatest considerations to evaluate when you’re looking to improve the efficiency of your home’s energy consumption. The case study in this example is remarkable and one you’ll want to hear. Cooling your home for under $400 throughout the year would likely be considered significant for most of us. The clipboard audit revealed the opportunities.

Now, for those rats...

This call to Brower is one with a significant sense of urgency. The situation got so bad it was affecting the health of the inhabitants in the house. Insulation was badly impacted but they had also eaten into the ductwork as well. Not a good situation. But a great solution that accomplished more than one thing.

Support from California State

Back to generators for the home. The state of CA is offering options to help those in need. The qualifications are discussed in this segment. Battery technology appears to be the direction the state of California is taking to offset power outages and PSPS. Listen to Duane explain some of the details you’ll want to take into account in the event you may qualify.

For more information on how we can help outfit your home, call Brower Mechanical at (916) 624-0808.

February 26, 2020: Electricity incentives are one shock you’ll want to get!

Generator power is going to be a big consideration heading into the summer season which is really closer than you think. What to consider? Your hosts, Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small are turning up the juice with the discussion about utility expense and how it ties into your decision on what to do. And keep in mind, Generac generators require service in the first 24 hours of run time. Brower can help.

Fans of Saving

Whole house fans continue to be a viable option for consideration to save money on your utility bills, or, as you’ll hear in the discussion, they can also reduce your solar requirement. Even up to 5 panels and that means $5,000 in savings too!

The Value of the Audit

The value of workshops is clearly indicated by the caller from this segment as he schedules his home audit. The consideration for his questions is evident in the responses he receives and that’s one of the unique propositions you’ll be sure to get whenever you reach out to Brower Mechanical.

Cost of Your Water

Now, if your water is heated with gas or heated with electricity does it matter. YES!!! Not in the temperature of your water but in the cost of your effort to heat it. Electric water heating is more efficient and less expensive and there’s a huge incentive if you’re in the SMUD territory for service. A $3,000 rebate for example. That’s an incredible value to convert to electric water heating and it will also reduce your operating bill each month as well.

Learning all the details is critical and that’s the reason to call Brower Mechanical at (916) 624-0808.

February 19, 2020: Trees are blooming and plants are sprouting. Is your home ready?

Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small are sweating it out today after the record heat this week. So, did you notice anything with your home? Is it ready for the heat? Did you know until recently, your solar would not run your house in the event of a power outage? Find out what the new technology is in this segment as there are options now to have solar run your home in the event of outages of any kind. The significant emphasis of the clipboard audit can’t be underplayed and they are the answer to your questions.

What's happening with Natural Gas?

What’s up with the cost of gas? And we’re not talking gas for your car or gas in your belly. We’re talking natural gas in your house. The costs are creeping up and up and that plays into the decision on what your appliances should be; electric or gas. It’s an important decision going forward as you have to consider what’s happening in the future. It’s also important to know where you are. SMUD territory or PG&E territory. They differ greatly. This is one discussion you’ll want to hear.

The Magic of Generators

Duane breaks into a conversation from a case study and how one customer wanted to connect a portable generator to run his entire home in the event of a PSPS. This was a temporary situation and he eventually wanted a permanent whole house generator. What they found, and the way to make this happen is nothing short of amazing.

HVAC Options

Is bigger better? Well, if you know this show, you know the answer. Listen to find out how the explanation goes. You may learn there’s an option for you to save some money if you’re in the market for a new HVAC system. If it takes 13 minutes to reach peak efficiency and it’s too big, guess what? Yes, the answers are here.

To learn more, check it out…call Brower Mechanical at (916) 624-0808.

February 13, 2020: Antacids may relieve gas but your utility may be doing something similar.

Your hosts Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small get right into the stories of change in a moment of reflection from the show’s beginning (over four years ago) to the significant differences now. And, wow, are things different. Nobody knew what a PSPS was back then, or electrification with induction cooking, or…


Electricity is all the rage for efficiency going forward. A lot is going on in this field and you’ll hear the story of an ideal situation for the efficiency sake of things, about a homeowner who actually ended up getting a net-even deal on top of getting value added with solar and other equipment. This is a win-win all around. Ultimately, this would likely result in a higher home value as well. 

The Brower Way

What is the difference between a revitalization and a tune-up for your HVAC system? You may find that many companies are going to send two people out: one salesperson and one tech. The goal of that company is simple. Sell you something. At Brower, it’s just the opposite. You’ll have one person show up and they’ll go through the process of safety and maintenance with your equipment. If there are issues, not a problem. They’ll give you the report and you can make the decision on your own. That’s a huge difference.

Looking to the Future

With all the news about natural gas issues and the impact on the average customer, it’s not a bad idea to be aware of what the options are going to be at some point in the future.

How do you make the decision to electrify? By getting educated, that’s how. Who better to get that information from? Brower Mechanical at (916) 624-0808.

February 5, 2020: It’s super Sunday! How’s your house doin’. Ready for the big game!

After a little banter on the big game today, your hosts Duane Knickerbocker (Niners!) and Bill Small (Chiefs) dive into the differences we’ve seen, not only on the field, but also in home energy. Changes such as, gas being banned in some communities, utility companies paying for upgrades, and solar becoming more and more efficient. And unique to California is portable generator technology for the home and the best practices when building new. There are so many things to be aware of and the place to get the most current awareness of what they are is a clipboard audit.

Maximizing Efficiency

Now, this is a segment for something very new that most people are not aware of and it’s actually taking place in certain community utility districts. There are some areas of the state that will not let you put additional panels on your roof in the event you want to add equipment. They won’t allow you to go into a “Negawatt” condition with your home. So how do you add equipment that would require additional panels to run to keep your home at zero energy use? Maximize the energy efficiency of the home. Then you won’t need to add panels as you’ll not be using as much energy and therefore leaving some headroom with your panel production. Again, identifying the best way to make this happen, would be to start with a free clipboard audit. You’ll be surprised at what the results could be.

Thermostat Hacks

What’s that “hold” button on your thermostat all about anyway? Did you know there’s a way you can use it to actually decrease your energy expense? Duane and Bill listen to a call from a customer as she learns how to take advantage of simple thermostat options to help her out. What teed this up is the concern for a newer system in the home when in fact, maybe not so much. And of course, that leads into the discussion of a set it and forget guarantee. You won’t hear that from many companies because you really have to know your business in order to make that guarantee. Now, that’s pretty cool.

Gas or Electric?

Why would you use the expensive power to your home when you actually have options to use less expensive power? It used to be that gas was the way to go. It was cheaper. Unfortunately, that’s no longer the case. Now your water heater isn’t a very big deal when it comes to how it gets the water hot. You likely just want the least expensive way to get it there. And that would be electricity, especially if you’re in the SMUD utility district. In some cases, it could be up to 50% less than gas. Now when you’re ready for the home heating upgrades, you can only imagine what those savings could be.

The best place to know how best to do it, call Brower Mechanical at (916) 624-0808.