Most of the recommendations in the Graphic Handbook still apply, but Maine has lots of snow, the frost depth is 4' for most
of the state (this is why most Maine houses have basements - it's not just Dad's Man-cave), and we have freeze-thaw conditions
at both ends of winter (and sometimes in the middle). The basement hatch is one of the biggest air and thermal leaks in Maine
homes. Summers can get muggy, and you must have screens because we have lots of flying biting insects, especially in the spring
and early summer. A garage is needed to make your car last longer, then a vestibule is needed to keep the fumes from anything
in the garage from getting into the living space.
Maine, and New England, also has more older
structures, most of which are timber- or balloon-framed. Keeping the exterior appearance intact is part of keeping the value
of these structures - but there's still plenty of options.
When you get to an area that has significant
air-conditioning use, you need to watch where the moisture in the air goes and you need to shelter your windows, and
your house if you can, from sunlight. The location of the air barrier in the walls changes, and you need to be careful
with insulation for ducts.
You may also be in a state which offers tax opportunities or loans
for modifying a house to be more efficient.
The price of photovoltaics and the availability of
efficient equipment and simple controls - these are all getting better, and contractors are getting better at providing them.
"Window-shaker" air conditioners are energy hogs. Go for a modern air-to-air
heat exchanger and get that benefit year-round. If you use a dehumidifier, get one with the best energy rating per volume
of water removed. The initial cost will rapidly be engulfed by the electricity required to run it. Head for the EnergyStar
Also, we built our house pointed a few degrees east of due south, so that the big roof area was pointed perfectly for solar
gain, because we need more energy on those cold mornings. If you live where you need more cooling, you may want to point the
roof more towards the south southwest so that when you need power for air conditioning in the late afternoon the sun will
be most helpful.