Dr. Bailes speaks regularly at conferences, training classes, and special events.
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I LOVE this photo! It has nothing to do with building science. Or does it? As we humans have progressed from living in caves to mud huts to stone buildings to the stick-built structures many of us in the US inhabit now, our lives have changed.
I like flex duct. Really! In fact, I did an interview yesterday for the Energy Saving in the Home Radio Show and surprised the host, I think, when I said that to him. He's an HVAC contractor himself and is used to building science types being purists on the use of rigid ducts. (You can catch the show when it airs on Saturday, 10/20/12, or download it from iTunes afterward.) What I don't like is that flex duct gets horribly abused by a lot of installers. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you've seen lots of evidence already.
Apparently, I haven't written a single article this summer about oversized air conditioners. Shame on me! I've written several in previous summers, mostly about how HVAC contractors bypass the HVAC design process by using rules of thumb and how they mess up the Manual J load calculations when they do go the preferred route. I've never written an article focusing on the reasons to size an air conditioner properly, though, so here it is.
I was in one of the big box home improvement stores yesterday and thought I'd take a look at ceiling fans while I was there. Ten years ago when I was building a house and buying a bunch of ceiling fans, it wasn't so easy to figure out which fans were energy efficient and which weren't. That's not the case anymore because every ceiling fan I looked at had a label on the box that tells you how much air movement you can expect for each watt of electricity you put into the fan.
Sometimes I find the most amazing mysteries in people's homes, usually in nasty crawl spaces or attics. Here is one such story. The photo at left shows a whole-house dehumidifier. It's tied in with the heating and cooling system, which you can see right behind the dehumidifier. The mystery is in the way it's tied in.
Let's get back to the Pretty Good House concept now. Last month I wrote part 1, called What Would a "Pretty Good House" Look Like? There I discussed mainly the design, building envelope, and heating and cooling systems. Here I'll take it further and look at water (management, conservation, and heating), performance, verification, commissioning, and homeowner package.
GUEST POST: As the Affordable Comfort conference kicks off today, it's appropriate to take a look at what comfort is and how we construct buildings to have the best shot at getting it. Robert Bean is an engineer in Calgary who's full of knowledge and wisdom on the topics of building science and HVAC, especially radiant heating. In addition to having all kinds of credentials and honors, he's the editor of a great website called Healthy Heating, which you really should check out. In this guest post for the Energy Vanguard Blog, he discusses the ASHRAE standard on thermal comfort. Pay attention, because he makes a statement toward the end that, I believe, could lead to a great shift in our thinking about buildings.
Don't you just love to strip down to your socks and jump on the bed? As a kid, you may not get away with it, but you're a grown man or woman now, so who's to stop you? And then, when you've exhausted yourself, you can walk naked to the kitchen to get a glass of water. You can sit down au naturel and check your email or update your Facebook page, maybe even write a blog article.
Air conditioners don't last forever. Shocking, I know. The good news, though, is that if you have an old air conditioning system, replacing it should save you money. Efficiency has improved a lot since that old hunk of metal and noise was installed in your back yard.
You know what a bonus room is, right? It's more descriptively called a FROG, for finished room over garage, and it typically has vaulted ceilings and attic kneewalls (more on that later). I love the name FROG for this room, but it seems to be a regional thing.
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