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Energy Vanguard Blog

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The Paranormal - Building Science Nexus

 
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Have you seen ghosts? Ever been in a haunted house? Do some homes just give you the paranormal heebie jeebies? The building science ghostbusters are hot on the trail, so you may be able to set your mind at ease.

7 Reasons to Go to the ACI National Home Performance Conference

 
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The ACI National Home Performance Conference is only a month away. Even more important, the deadline to get the Early Bird rate on the registration fee is Monday, 6 April. If you work on homes, this conference is for you. Here are 7 reasons why.

A New Way to Cool Your Attic - Powered Attic Mini-Split Heat Pumps

 
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Move over powered attic ventilator. There's a new boss in town. For decades, concerned homeowners have looked for ways to keep their attics cool: gable vents, ridge vents, turtlebacks and whirlybirds. Then they moved from passive to active and latched onto the powered attic ventilator. Now we don't have to settle for a technology that pulls conditioned air up from the house.

The Energy Vanguard Blog Turns 5

 
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On Saturday, the Energy Vanguard Blog turned 5 years old. It's been an interesting and rewarding journey, and I'm really glad I sat down and started doing it in early March 2010.

Insulation to Go - Creativity in the Attic

 
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Someone got creative with their attic insulation!

4 Ventilation Quotes That Will Rock Your IAQ World

 
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I've been writing some articles on ventilation for the Journal of Light Construction lately and have come across some great material. The first quote here makes the point about indoor air quality with a graphic underwear metaphor. It's from an 1893 book whose author was a medical doctor and interested in ventilation to prevent diseases like phthisis (what we now call tuberculosis).

Fermi Problems, Blower Doors, and the Compressibility of Air

 
Enrico Fermi estimate question problem

Enrico Fermi was famous for many things, as you might expect of one of the smartest physicists of the 20th century. Quantum theory,  statistical mechanics, and nuclear physics were his primary subjects, but what I appreciate most about him was what are called Fermi Problems. He had an amazing ability to come up with estimates for questions for which he had little or no real data.

The James Brown Blower Door Video

 

Did you know that James Brown, the "Godfather of Soul," made a video about doing blower door testing to weatherize homes? Neither did most people, but he certainly did make one. Here it is.

US Department of Energy Reveals Net Zero Mass/Energy House

 
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Net zero energy homes, which produce as much energy as they use, are all the rage in the world of green building. Environmentalists and hippies have taken that a step further and proposed net zero water and net zero food homes. Now, researchers at Argonne National Laboratory, under orders from their funders at the US Department of Energy to "be more practical and do something useful," have unlocked the secret to using antimatter in building materials. The result is the Net Zero Mass/Energy Home, which could revolutionize the construction industry.

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A Pi Day Physics Lesson on the Induction Cooktop — With Dancing!

 
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Today is Pi Day, named for that special number, 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288... The three dots at the end mean that I've exhausted my memory of the digits of pi, but pi doesn't care. It just goes on and on. Anyway, Pi Day is a perfect day for a physics lesson because so many physics equations (and solutions) use that special number. And what better physics lesson for Pi Day than one about a device that cooks yummy things for us!

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